In 1950, Clara “Chris” Johnson was a theatrical designer with limited prospects when she decided that the Air Force would provide her with a steady income. Her initial impression of her female colleagues confirmed that she was going to be judged solely on her abilities and not on the color of her skin. “I was always impressed with my female colleagues in that I was the only person of color and they were readily accepting of me.”
She survived a rigorous stint at Officers Candidate School and a year in Vietnam, and got to retire at an age young enough to have a second career in academia.
We honor you, Clara Johnson.