Milton E. Johns

Veterans in Blue 2017

Milton Johns poses for a photo for the Air Force's 2017 Veterans in Blue series, April 5, 2017. Johns served in the European theatre of operations during WWII, and flew over 63 missions as a member of the 510th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson)

Milton E. Johns received his commission March 20, 1943, after completing aviation cadet training. During World War II, he flew the P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51, B-34 and C-47. He served in the European theater of operations flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. As a combat fighter pilot, Johns flew 63 missions as a member of the highly decorated 510th Fighter Squadron. The 63 missions included bombing, strafing, escort and air-to-air combat. Johns was shot down by ground fire on his 13th mission but was able to make an emergency landing in friendly territory. While on a single combat mission, Johns strafed and destroyed four locomotives and shot down a German FW-190 during air-to-air combat. After World War II, Johns served as commander of Miyako Jima Air Force Station, a long range radar site in the East China Sea, from Feb. 5, 1956 to Feb. 28, 1957. During his career, Johns rose to the rank of major, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three battle stars and the Army of Occupation Medal.