Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross
March 26, 1919 - May 4, 2009
This Friday, Carl Edmund "Ed" Johnson will be laid to rest with full military honors at Oregon's Willamette National Cemetery. Mr. Johnson was 90 years old and a veteran of World War II. Like most WWII Veterans, Mr. Johnson came home, set the war aside and went on as a productive member of his community.
Mr. Johnson was born in Seattle and raised in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Grant High School and Oregon State College. While at OSC, he was president of Beta Theta Pi and the Society of Automotive Engineers and a representative to the Engineers Student Council. Mr. Johnson enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and flew B-24 bombers in the Pacific theater. He flew 40 missions and was awarded several medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions at Marcus Island, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart for actions at Iwo Jima. After the war, Mr. Johnson worked for Pacific Northwest Bell. He was an avid golfer and tennis player and was fiercely dedicated to the OSU Beavers.
1st Lt. Carl E. Johnson Jr., 7th Air Force, 0413830, took the controls of a B-24, and, on 22 February 1945, piloted a bombing mission over Marcus Island:
"Where" -- the Distinguished Flying Cross citation reads -- "intense opposition was encountered, damaging the plane's communication system. ... As no precision navigation or bombing instruments for use in adverse weather were installed in the plane, it was impossible to find the target from this high altitude.
"After an hour's search, and with the fuel running low, the target was sighted and attacked from a very low altitude. Despite the damage to the airplane by enemy anti-aircraft and automatic weapons fire, before bombs were away, this crew successfully bombed the enemy airfield, rending it inoperative.
"Leaving the target with a low fuel supply, and with no means of radio contact, the crew flew the seriously damaged airplane on the precarious 900-mile over-water flight to its home base, landing safely with no further damage to plane or injury to crew."For all of this, all Mr. Johnson wanted was to be interred at the National Cemetery in Portland. His son, Eric, wanted more for this honorable man who did so much for our country. This Friday, the Air Force will provide an honor guard and a flyover of four F-15's. If you are near Portland at 2:15 pm, look skyward as the planes scream out his name.
Farewell, Mr Johnson, and Walk with God. Thank you for all you did for us.