September Monthly Dinner
Ray Johnson was born and raised in Ripon, California, a graduate of Ripon High School. After graduation from Modesto Junior College he entered Navy Flight Training program as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) in January 1958. He received his wings and commission in July 1959. Later he earned a bachelors degree at the University of Rhode Island and after his Navy career earned a Master Degree from Frostburg State University in Maryland.
Ray served in the Navy for 22 years and was the commanding officer of a helicopter squadron. He served two tours in Vietnam, one as Carrier Division Staff and the other as a combat search and rescue pilot. During the Carrier Division tour, the division was assigned to the USS Oriskany. On October 26, 1966, a tragic fire engulfed the Oriskany claiming the lives of 44 men. This experience is the subject of this presentation.
Ray retired from the Navy in 1979. He first moved to Bedford, Pennsylvania and then to Atascadero in 1987. He and his wife Helen have three children, eleven grand children and six great grand children.
Sherm Smoot, Museum President, donor David H. Goff, Jim Barker and Gary Corippo, discussing the new acquisition
The museum recently received a Focke_Wulf 149 D "Piggi" aircraft. This aircraft is in excellent condition, and will be on display in Hangar 1. The FwP-149 D is a former German Air Force trainer, originally built by Piaggi Areo, in Genoa, Italy, later licensed to Focke_Wulf.
Museum Docents Make it all Happen!
Estrella Warbirds Museum relies on an outstanding cast of volunteer docents to help run the museum, the gift shop, the automobile display.