Fred T. Johnson
Tuskegee Airmen, World War II Veteran, Congressional Medal of Honor,
High School Science Department Chairman
Mr. Fred T. Johnson - In 1943, Mr. Johnson was in his third year of Pre Med at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, when he decided that he wanted to defend his country by volunteering for the Army Air Corps.
After Fred proved his capabilities in basic training at Greensboro, North Carolina, he signed up for training with the “Tuskegee Airmen”. Following two months of cadet training at Keesler Field, Mississippi, he was sent to Tuskegee Army Airfield for pilot training. However, during this time, the Army needed more bomber crews, navigators, and bombardiers, so he was sent to Tyndall Army Air Field in Florida where he graduated from aerial gunnery school.
Mr. Johnson was subsequently assigned to the 477th Bomber Group at Hondo Army Air Force Base in Texas, where he underwent training in AT-10 and B-25 aircraft. In April 1945, he was awarded his navigator wings and, as a second lieutenant, was sent back to Tuskegee for more training. He later flew in B-25 bombers as a member of the 617th Medium Bombardment
Squadron at Godman AAFB, Kentucky. He was Delaware’s first and only black navigator at the time.
After the war, Mr. Johnson became the first African American to teach at Warner Junior High School in Wilmington, teaching earth and physical science. He also coached championship track teams. Mr. Johnson was in charge of the planetarium at Warner and was chairman of the science
department until he retired in 1981.
Through a belated documentation search, Mr. Johnson was finally recognized In March of 2013 as an official Tuskegee Airman and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor at his old high school (a school where his father, the son of a slave, was principal for 35 years).