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Leon William Johnson

Date of birth: September 13, 1904
Date of death: November 10, 1997
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Missouri, Columbia
Home of record: Moline Kansas

Leon Johnson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1926, and rose to Four-Star rank in the U.S. Air Force before his retirement.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Colonel (Air Corps) Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Headquarters, 44th Bombardment Group (H), Ninth Air Force (Detached from the Eighth Air Force) in action on 1 August 1943. Colonel Johnson, as commanding officer of a heavy bombardment group, let the formation of the aircraft of his organization constituting the fourth element of the mass low-level bombing attack of the Ninth U.S. Air Force against the vitally important enemy target of the Ploesti oil refineries in Rumania. While proceeding to the target on this 2,400-mile flight, his element became separated from the leading elements of the mass formation in maintaining the formation of the unit while avoiding dangerous cumulous cloud conditions encountered over mountainous territory. Though temporarily lost, he reestablished contact with the third element and continued on the mission with this reduced force to the prearranged point of attack, where it was discovered that the target assigned to Colonel Johnson's group had been attacked and damaged by a preceding element. Though having lost the element of surprise upon which the safety and success of such a daring form of mission in heavy bombardment aircraft so strongly depended, Colonel Johnson elected to carry out his planned low-level attack despite the thoroughly alerted defenses, the destructive anti-aircraft fire, enemy fighter airplanes, the imminent danger of exploding delayed action bombs from the previous element, of oil fires and explosions, and of intense smoke obscuring the target. By his gallant courage, brilliant leadership, and superior flying skill, Colonel Johnson so led his formation as to destroy totally the important refining plants and installations which were the object of his mission. Colonel Johnson's personal contribution to the success of this historic raid, and the conspicuous gallantry in action, and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty demonstrated by him on this occasion constitute such deeds of valor and distinguished service as have during our Nation's history formed the finest traditions of our Armed Forces.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 54, September 7, 1943

Action Date: 1-Aug-43

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Headquarters

Regiment: 44th Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 9th Air Force (Attached)

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Air Force, was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (Army Design) for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General of the 3d Air Division, London, England, from 1948 to 1952.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, General Orders No. 20 (1952)

Service: Air Force

Rank: Major General

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (Army Design) to General Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Air Deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1 May 1958 to 31 July 1961. The superb ability, outstanding diplomacy and strong personal dedication displayed by General Johnson were predominant factors in the attainment of many North Atlantic Treaty Organization objectives which markedly advanced the military strength and readiness of the alliance. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Johnson culminate a long and distinguished career in the service of his country and his dedicated contributions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Orders No. G-105 (October 4, 1961)

Action Date: May 1, 1958 - July 31, 1961

Service: Air Force

Rank: General

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: General Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Air Force, was awarded a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (Army Design) for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Director, Net Evaluation Subcommittee Staff/National Security Council, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C., from 1961 to 1965.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, General Orders No. GB-70 (1965)

Action Date: 1961 - 1965

Service: Air Force

Rank: General

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Corps) Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving with the EIGHTH Air Force During World War II.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 30 (1943)

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Headquarters

Regiment: 44th Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 8th Air Force

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Corps) Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding General, 14th Combat Wing, EIGHTH Air Force, from 1943 to 1944.

General Orders: United States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: 1943 - 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding General

Regiment: 14th Combat Wing

Division: 8th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Corps) Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Commanding General, 14th Combat Wing, EIGHTH Air Force during World War II.

General Orders: United States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding General

Regiment: 14th Combat Wing

Division: 8th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Corps) Leon William Johnson (AFSN: 88A/0-16429), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Commanding General, 14th Combat Wing, EIGHTH Air Force during World War II.

General Orders: United States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding General

Regiment: 14th Combat Wing

Division: 8th Air Force