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Thunderbolt! by Robert Johnson

Major Lee

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I found a copy of Bob Johnson's book "Thunderbolt!" at the Kalamazoo Airzoo so many years ago. As I looked at it, I saw that it was signed "Best wishes, Robert S. Johnson". I thought that's strange, was it printed like that or was it genuine. Anyway, I bought it and took it home. I spoke a few weeks later to the guy who managed the old "Fly-Buy" store there and told him what I found. His response was "WHAT??? You got WHAT!!" He explained that Johnson had visited the Airzoo a year or so before and had signed a box of books. Mine was the last signed copy they had,  and Bob Johnson had since passed away.  


A couple years later, the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, had an airshow and brought in multiple P47s and several pilots from the 56thFG. I had this book and a two others signed by Gen Jerry Johnson, Gabby Gabreski, and Walker Mahurin. The four signers of this book accounted for 93 air to air kills in WWII. It is amazing to think that their exploits in the skies of WWII are now 80 years behind us. I treasure this book to this day.



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I have a signed copy of Dick Cole’s War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando I got when he was at Planes of Fame in May of 2017 while he was touring the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the raid and to promote awareness about the Doolittle Scholarship fund.




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