Richardson, Texas , United States
|| October 11, 1930
|Died||May 27, 2020
May 27, 2020 06:59pm
Widowed - Air Force - Methodist -
|Info||Sam Johnson returned home to Texas after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 29-years as a highly decorated pilot. He flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and was a prisoner of war in Hanoi for nearly seven years. After his military career, he established a home-building business and served in the Texas legislature. Then, in 1991, he embarked on a new mission of service- representing the people of Texas' third district in the United States Congress. |
Dubbed a "Top Texan" by USA Today, Johnson is the highest-ranking Texan on both the prestigious Ways & Means Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. On these committees, he is able to influence the key issues of economic security, health care and improving our children's education. As one of a few Members of Congress who has fought in combat, Johnson serves as an informal advisor on military readiness issues.
He has consistently advocated smarter government, lower taxes, cutting wasteful spending, and pushing for a simpler, fairer tax system.
On the Education Committee, Johnson continues to work to return control of education to parents, teachers, and local school boards-where it belongs. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, Johnson is one of three Members of 535 who has authority over retirement, health and labor issues.
After growing up in Dallas and graduating from Southern Methodist University, Johnson began his 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. In the Korean War, he flew F-86s in 62 combat missions.
In the Vietnam War, Johnson flew F-4s. While flying his 25th combat mission in 1966, he was shot down over North Vietnam. He spent nearly seven years as a prisoner of war, half of that time in solitary confinement. Fellow POW Capt. James Mulligan, USN (Ret.) recalled the day Johnson was allowed to return to a joint cell. He walked into the room with the two other detained American officers, "stood at attention with tears in his eyes, and said simply, 'Lieutenant Colonel Sam Johnson reporting for duty, sir'...after he had not talked to or directly been with an American for three full years." Johnson recounts the details of his POW experience in his autobiography, Captive Warriors.
A decorated war hero, 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 Awards.
Sam Johnson is married to the former Shirley L. Melton, of Dallas. They are proud parents of three children and ten grandchildren.