Retired Feb. 1, 1972.
Major General Earl L. Johnson is assistant deputy chief of staff, operations for Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
General Johnson, a native of Crawfordsville, Ind., graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1933 and from Wabash College in 1938 with a bachelor of arts degree. His military career began in January 1941 when he entered the Army Air Corps and entered flying training at Darr Aero Tech, Glenview, Ill. Six months later he received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant at Maxwell Field, Ala.
During World War II, he served as a pilot instructor for a few months and was then sent to Turner Field, Ga., as a twin-engine flying instructor and later became a flying training squadron commander. In July 1942 he was named group operations officer with the Advanced Twin-Engine Flying School, Blytheville, Ark. Two years later he attended B-17 transition school at Lockbourne Air Base, Ohio, followed by B-29 training at McCook, Neb.
In January 1945 General Johnson left for North Field, Tinian Island, as operations officer for the 1st Bombardment Squadron of the 9th Bombardment Group. He took part in the first low-altitude fire bombing missions against Tokyo. Later, he was reassigned to the 313th Bombardment Wing and became responsible for theater training for the atomic bomb crews of the 509th Composite Group. This was followed by his advancement to Director of Operations for the 313th Bombardment Wing.
In October 1945 he was the lead aircraft commander of a flight of three B-29s flying from Guam to Washington, D.C., via Karachi, India, and Frankfurt, Germany. Upon his arrival in the United States, he was assigned to Second Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colo., where he stayed until December 1946 when he left active military service.
He was recalled to active duty in September 1948 and assigned to the Twentieth Air Force with headquarters on Guam. He served as director of flying safety and then as the inspector general. From July 1949 until January 1950 he commanded the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, also on Guam.
He then became the director of operations of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Group, Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base, Calif. From June 1950 to July 1954, he served successively as commander of the 23rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron; chief of maintenance of the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing; and then director of materiel for the 5th Bombardment Wing. In June 1954 he was assigned as a student in the Air War College and graduated in June 1955.
In July 1955 he was assigned to the Policy Division of the Directorate of Personnel Planning, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. During his four-year tour of duty in the Pentagon, he worked on major personnel legislation. From July through November 1959 he attended B-52 Transition School at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
In December 1959 he was named the deputy commander for maintenance for the 72nd Bombardment Wing, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, and in July 1960 became the vice commander. In June 1962 General Johnson assumed command of the 4135th Strategic Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and in August 1963 he became the inspector general of the Eighth Air Force.
In November 1964 he went to McCoy Air Force Base, Fla., to assume duties as commander of the 306th Bombardment Wing. In September 1966 General Johnson and the wing were deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to become part of the 4133rd Bombardment Wing (Provisional) with General Johnson as wing commander. Prior to his return to the United States in March 1967 he was decorated by the Republic of Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky with the Republic of Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order, First Class. The presentation was made on Guam during the conference between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Prime Minister Ky.
Upon completion of his temporary duty tour on Guam, General Johnson returned to McCoy Air Force Base until his assignment as commander, 823rd Air Division at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., in July 1967. He returned to Guam in July 1968 as vice commander, Third Air Division, with headquarters at Andersen Air Force Base.
General Johnson was assigned as the assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, in April 1970.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem. He is a command pilot.
General Johnson's hometown is Crawfordsville, Ind.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective May 1, 1970, with date of rank Aug. 10, 1965.