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Dayton Region Walk of Fame

Aviation pioneer Edward “Al” Johnson operated a motor express company from 1911 to 1915, when he earned his pilot license. After serving as a flight Instructor and test pilot in Mineola, N.Y. and at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, he arrived in Dayton in 1917 as a flight instructor at McCook Field, and worked there until 1918. He then spent time flying air mail, and establishing air mail routes between New York and Chicago, until returning to Dayton in 1919. He established the Johnson Airplane & Supply Company , with a repair shop on South Ludlow St. in Dayton and a flying school school & flying service at 1507 Wilmington Pike.

He manufactured airplanes, producing the Driggs-Johnson, a monoplane, in 1924 to 1926 and the Johnson Twin 60 in 1926. A Driggs-Johnson piloted by J.M. “Jimmy Johnson (no relation) took first place in the Dayton Daily News Light Airplane race at the 1924 International Air Races at Wilbur Wright Field (now "Area B" of WPAFB). He was responsible for numerous aviation innovations.

When outgrowing the Wilmington Pike flying field, he helped select the site of what is now the Dayton International Airport. Johnson then operated the new airport under a lease with Dayton Airport, Inc. and moved his flying school and a repair shop to the new field in 1928.

Al Johnson was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2000. See his Walk of Fame story at

Main Source: “A Field Guide to Flight” revised edition 1996, On the Aviation Trail in Dayton, Ohio by Mary Ann Johnson

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