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Henry Arna Johnson


A 1937 graduate of the Maine Township High School at Park Ridge, Illinois, Henry Johnson was a studio merchandise manager for the Montgomery Ward catalog company before enlisting in the Air Corps in December 1942. Trained in advanced flying at Freeman Field in Seymour, Indiana, he received his pilot's wings in May 1944. Assigned to the 493rd Bomb Group's 860th Bomb Squadron, he arrived at Debach, England in October 1944. He flew on B-17 #43-38198 which he first named "$1.98" ("Dollar Ninety-Eight") and, with the agreement of his crew, renamed it into "Nancy Lee" for his baby daughter. After flying 23 missions, he went back to the United States, working in the merchandising business, becoming manager of the Spiegel, Inc catalog company from 1976 to 1986.


Units served with

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 860th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-38198 $1.98, Nancy Lee

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6 July 1944; Kearney 16 July 1944; Dow Field 3 August 1944. Assigned 860BS/493BG Debach 4 August 1944. Flown by Pilot Lt Henry A. Johnson. Assigned later to 863BS. Returned to the USA Bradley 7 July 1945. At 4168 Base Unit, South...

Associated Place

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...


Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois 26 March 1919
Lived in Park Ridge, Illinois, United States 1942
Enlisted Chicago, Illinois, United States 7 December 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Buried Greenwood Cemetery, Galena, Illinois, United States 2013
Died Bonita Springs, Florida, United States 22 February 2013


Date Contributor Update
26 June 2016 10:30:31 ED-BB Changes to middlename, nickname, service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations

NARA WWII Enlistment records
"8th AF News" June 2016 article by his son Martin.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:37 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit History,