RIP  - 05/27/2020

Name: Samuel Robert Johnson
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force
Unit: 433rd TFS
Date of Birth: 11 October 1930
Home City of Record: Dallas Tx
Date of Loss: 16 April 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 173500N 1061700E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Missions: 25
NOTE: Flew 62 missions in Korea in F-86's

Official pre-capture photo

Other Personnel in Incident: Larry Chesley, WSO, Returnee

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 06 September 1996 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. 2020



SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).

Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: April 16, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973

The nearly seven years  that I spent in Hanoi but most especially the more
than two years in a camp called Alcatraz engendered a close-knit bond
between me and some great Americans. I count these men as true friends and
their courage and ideals have brought home vividly to me what America is all
about. I can only emphasize that the freedoms that most Americans take for
granted are in fact, real and must be preserved. I have returned to a great
nation and  our sacrifices have been  well worth the effort.  I pledge to
continue to serve and fight to protect the freedoms and ideals that  the
United  States stands for.

February 14, 1997. Updated with this letter and additional material provided
by Cong. Sam Johnson. On the Letterhead of:

Congressman Sam Johnson
3rd District, Texas
801 East Campbell Road,
Suite 425
Richardson, Texas 75081

1030 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515

Fax:     District 972/470-9937 D.C. 202/225-1485

         sam.txO3( WebSite:

Elected in a in May of 1991, Congressman Sam Johnson is serving his fourth
term in the U.S. Congress.  He represents the Third Congressional District
of Texas which includes parts of Dallas and Collin Counties.

A staunch fiscal conservative, Johnson is a member of the prestigious House
Ways & Means Committee which oversees all tax laws, tariff and trade laws,
and the Social Security and Medicare systems.  He has consistently fought
for lower taxes and limited government, whether it is standing up against
wasteful spending, attacking the bloated size and budgets of cabinet level
agencies, or pushing for a new tax system.

In addition, he sits on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
As a member of the Early Childhood, Youth and Families Subcommittee, Johnson
has worked to return control of education to parents, teachers, and local
school boards.

Johnson serves as an Assistant Whip to Majority Whip Tom DeLay.  As a member
of the Whip organization, Johnson works to "grow-the-vote" for Republican
initiatives in the House.

Sam Johnson is also a member of the Speaker's Advisory Group on Corrections
in the House.  This committee reviews legislation to quickly fix dumb laws
and repeal unnecessary regulations.

After months of pushing for an accurate and balanced exhibit of the B-29
"Enola Gay" airplane at the National Air and Space Museum, Johnson was
appointed to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution by Speaker
Gingrich.  He now plays an active role in the display of America's great
heritage and is determined to make sure that all exhibits are factually
correct and properly reflect the values on which this country was founded.

Johnson was recognized in the 102nd, 103rd, and 104th Congresses with the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Spirit of Enterprise" Award, the Watchdog of the
Treasury Award, and the National Federation of Independent Business
"Guardian of Small Business" Award.  He also has received high ratings from
the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Christian
Coalition, and Citizens Against Government Waste.

Sam Johnson grew up in Dallas, attended Woodrow Wilson High School, and
graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelors degree in
Business Administration.  In 1974 he earned his Masters degree in
International Affairs from George Washington University.

After graduating from SMU, Johnson began a 29 year career in the U.S. Air
Force, where he served as director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School
(Top Gun) and flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying
demonstration team.  He also graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College
and the National War College.  In Korea he flew F-86s in 62 combat missions.

While serving with the 8th TFW in 1966, Johnson's F-4 was shot down over
North Vietnam on his 25 mission. He and the WSO, Lt. Larry Chesley were on a
"milk run" mission about 30 miles north of the DMZ. During his ejection he
suffered a broken arm, a broken back, and a dislocated shoulder. Johnson
spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war, some of those years in
"Alcatraz." Three of those years were spent in solitary confinement.
Johnson's autobiography, Captive Warriors, details his POW experience.  In
recognition of his service to his country, Johnson was awarded two Silver
Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star
with Valor, two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals, and three Outstanding Unit

After retiring from the Air Force in 1979 with the rank of Colonel, Johnson
began a home building company.  In 1984 he was elected to the Texas State
House of Representatives where he served seven years.

Sam Johnson is married to the former Shirley L. Melton of Dallas.  They have
three children and ten grandchildren.


POW past shaped indefatigable congressman's career

By TODD J. GILLMAN / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON - For Sam Johnson , the seeds of a political career were planted
in conversations conducted in code - taps so faint that only inmates of the
Hanoi Hilton could hear them, pressing tin cups against the walls.....


