World War II Participants and Contemporaries
|Capt. Charles Cousins "Sonny" Johnson, III|
Fort Worth, Texas
Army Air Corps, Pacific Theater
I waggled my wings and got our gang together. Then I saw the bombers. Right afterward I saw three sun-sitters - Zeros waiting for us to make our pass. But we went down, anyway.
I was pretty well placed for a sweep. First, I fired all over the end ship, then I spattered a second, then a third. If the Zeros had not been coming, I guess I could have had at least a dozen probables going right down the line, but with them attacking, I went over for a steep dive. Little pieces were coming off my first man, falling down like snow. I pushed the stick against the fire wall and dropped, then blacked out coming up. I fired at two Zero chasers, but probably without effect.
Then, suddenly, another Zero appeared ahead. I missed him by considerable margin, one way, then corrected and missed him the other way, but finally got him lined up just right. I got him in the belly. When fire broke out, the whole plane seemed to crumple like a paper bag you've crushed in your hands. It changed shape and color; you'd never think it had been a plane.
1st Lt. Charles C. Johnson, III
August 23, 1942