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Johnson, James Mussey (1885-1968) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Johnson, James Mussey (1885-1968)

Historical Note:

James M. Johnson was born July 19, 1885 in Helena, Ark. He married Gertrude Wilson. They had three children: Gertrude W. Wilson, James M. Jr., and Robert W. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1907. During his time at Purdue he was a member of the Mechanical Engineering Society, the Athletic Association, and the Ohio Club. His thesis was titled “An Efficient Test of an Allis-Chalmers Corliss Engine." In the 1907 Debris Yearbook, the caption under his name reads, “Jimmie came to us on a slow train from Arkansas. He is a good fellow, gentle disposition, seldom flustered, well bred, very neat and really a gentleman. The successor for the position he has held in a Purdue cozy corner for four years has already appeared.”

He learned to fly at the Curtiss School in 1914 and 1915. He was an instructor at the Curtiss School, Newport News, Virginia from 1915 to 1917. In 1917 he was a government test pilot at Langley Field and became chief civil test pilot at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio from 1917 to 1920. He was president of the Johnson Flying Service and vice-president of the Johnson Airplane & Supply Co., 1922 to 1925. From 1927 to 1928 he was an inspector for the Department of Commerce. After that he was chief test pilot and sales manager for Buhl Aircraft Company in Detroit, Michigan until 1932. In his retirement, Johnson lived at Weslaco, Texas. He passed away on August 21, 1968.


"Chirp", Early Birds of Aviation, January 1969, Number 75 retrieved on July 22, 2009 from http://home.earthlink.net/~ralphcooper/biojimmy.htm

"Debris, Purdue Yearbook", 1907, Volume 19, Page 179.

Note Author: Shauna Borger

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