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Richard R. Johnson
Biography
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Richard R. Johnson Biography

427th Theodore R. Beiser Crew


Marjorie and Dick Johnson
Born in 1922, Mr. Johnson was the son of migrant farm workers and sharecroppers during the great depression. Living in abandoned houses, barns and tents, his family managed to survive while putting Dick and his brother through eight elementary schools in six states.

In 1935 he became interested in collecting Indian artifacts which developed into a love of archaeology which he maintains to this day.

After high school he hitchhiked from Souther Illinois to Norfolk, Virginia to work in a defense plant. He joined the Army Air Force after getting a draft notice in 1942.

With only a high school diploma he managed to pass all the requirements to become a pilot of a heavy Flying Fortress bomber in which he flew 32 combat missions over the Third Reich. Two missions on D-Day, June 6, 1944, marked the halfway point in his combat tour. .

After leaving the Air Force he moved to Washington DC and then to a little fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay where he met and married his wife in 1954. While raising three children Dick took up flying again and started towing aerial banners around Baltimore and Washington, accumulating over five hundred hours in his 1946 Piper Cub, PA-12 airplane which he bought in 1968 and which he still owns.

During the Vietnam War he towed a protest banner around the White House, being the only pilot to ever do so.

He joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1959, doing much search and rescue work over the next 14 years, retiring from the CAP with the rank of Lt. Col.

He gives numerous talks every year on subjects dealing with archaeology and aviation in the second World War.

1992-1994 - Member of 303rd BG(H) Mission Reports Retrieval Committee that copied 303rd BG(H) mission reports at the National Archives, Suitland, MD. Elected, or appointed, to the following 303rd BGA positions: 17 September 1995 to 11 October 1999 (4 years) - Secretary; 11 October 1999 - Vice President-Administration; 28 September 2000 - President; 7 September 1991 - Chairman Past President's Committee followed by three years as member of Past President's Committee.