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John A. Johnston, 1974-1983 The Adjutant General for Michigan
John A. Johnston served as the Adjutant General for the State of Michigan from 1974 to 1983. He is a graduate of Henry Ford Trade School, Dearborn, Mich., and several armed forces schools. These include the Air Command and Staff College as well as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Johnston enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September 1942 as an aviation cadet and completed pilot training in the Gulf Coast area. He completed pilot training, earned his wings, and was commissioned on January 7, 1944.
After graduation, he completed fighter training at Waycross, Ga., and tactical reconnaissance training prior to being assigned to the European Theater in 1944. During his tour of duty, he was assigned to the 67th Photo Group and to the 363rd Photo Group when it was formed in France. Assigned to the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron for the duration of his tour, he flew 98 combat missions. During one of his missions, his aircraft was damaged by gunfire, requiring him to parachute over enemy lines. A Free French patriot returned him to the U.S. Army hospital where he received treatment for wounds and returned to duty within 30 days.
Returning to the United States in August 1945, Johnston was released from active duty but remained active in the Air Force Reserve until 1946. At that time, he joined the 171st Fighter Squadron of the Michigan Air National Guard. Johnston served in several capacities with the 171st and was the squadron commander when he was recalled to active duty in January 1951. He served during the Korean conflict as part of the 127th Fighter Wing.
Following the Korean conflict, Johnston served as tactical squadron commander, tactical group commander, and director of operations of the 127th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. He was appointed Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Michigan National Guard, in October 1959 and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He was subsequently promoted to Colonel and then Brigadier General.
Johnston was appointed Adjutant General of Michigan on December 31, 1974. He was promoted to Major General in August 1975. The Deputy Secretary of Defense appointed Johnston to a three year term on the Reserve Forces Policy Board in January 1981. During his career, Johnston also served on the Tactical Air Command Reserve Forces Policy Council and the Air Force Reserve Forces Policy Committee.