Johnson C. Wells
1920 – September 28, 1943
Second Lieutenant Johnson C. Wells was a Tuskegee Airman whose death cut short a promising life. He is considered a Buffalo war hero and is memorialized by the VFW Post that bears his and another war hero names; the Bennett-Wells American Legion Post 1780.
Wells was born in Sulligent, Alabama. His father is listed only by his first initial L. Wells and his mother was Bobbie Campbell. He along with parents Charles (stepfather, his mother and two older brothers Marvin and Melvin, had migrated to Buffalo, New York.
He attended schools in Buffalo, graduating from School 6 and Hutchinson Central High School in 1938. A talented athlete in both basketball and tennis, Wells was named the 1936 champion when he won the National Negro Junior Tennis Tournament in Xenia, Ohio. He was a junior high school student. Following his death, the Johnson C. Wells Memorial Tennis Club was founded in Buffalo. The Club was active locally and nationally for many years.
Following graduation from high school, Wells attended West Virginia State College. He joined the Air Force when he was 22 and trained at Tuskegee Army Field. Wells graduated from Tuskegee Flight Training on June 30, 1943. He was commissioned in July 8, 1943. Tragically, Wells died September 28, 1943 in the “line of duty” of a non-battle related incident near Selfridge Field, Michigan, during a routine training flight when his plane crash landed.