Henry Johnson and Suzanne Nikolaisen

Recorded March 26, 2009 Archived March 26, 2009 41:51 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBY005210


Suzanne Nikolaisen (39) interviews her father, Henry J. Johnson Jr. (82) about his career in aeronautical engineering.

Subject Log / Time Code

Henry was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He briefly describes family genealogy.
Henry remembers the time he accidentally lit a box of fireworks in his bedroom and saw his first “chain reaction.”
Henry remembers seeing a plane buzz his high school which influenced his decision to get into the Air Force. Henry describes his training in the air force, not as a pilot but as a typist. He served in Europe following the end of World War II.
Henry describes his return to the US and buying a suit in Times Square. He did various jobs before studying aeronautical engineering at the Northrup Institute of Technology.
Henry describes his work as an Aero-bracero, following contracts the way day laborers follow crops. Henry worked on the Navy’s Polaris ballistic missile, at AeroJet and at Lockheed.
Henry remembers the first time he watched a computer instantly analyze data that had taken him weeks to analyze by hand.
Suzanne expresses how proud she is of Henry’s work.
Henry talks briefly about his youth during the great depression, his schooling and sailing.


  • Henry Johnson
  • Suzanne Nikolaisen