Skip to main content

Archives at The Museum of Flight

Theodore Jay Johnston Boeing Aircraft Collection

Identifier: 2008-04-22-A
The Theodore Jay Johnston Boeing Aircraft Collection contains slides and technical documentation that relates to Johnston's personal history with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

At the beginning of the collection are forty-four (44) slides and a set of notes related to the B-17. The slides are a mix of color and black-and-white and the majority were taken during World War II, likely from 1942-1945. They depict the Boeing B-17 in flight, being loaded with ordnance, and with flak damage. Three (3) slides show the The Museum of Flight Boeing B-17F, two (2) prior to its restoration and one (1) after restoration. There is also a set of notes from a presentation that discussed the role and contributions of the Boeing B-17 bomber in World War II and was held on October 12, 2002 at Pierce College, Puyallup, Washington. The slides were a part of this presentation as well.

Following the slides is a folder on the Boeing B-47 Producibility Study, consisting of engineering documentation and an official Boeing producibility study on the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, circa 1944-1953. The report, prepared by the Producibility Group for which Johnston worked, included drawings by Johnston. The technical report outlines changes to economize production, some of which may have been implemented in the final production procedures. Also included with the report are approximately 100 mimeographs of illustrations for cost/weight saving engineering studies as well as 50 original illustrations for the cost/weight saving engineering studies. Other documents included with this documentation include a maintenance solution for the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and a cost accounting call-out for the Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser.


  • 1942-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1942 - 1953

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 half-width letter size document box)


Theodore Jay Johnston (1923-2013) was born in Olympia, Washington and was a pilot with the Eighth Air Force (398th Heavy Bomb Group) during World War II. After the war, Johnston spent 37 years at Boeing, workings on a variety of projects, including the Boeing B-47 Stratojet and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. The collection contains slides and technical documentation related to Johnston's personal history with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

Biographical Note: Theodore Jay Johnston

Theodore Jay "T.J." Johnston was born in Olympia, Washington on October 12, 1923 to Jay and Helen May (Shultis) Johnston. He graduated from Olympia High School in 1941 and went to work as a mechanic for a small aviation company. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor, starting his career as a pre-flight mechanic on various Boeing aircraft.

In February of 1944, Johnston was awarded pilot's wings and assigned to the Eighth Air Force (398th Heavy Bomb Group), which was stationed in Nuthampstead, England. He served as a lead pilot for the Group's Boeing B-17s. He flew 30 missions over France and Germany and finished his tour in March 1945. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (with five Oak Leaf clusters), Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Johnston stayed in the Air Force Reserves after the war and eventually rose to the rank of Major. In 1946, he married Dorothy Ann Brundage. He also attended St. Martin's University after World War II and later transferred to the University of Washington, where he was awarded a BA in Industrial Design. He spent his entire career at Boeing, working for 37 years on a variety of projects, including the Boeing B-47 Stratojet and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

Johnston was active in retirement and served as a Docent at The Museum of Flight for many years. He was also awarded the Chevalier Legion d'Honneur award in 2012, in recognition of his service in World War II. Johnston died on November 23, 2013, and is interred at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.


Biography derived from collection materials.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Archival Collections at Other Institutions

Johnston contributed an oral history of his wartime service to the Veterans History Project:

Theodore Jay Johnston Collection (AFC/2001/001/57516), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
Guide to the Theodore Jay Johnston Boeing Aircraft Collection
Completed - Level 4
L. Zaborowski, J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2018: FInding aid has been revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request