Many considered Johnson's appointment to office a political payoff by Harry S. Truman, but his credentials were strengthened through his experience with the Veteran's Administration and his position as assistant Secretary of War.
In 1949, Johnson made a decision to cease construction of the US Navy's new super carrier, the USS United States. This led led to an event dubbed "The Revolt of the Admirals", and ultimately the ending his term early at the president's request on Auhust 19, 1950. Despite this, he ended his term saying this of his performance:
"When the hurly burly's done and the battle is won I trust the historian will find my record of performance creditable, my services honest and faithful commensurate with the trust that was placed in me and in the best interests of peace and our national defense."
He went back to practicing law in his Washington, DC firm until he died in 1966.
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