Johnson was the Bombardier and served on B-17 “Lazy Baby” (42-308410) of the 364th Bomber Squadron, 305th Bomber Group “Can Do” based out of Chelveston, (Station 105), England.
On October 14, 1943, “Lazy Baby” was on a mission to bomb ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt, Germany (Mission 115) with another 320 bombers on a day now called “Black Thursday” due to the heavy losses. “Lazy Baby” was severely damaged but Pilot Dienhart was able to avoid enemy fighters and crashed landed in Switzerland. Enroute to Switzerland Crewmembers Bolin and Blalock bailed out and became German POWs. Navigator Rowley died from the day after landing from wounds received while flying; Crew members Johnson and Smith recovered form wounds and joined the rest of the crew at the Adelboden internment camp in Switzerland. All crew members except for Rowley returned back to the US at the end of the war.