Maj. Gen. Earl L. Johnson Story

How I First Met Charles Lindbergh

Page 3 of 4 Pages

Magellan Harbor Notes Continued

Above the harbor is this little shrine.

I couldn’t tell its age, but it might have been shelled in World War II or in earlier times.

Bronze plaque erected on an old stone telling visitors that Magellan landed here March 6, 1521. It was erected in 1926 by the Guam Teacher’s Association. Lindbergh spent a lot of time looking at this bronze plaque

A Camera Reared Its Ugly Head

I knew that Lindbergh hated cameras so in spite of the fact that I had a 35mm camera on Guam, I left it in my BOQ room. But unfortunately, an Air Corps Chaplain, in uniform, recognized Lindbergh around the monument at the Magellan Harbor and asked him if he would consent to having his picture taken. Lindbergh didn’t say much so the Chaplain handed me his little camera to snap the picture while Lindbergh stood with him. I could tell by the expression on Lindbergh’s face that he was not enthralled about having his picture taken, but I snapped it and handed the camera back to the Chaplain. He thanked Lindbergh and went about his sight-seeing. Lindbergh pulled me aside and said, “I don’t like cameras and wouldn’t have done that if he had not been a Chaplain in uniform”.

It was obvious the Chaplain was legitimate for he had on Captain bars and the little Chaplain cross on his uniform. Several days later he brought me a copy of that picture, but for the life of me, I cannot find it among the hundreds of pictures I have collected over the years.

Lindbergh The Staff Car Driver

Around Guam, one occasionally runs into a little concrete bridge which is actually under the water a few inches. Instead of building a small bridge above little streams, they somehow place a little concrete roadbed under the water so one can drive across it without getting stuck. It is usually the width of only one-lane so only one car can go across it at a time. Such a little ”underwater” concrete roadbed was across a little stream not far from the Magellan Harbor. One should remember that Lindbergh was driving, so I am excused from what is about to happen, but it was hilarious, to say the least.

As we were about in the middle of this narrow concrete roadbed, in about six inches of water, Lindbergh looked up the stream a hundred yards of so and saw several naked native children enjoying a swim. (It must have reminded him of earlier days, growing up on the Mississippi River near Little Falls, Minnesota.) Without saying a word to me, he turned the Chevrolet Staff car off the concrete and onto the gravel-bottom stream saying, “Let’s go up there and see those native kids”. Well, that was fine with me but not with the staff car. We did manage to get all four-wheels off the concrete and onto the stream bottom, but that is as far as we got. We were stuck for good in about eight or ten inches of water with not a chance of moving forward or backward. And here I was with Charles Lindbergh at the wheel.

The only thing to do was seek help, so we took off our shoes and socks, set off and yelled for the kids to come down and help us. Also, other cars seeing our predicament stopped just short of the little sunken bridge, took their shoes off and came in to help. We must have had fifteen or twenty “lifters and shovers” with barefooted Lindbergh back in the driver’s seat, trying to get some help out of the staff car. We finally got the back wheels up on the concrete and he was able to get it away from the water as we thanked all the helpers and tried to wring the water out of our socks and pants. Lindbergh sure got plenty of opportunity to see all the naked Guam kids he was so interested in.

End of Page 03 — Go to Page 04

Charles Lindbergh Story - Page — 01020304

Earl Johnson Biography - Page — 010203

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