“Raider” Johnson, President and war hero?
Did you know that Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, was a recipient of the Silver Star?
“The most you can say about Lyndon Johnson and his Silver Star, is that surely one of the most undeserved Silver Stars in history because if you accept everything that he said, he would still in action for no more than 13 minutes and only as an observer,” said JBJ’s biographer Robert Caro in an interview on CNN. “Men who flew many missions, brave men, never got a Silver Star.”
If LBJ’s medal is fraudulent – and by all credible accounts it appears to be – this is a disgrace to the men who earned the Silver Star, and those who are deserving of the medal, but were not awarded.
Johnson’s citation reads:
“For gallantry in action in the vicinity of Port Moresby and Salamaua, New Guinea on June 9, 1942. While on a mission of obtaining information in the Southwest Pacific area, Lieutenant Commander Johnson, in order to obtain personal knowledge of combat conditions, volunteered as an observer on a hazardous aerial combat mission over hostile positions in New Guinea. As our planes neared the target area they were intercepted by eight hostile fighters. When, at this time, the plane in which Lieutenant Commander Johnson was an observer, developed mechanical trouble and was forced to turn back alone, presenting a favorable target to the enemy fighters, he evidenced marked coolness in spite of the hazards involved. His gallant action enabled him to obtain and return with valuable information.”
Johnson was merely an observer on the flight, and no one else on the plane was awarded a medal.
“I would say it’s a tissue of exaggerations,” added Caro. “He said that he flew on many missions, not one mission. He said that the crewmen — the other members of the Air Force group, were so admiring of him they called him ‘Raider’ Johnson — neither of these things are true.”
In: Military History, Politics · Tagged with: LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson, Silver Star, World War II