RIP  08/29/2015

Name: Kenneth Johnson
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 555th TFS
Date of Birth: 23 May 1938
Home City of Record: Minneapolis MN
Date of Loss: 19 December 1971
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 200900 North  1042700 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D

Other Personnel in Incident: Samuel Vaughn, returnee

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 06 from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. 2016


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).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

Major - United States Air Force
Shot Down: December 18, 1971
Released: March 14, 1973

Ken was born 23 March 1938 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After he graduated
from high school, he received an appointment to the United States Air Force
Academy, receiving his commission in 1961. In November 1971 while based in
Thailand with the 555 TFS, Ken called his present wife, Linda and proposed
to her long distance. She accepted but the distance was to be even longer
than the phone call. Five weeks later Ken was shot down. Fifteen months
later when he was released from Hanoi, they made plans which culminated in
marriage at the hospital chapel at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

Ken came out of Hanoi on March 14th. One of his roommates at Clark was Major
Philip E. Smith (a POW for 7 1/2  years in China). They became good friends
in a very short time. Coincidentally, Phil was sent to Scott and gladly
served as Ken's best man. Lt. Col. Leo Thorsness and his wife Gaylee  were
also at Scott. Gaylee and Linda would chat while the men were with the
doctors. The night before Ken and Linda were to be married, Gaylee gladly
accepted Linda's invitation to serve as her matron of honor. That was to be
quite a day for all as Leo Thorsness was going into surgery, their daughter
was flying home and Gaylee Thorsness was to be in the wedding. The Air Force
really went all out and the day was most memorable - "Dear, sweet, lovely
people, all". . . says Linda.

Kenneth Johnson retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel.
He and Linda resided in Kansas until his death.

As a child, Kenneth R. Johnson watched intently as World War II bombers and other aircraft flew over his south Minneapolis home. It sparked his dream of an aviation career.

Johnson was a highly decorated pilot with the U.S. Air Force, where he earned a Silver Star Medal for heroism and numerous other commendations during his 24 years of service, which included two combat tours in Vietnam and 453 days as a prisoner of war...

Johnson died Aug. 29 after a year of failing health. He was 77....