Ian  A. O'Connor
Official website
SCRAPPY: Memoir of a U.S. Fighter Pilot



Memoir of a U.S. Fighter Pilot
in Korea and Vietnam

Howard C. "Scrappy" Johnson

Ian A. O'Connor

"A very impressive feat by a very impressive man."

Renowned military portrait artist, Chris Kenyon, spoke those words of high praise after completing the official U.S. Air Force-commissioned painting of the 1958 Collier Trophy winner, the highest award in American aviation. The very impressive man was Colonel Howard C. "Scrappy" Johnson, and his very impressive feat was piloting an F-104A Starfighter up to the dark unknown—up to the very edge of space. Kenyon’s photo-realistic painting entitled ‘Scrappy Soars’ captures that singular moment when Scrappy goes over the top, and today it hangs in The Pentagon, a fitting tribute to one of our nation’s military heroes.

SCRAPPY  is the official memoir of Scrappy Johnson, an aviator whose amazing career is chronicled in this fast-paced—sometimes raucous, sometimes sobering, but always exciting—larger-than-life story that reads like fiction. But a made-up story it’s not. His is the world of fighter pilots, of men with nerves forged from steel, a close-knit fraternity of the chosen few. Fly with Scrappy from his days as an aviation cadet during WWII, through his tour of duty in the skies over Korea, then later during his more than one hundred missions over North Vietnam as a senior U.S. Air Force commander. And during the darkest days of that air war, Scrappy Johnson was instrumental in the founding of an organization that came to be known as The River Rats, or, more formally, The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association. What started with a handful of Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps pilots banding together to honor their fallen and captured comrades—and to make sure those brave men would never be forgotten—now, some forty years later, has grown to include five thousand members worldwide. The mission of the ‘rats’ proudly includes the sponsoring of a scholarship fund for the children of dead, missing and captured airmen. Colonel Howard C. "Scrappy" Johnson was elected its first president.


"Scrappy-- a living Aviation legend. A must read!
                              Robert J. Gilliland
                              Chief Test Pilot
                              SR-71 Blackbird



"Throughout a rich and rewarding career, Scrappy Johnson demonstrated he is a fighter pilot's fighter pilot. He and his generation taught me and my generation what being a fighter pilot really means. This is his story and it is well worth the read."
Ron Fogleman, General, USAF,(Ret.)
                                                                             Chief of Staff, USAF, 1994-1997


"Again and again, Colonel Johnson volunteered to fly Missions Impossible! Our country is fortunate to have patriots like Colonel Johnson, who are the GUARDIANS AT THE GATES OF OUR FREEDOM!"

Ross Perot

"Scrappy, your descriptions take me back with vivid memories! Forty years, and those thoughts are like yesterday."
Robin Olds, BG., USAF (Ret.)

Because of Scrappy's love of country and loyalty to the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association--better known as the River Rats--he has pledged a majority of the proceeds from SCRAPPY to this wonderful organization and its scholarship fund. To learn more about the River Rats, visit their website at www.river-rats.org.

Order from your favorite bookstore, the publisher, or Amazon.com.
To order from the publisher click on the following link   McFarland and Company, Inc    

Or go to Amazon.com



To learn more about Ian A. O'Connor click here.