'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

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'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby 34053 » Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:47 pm

Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson MBE DFM (the last surviving Member of 'The Dam Busters' raid on the German hydro-electric Dams, in 1943) died yesterday, aged101. He was one of the Lancaster Bomber 'bomb-aimers' in the attack, during which 53 RAF Crew lost their lives.

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Re: 'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby Mayfly » Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:32 pm

RIP 'Johnny' and thank you.

It comes to us all but so sad.
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: 'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby 34053 » Wed Dec 14, 2022 5:52 pm

Just a little more relevant facts:

All the Crews for this Operation were hand picked by Wing Commander Guy Gibson
'Johnny' Johnson was aged 22 at the time of the 'Dam Buster' raid. He was in one of the 19 Lancaster Bombers involved that night, 8 of which were never to return.

The attack was concentrated on 3 Dams in the Ruhr Valley (a major industrial area of Germany). The Mohne, the Eder and the Sorpe. 'Johnny' Johnson was the bomb-aimer for the attack on the Sorpe Dam. Each one involved flying at a height of just 60 feet, all the while being under attack from enemy fire. The bomb aimer laying on their stomach on the Perspex 'blister' in the Lancaster's nose.

Dropping the famous 'bouncing bomb' required great skill and courage to drop the bomb at the precise moment necessary. In Johnson's case, this involved 9 abortive attempts before he finally released the bomb - much to the relief of the other crew members!

Bomber Command suffered terrible losses during the War. More than half of the 125,000 who served in Bomber Command were killed in action..

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Re: 'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby Sooty655 » Wed Dec 14, 2022 7:45 pm

Actually the losses were 46% killed in action, horrendous but not quite "more than half". However, it rises to 60% if you include the figures for wounded in action or taken prisoner.

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Re: 'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby 34053 » Thu Dec 15, 2022 8:10 pm

Thank you Sooty. Yes, you are correct. The actual number of Bomber Command fatalities was 55,573, as recorded on the Bomber Command Memorial, in London's Green Park.

After the War, Bomber Command had no Memorial and Robin Gibb (of 'Bee Gees' fame) campaigned vigorously with others, for such a Memorial. The one in Green Park is the result of that campaign and is well worth a visit. Sadly, Robin never lived to see the finished Memorial. He died, from Cancer, on 20th May 2012, aged 62. The Dedication Service for the Memorial took place on 28th June 2012.

https://www.robingibb.com/news/bomber-command-memorial

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Re: 'Johnny' Johnson (617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command)

Postby Minty4371 » Fri Dec 23, 2022 11:06 am

Dam Busters Raid 1943
During the early part of 1943 Sutton Bridge and Crosskeys Bridge was used by 617 Squadron from RAF Scampton to practice their low-level flying needed for Operation Chastise (the legendary Dam Busters raid). The mission was led by commanding officer Guy Gibson, who was familiar with the village of Sutton Bridge having participated in advanced training at RAF Sutton Bridge during the summer of 1937.

RAF Sergeant George (Johnny) Johnson DFM, Bomb-Aimer on board Lancaster bomber ED825/AJ-T commanded by Joe McCarthy that attacked the Sorpe Dam from a height of just 30 feet, recounts that in the village of Sutton Bridge there were electric cables that cross the River Nene just before the bridge itself and to hone their low-level flying skills they would regularly practice flying the Lancasters under the electric cables and skim up over Crosskeys Bridge, missing the bridge itself by only a few feet each time.

Info from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutton_Bridge
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