28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Maurice Bryan Johnston, Jr.
Maurice “Duke” Johnston, Jr. attended the Virginia Military Institute on a football scholarship, and as a quarterback, he led his team to an undefeated season in 1957. Upon graduation, he married his hometown sweetheart and joined the USAF becoming a fighter pilot. He had a 25-year distinguished flying career. Col. Johnston served his country in Vietnam through four tours with 157 combat missions. He was the fourth pilot to fly the YF-16 and the first USAF Tactical Air Command pilot to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon, made in Fort Worth.
Together with pilots Neil R. Anderson and Jim Rider, Duke took the F-16 to 38 air shows in nine European countries in 50 days, including the famous Paris air show.
Upon retirement from the USAF, he worked for General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin as a senior manager and director until retiring in 2000. While at the company, he applied his knowledge as a pilot to create a unique organization called Pilot Vehicle Interface that fundamentally changed the approach to cockpit design.