This is the story of tbe brief but accomplished life of US Army Air Forces fighter ace Gerald Johnson (1920-1945). Flying the powerful P-38 and possessing lethal shooting skill, Johnson shot down 24 Japanese aircraft in 265 combat missions during 36 months in the Pacific theatre. At the age of 24 he commanded the highest-scoring fighter group in the Pacific, the 49th. With Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire, he formed an early triumvirate of 5th Air Force aces. A fellow pilot later called him "the Luke Skywalker of my generation". Tragically, though Johnson had survived three combat tours, which included a mid-air collision with a Japanese aircraft and being shot down by friendly fire, the new father disappeared without a trace while flying a courier mission in bad weather one month after the war's end and shortly before his planned return home. At the time, he was one of the youngest full colonels in the US Army Air Forces.
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