Pilot of P-61 to speak at WACO

TROY — On Thursday, Feb. 18, World War II veteran Cliff Johnson will speak as a part of the WACO Aviation Lecture Series. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Johnson will share his experiences as a pilot of the P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter. Painted completely black, this plane was one of the first aircraft designed specifically for night fighting and used an effective form of then recently developed radar. Come hear about the unique mission of the Black Widow and how the single pilot and three air crewman coordinated attacks on the enemy bombers by flying at night.

In 1943, at 18, Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was called to active duty February 1944. During active duty he was stationed in the Philippines as part of the 419th Night Fighter Squadron of the 13th U.S. Army Air Corps. Thanks to the GI Bill, he finished a bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Washington University, and then completed a doctor’s degree in educational administration at the University of Washington in 1962. After teaching and administration in public schools, he moved to Ohio and served Cedarville College as registrar and director of admissions becoming the academic dean in 1964 and then as Cedarville University academic vice president until 1987. He also has served as a member and officer of the 13th Air Force Veterans Association.

Now he continues active as a Sunday school teacher, plus serving as a Rotarian and as an officer on a senior center board. He is married to Dr. Pamela Johnson who serves Cedarville University at dean of Undergraduate Studies. They both enjoy living near Cedarville, traveling to the western United States and mowing 3 acres around a half-acre fish pond.

The Aviation Lecture Series is sponsored in part by Dayton Power and Light Corporation. Parking and admission are free and open to the public. The program is scheduled to last one hour will be held in the Willis Wing of the WACO Air Museum, 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy.

Donations will be accepted to benefit the WACO Historical Society.

For questions, call 335-9226 or visit www.wacoairmuseum.org.