Richard Glenn "Dick" Johnson

USN   Lt.


Served on the USS Lexington - VF-16

MIA 4 December 1943

  Dick Johnson



Lieut, (j.g.) Cox Berkholmes of the navy air force was a visitor Wednesday night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Johnson. Berkholmes, whose home is in San Marino, was a buddy of Lieut. Dick Johnson, now reported as missing in action, both during their training and later on the carrier Lexington.
Lt. Berkholmes gave some previously unknown details of the engagement in the Marshall Islands group during which Johnson's plane went down. He and Dick were close together during the attack, but he did not see the plane fall. However, he reported a conversation with the pilot of a bomber which they had been protecting, who said that when he was attacked by a flight of Jap planes Dick got four of them before he went down. The last the pilot saw of the plane, he said, it was on a slow glide, which caused the belief that Dick himself had not been injured, although the plane was on fire.
Berkholmes said his buddies had analyzed the case at great length, and held a strong hope that Johnson had reached an island some distance away, on which some Japs were stationed, but part of which was free.


Vf-16 pilots on the Lexington
VF-16 pilots on board the Lexington celebrate (for the cameras) a great mission on 23 November 1943. The Americans claimed 17 kills without loss. From L to R - Bill Seyfferle, (? hidden), Al Frendberg, Paul Buie, John Bartol, Dean Whitmore, "Frank" Fleming, Gene Hanks, Ed Rucinski, Dick Johnson & Sven Rolfsen jr.


Victories Include :

23 Nov 1943 one Zero destroyed

1 / 0 / 0

The news article above says some bomber crew members claim they saw him shoot down four planes before he himself was shot down (making him an ace). He was not, however, given official credit for any of them so his score remains at 1 "confirmed" destroyed. Also, note there are two Navy "Meatballs" on his plane in the photo at the top which means he thought he had at least two kills at that time. In a post online someone claims he had 3 kills and 4 probables but I have found no evidence of that to date.


--- American Aces ---


Thanks to Chad for the top photo !

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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