Maj Gen Paul Johnson – A-10 Pilot Who Came Home on a Wing and a Prayer

 In History, Military, Veterans

Maj Gen Paul Johnson – A-10 Pilot Who Came Home on a Wing and a Prayer

You all probably know the story of Major General Paul Johnson, USAF. But just in case you don’t, this video is awesome. He is retiring on July 1, 2016. His skill at piloting the A-10 reveals a man who knew his airplane inside and out. And that’s the reason he was able to fly that aircraft after being hit by a missile.


The Iraqi missile

During Desert Storm, on February 12, 1991,  then Captain Paul Johnson ended up on “the wrong end of an Iraqi surface to air missile.” And a wrong end it was indeed, as it hit the aircraft and left a gaping hole. A large, scary gaping hole.

Johnson said, “I looked out my window and see a gaping hole…a lot of skin ripped off the wing…which is a bad thing. I usually don’t need to see that…”

Screenshot 2016-04-02 12.29.38

The plane was a little ‘messed up’ when he brought it home. Shudder.

The incident revealed a highly skilled pilot who knew his plane well enough not to panic (although someone commented that he probably needed to clean his flight suit out afterward).

It also shows exactly why the A-10 is an excellent aircraft, and perfect battle partner for the U.S. Armed Forces. Too bad the plane will be up for retirement as well in a couple of years.

Gen. Johnson has over 3,000 hours in an A-10 (Warthog).  He is described in the video as one of the “best pilots ever to fly” an A-10.

His USAF profile says in part,

“General Johnson received his commission in 1985 from Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev., and a former instructor. He has served in staff positions at U.S. European Command and Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He also served as an Air War College professor in the Department of Strategy and International Security.

General Johnson has flown missions in support of Operations Desert Storm, Northern Watch and Enduring Freedom. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the A-10 attack aircraft, and served as commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.; the 354th Operations Group, Eielson AFB, Alaska; the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona; and 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.”

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