KILAND AND FRETWELL: 40 years later, remembering Vietnam POWs

Lessons in leadership from our heroes
Read more:

Forty years ago, on Feb. 12, 1973, our nation started to welcome home 591 American prisoners of war, most of them
from the infamous
Hanoi Hilton POW camp. Some of the released prisoners had been held for up to nine years, and
U.S. military doctors expected broken men to step off the C-141s landing at
Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
Instead, they found fewer than 5 percent of the POWs suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Using just their brains and tin cups, these Americans created their own high-performance society, communicating
with each other through prison walls by tapping on the cups – employing a type of Morse Code as their language.
They built a civilized culture against all odds – including extreme torture and extended isolation. For the longest-held
of the POWs, this duress lasted more than eight years. No other group of POWs in our nation's history has ever
been held captive as long as these men.

Texas Rep. Sam Johnson was one of those POWs. Four decades later, he believes the leadership these men
demonstrated can provide today’s political leaders with some genuine role models......


Current Politico Magazine - Primary Source - July 21, 2015

The Hon. Sam Johnson talks about life in Hanoi.<>



From Congressman Sam Johnson on the recent death of his wife, Shirley Johnson.
Sam's Announcement


March 15, 2016

I just want to report to you that our buddy, Sam Johnson, received a very distinguished award this
evening.  It's called the Congressional Patriot Award which is sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy
Center which was co-founded by Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell.  Sam, a Republican,
shared the honor with John Lewis, a Democrat.  Speakers included our own John McCain, Ambassador
Andrew Young, Keven McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi.  There were about 200 participants at the sit down
dinner at the Library of Congress.  Here's a quote from the program: "Through strength of character,
wisdom and tireless effort, Sam Johnson and John Lewis have brought purpose, achievement, and
distinction to the United States Congress.  Tonight we honor their individual achievements and the
standard they set for us all".
We salute your service Sam and are proud to call you a friend, survivor, and patriot for your seven
years in Hanoi, and for your twenty-five years in Congress.
Bravo Zulu,




Here's a good story about Sam Johnson who, as you know, will finish his 25 years as a Congressman
in a few months.  He was honored on 12 June as his portrait (four times actual size) was unveiled
before a large crowd of supporters which filled the large Ways and Means committee room at the
Capitol.  The portrait will later hang in the formerly dedicated "Sam Johnson" room in the Longworth
building.  Speakers were limited to three minutes and included majority leader Kevin McCarthy, minority
leader Nancy Pelosi, speaker Paul Ryan, four other Congressmen, and me.  Friends from both sides of
the aisle lauded Sam's integrity and leadership.  My closing paragraph was as follows: "So Sam, speaking
for the nearly 600 POW's who were there, let me tell you how proud we are of your patriotism and your
behavior as a POW and as a legislator.  We salute you as you start this new chapter in your life, and we
 are most honored to call you our friend".



Cong and former Vietnam POW Sam Johnson, accepts congratulations, after it was announced that a
local school had been renamed in his honor. Johnson joined fellow ex-POWs as they celebrated the
45th Anniversary of their Homecoming at the Perot Ranch in TX, August 2018. Johnson did not run
for re-election and will retire in January.


Congressman Sam Johnson recognized on National POW/MIA Recognition Day. by U.S.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Twenty-nine years in the U.S. ...

Aldrin honored Johnson by wearing his POW bracelet when he landed on the moon in 1969. "We didn't stop fighting from inside the cells and caused ...

Our American Hero: Congressman Sam Johnson


Johnson received numerous awards, including two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with Valor, two ...
Below are the details for Sam Johnson’s visitation at Restland Funeral Home in Dallas.  Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 restrictions still in place the funeral will be a private graveside service for the family.  A public memorial church service will definitely be held sometime in the future.  For those that are unable to attend the visitation (completely understandable) there is a Link below that will allow you to view it live from your social media device.
Visitation will be held at The Memorial Chapel located on the Restland Funeral Home grounds in Dallas, TX on Sunday June 7, 2020 from 2pm-4pm; limitations may apply due to COVID-19.
A Private Graveside service with full military honors & Air Force fly over will take place at Restland Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas, TX.
A Public Memorial service is to be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hon. Sam Johnson Endowed Military Scholarship Fund at Southern Methodist University or The Sam Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Dallas Baptist University.

Here is the website link to the live stream that will broadcast the visitation on Sunday, June 7, 2020 from 2:00pm-4:00pm.
MAY 29, 2020

Remembering Sam Johnson

By John Tirpak

Samuel Robert Johnson, who represented Texas in the House of Representatives for 28 years, was the last Korean War veteran to serve in Congress, and was a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam for seven years, died May 27 at age 89. ...


More Info