On August 12, 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group was tasked to escort bombers to Toulon, France to destroy German radar stations. Upon leaving the target area, the planes received heavy 40mm anti-aircraft and flak fire. The North American P-51D Mustangs of 1st Lt. Langdon E Johnson and 2nd Lt. Joseph E. Gordon were shot down.
In an after-action report, Capt. Woodrow W. Crockett wrote, "Lt. Johnson crossed over to my left and straightened on parallel to my plane and at this time his plane hit the water, ripping off the right wing, after which his entire plane crashed into the sea. His ship seemed to have been hit by flak before crashing."
A few weeks earlier, on July 20, Lt. Johnson had been credited with his first aerial kill.