Dush Legislation Designating Gerald Emmett Johnson Memorial Bridge Clears PA House

10865875_753584821384997_7062082584097500863_oHARRISBURG, Pa. – Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) has announced that House Bill 1577, which would designate the Route 580 bridge in Cherry Tree Borough, Indiana County, as the Airman Second Class Gerald Emmett Memorial Bridge, has passed the House unanimously.

Gerald “Jerry” Emmett Johnson served as a crew member of a B-29A Superfortress Bomber with the 371st Bomber Squadron, 307th Bomber Wing during the Korean War. On Oct. 23, 1951, his propeller-driven aircraft was shot down by enemy MIG jets over Namsi Airfield in North Korea. It is reported that Johnson survived the crash and was taken prisoner. Johnson’s remains were never found and he was officially declared dead on Jan. 28, 1954, at the age of 21.

“It is my hope that the designation of this prominent bridge in our community will be a lasting reminder, not only in memory of Jerry’s selfless sacrifice but to the bravery of all American air crews who valiantly took to the skies in propeller-driven aircraft to engage in mortal combat with far more technologically superior MIG fighter jets,” said Dush.

House Bill 1577 now goes to the state Senate for its consideration. If enacted, signs noting the designation will be placed on both sides of the bridge.

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