Johnson, Robert A., 1914-1995

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Johnson, Robert A., 1914-1995

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      • Johnson, Robert. A.
      • Johnson, Bob

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      Dates of existence

      1914 - 1995-05

      History

      Robert (Bob) A. Johnson was born in Montreal in 1914 and passed away in May 1995, spending his entire working life in aviation. Educated at Montreal Technical School, he joined the RCAF Reserve at St. Hubert, Quebec, 115 (F) Squadron, and then apprenticed at Fairchild Aircraft in Montreal, and also worked at Garage Nicolet in Longueuil and Nicolet. He was also a member of the St. Lawrence Aircraft Association Flying Club in Longueil, Quebec. In 1938, Johnson joined the National Steel Car Company at their plant in Malton, Ontario. He was in charge of the group building the Westland Lysander and the Handley Page Hampden bomber. The Canadian Government bought Malton from National Steel Car Company in 1942 and renamed it Victory Aircraft. He later became group leader for the production planning of the B-26 bomber. During the Second World War, he was in charge of teams building components for the Avro Anson and the Lancaster bomber. When the war ended, he was one of only 300 employees of the 10,000 Victory Aircraft employees to stay at the newly created A. V. Roe Canada Limited.

      Johnson played a leading role in the manufacture of all of the Avro aircraft projects and was later chief of field service for the CF-100 Canuck and CF-105 Arrow. After the cancellation of the Arrow project, Johnson survived ‘Black Friday’, continuing with Avro to the point when its parent company, Hawker Siddeley Canada Limited, transferred all of its aviation interests, including the Malton plant, to its other subsidiary, de Havilland Aircraft, in 1962. Now an employee of de Havilland, Johnson was appointed staff assistant to the operations manager on the DC-9 contract and became deputy operations manager in 1964.

      Johnson stayed at Malton when Douglas Aircraft of Canada took it over. He held a number of executive positions with the company through the DC-9 and DC-10 contracts, retiring in 1974 after 36 years at the Malton plant. He was an active member of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in his retirement.

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      Written by A. Torrance, 2022. Translated by Céline Mongeau, Larocque Linguistic Services, 2023-03.

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          Sources

          -Payne, Stephen. (Aug. 18, 1997). Acquisition Proposal. The Robert A. Johnson Collection. CASM Archives source file.
          -Saunders, Wayne. (February 23, 1999). Finding aid for Robert Johnson Archival Collection held by the National Aviation Museum (Ottawa, Ontario). CASM Archives: source file.

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