Military Bios

Major General Harry A. Johnson:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Died May 1, 1978.
Harry Anton Johnson was born in Litchfield, Minn., in 1893. He enlisted in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps May 15, 1917, and served as a private, private first class, and corporal, before being appointed a flying cadet. After attending ground school at Ohio State University and flying school at Love and Ellington fields, Texas, he graduated as an airplane pilot in April 1918, and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Aviation Section.
He then returned to Love Field, where he served as a flying instructor. The following month he transferred to Ellington Field and in September 1918 was assigned to San Leon, Texas, as an aerial gunnery instructor. In June 1919, he went to Fort Bliss, Texas as salvage and survey officer, and later served there as squadron engineering officer. In November of that year he joined the 11th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. The following June he went to Post Field, Okla., to attend the Observation School and after graduation remained as instructor.
He received his Regular Army commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Service July 1, 1920, and that same date was promoted to first lieutenant.
In May 1922, he moved to Clark Field in the Philippine Islands, where he served until February 1924. At that time he transferred to Camp Nichols, Philippine Islands, for a month's flying duty, after which he returned to the United States.
His next assignment was at McCook Field, Ohio, with the engineering division. He also served as chief of the flying branch and as test pilot at McCook Field for a year, and in July 1927, transferred to Wright Field, Ohio.
In March of that year he moved to Selfridge Field, Mich., as engineering officer. He conducted high altitude test flights at Wright Field in January and February 1929, after which he returned to Selfridge Field, Mich., to command the 94th Pursuit Squadron.
He was assigned to the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1932, and graduated in June 1933. He then was ordered to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to attend the Command and General Staff School. In June 1936, he was assigned to the 20th Pursuit Group at Barksdale Field, La., where he became operations officer of the Third Wing in April 1937. In August of that year he entered the Army War College in Washington, from which he graduated in June 1938. He then went to Chanute Field, Ill., for duty with a branch of the Air Corps Technical School.
In June 1940, he was detailed to the Naval War College at Newport R.I., and a year later returned to Chanute Field, Ill., as supervisor of the Civilian Mechanics School. He became chief of the training section in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps in Washington in March 1941, and the following May was assigned to Air Force Flying Training Command headquarters at Washington. In July 1942, he became chief of staff of the Air Force Foreign Service Concentration Command in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The following October he was assigned to the Caribbean Defense Command as chief of staff of the Sixth Air Force. In July 1943, he was assigned to command all air units and installations in the Trinidad Sector of the Antilles Air Command, with the primary mission of antisubmarine patrol.
In November of that year he was ordered to England and assigned to the training section of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force. Leaving England in July 1944, he went to Alaska where he was appointed commanding general of the 11th Service Command. He later became deputy commander for operations of the 11th Air Force and commanding general of the Advanced Command Post headquarters of the 11th which operated at an outlying base against the Japanese Northern Kuriles. In October 1945, after seeing the war's end in Japan, he returned to the mainland of Alaska, where he was assigned to command Fort Richardson.
In June 1946, he returned to the United States, and became deputy commander of the Tenth Air Force at Brooks Field, Texas. In June 1948, when the Second Air Force was absorbed by the 10th Air Force, General Johnson remained as deputy commander and moved with the 10th to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. In December 1949, he assumed additional duty as commander of the 30th Air Division of the 10th Air Force, with no change of station. He retained these positions when he moved to Selfridge Air Force Base in January 1950.
In April 1950, General Johnson assumed command of the 10th Air Force at Selfridge Air Force Base, and was relieved from additional duty as commander of the 30th Air Division a month later. On Jan. 19, 1951, he was hospitalized and upon being released March 13, 1951, was designated deputy commander of the 10th Air Force. He resumed command of the 10th Air Force March 31, 1951.
General Johnson has been awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Cruze de Boyaca from the Republic of Colombia, and the Commanders Cross of Orange Nassau with Swords from the Netherlands. He also has the European, Pacific and American theater ribbons. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.


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