Robert S. Johnson was a native of Lawton, Oklahoma, who began flying with his father at the age of 13. He received his private pilot's license the day before he turned 16. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and was almost immediately accepted into the aviation cadet program. Shortly after being commissioned in 1942, he was en route overseas to Europe. While serving with the Eighth Air Corps, he shot down 27 Nazi planes, breaking the record of Eddie Rickenbacher, the most decorated pilot of World War I.
As America's leading Ace, he returned to the United States to participate in the War Bond promotion. He remained in the Reserve forces and retired as a Colonel. In 1958, he wrote and published a book of his exploits aptly named "Thunderbolt." Colonel Johnson passed away in 1998. The terminal of the Lawton airport is named in his honor.