Johnson was a respected USAAF pilot who flew the P-47 Thunderbolt over Europe and received 28 kills in World War II. For this he was awarded a long list of medals (Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross), but they could not be easily earned, as evidenced by the fact that he was on the same day would die multiple times while performing a routine mission
On the occasion I bring here, their formation, consisting of several P-47s, was swept from the sky by a group of 16 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s of Group II, JG 26, who had surprised them. The first strafing passage organized by the German fighters managed to disperse the P-47 and severely damage Johnson’s plane. Johnson was partially blinded by the oil leak and ongoing pain from some burns and tried to jump off the plane. However, his parachute got stuck and the canopy did not slide over the rail due to combat damage. Good old Johnson had no choice but to take the bull by the horns. and try to dominate the plane regardless of the cost. After getting out of an uncontrolled corner and the fire going out on its own, Johnson must have thought a miracle had happened and decided to head for the English Channel.
When he was already enjoying his salvation and thanking God for the work he had done, a lonely Fw 190 appeared out of nowhere and shot him several times with machine guns. Johnson couldn’t defend himself other than doing a few laps and scoring hits. At some point the Fw 190 ran out of ammunition and the German pilot, surrendering to evidence that the American had been reborn, flapped his wings to say goodbye and turned around. Johnson, who couldn’t believe his luck, returned the greeting that showed him the middle finger and continued the march. Ultimately, however incredible it may seem, Johnson managed to land his plane in England, and when he got off he was amazed to find that the device looked like Gruyer cheese. There he and his mechanics counted holes until they gave up when they exceeded 200 bumps. This was a good example, but not the only one, where the P-47 gained its reputation as a “tough guy”. and Robert Samuel ?? Bobbie ?? Johnson was always considered lucky.
Drawing and text: Reinaldo Munilla (drawings with a story)
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