One of the last two men alive who took part in the Dams Raid, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, was decorated yesterday with the MBE by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace investiture. Johnson, who will be 96 in 17 days time, was the bomb aimer in Joe McCarthy’s crew in Lancaster AJ-T, which attacked the Sorpe Dam on the night of 16/17 May 1943. The other survivor is the 94-year-old Canadian Fred Sutherland, the front gunner in Les Knight’s crew in AJ-N, which dropped the final mine on the Eder Dam, causing its breach.
Johnny Johnson was decorated for his services to Second World War remembrance and to the community in Bristol, where he lives. He said afterwards that the Queen told him that she was ‘glad to see that the Dambusters are still here’.
Johnny Johnson has, of course, been to the palace for an investiture once before, on 22 June 1943, when he was one of the 33 men decorated by the current Queen’s mother after the Dams Raid. On that occasion he received the DFM. He must be one of the few who have an MBE to add to his collection.
Now let’s get Bomber Command a medal instead if that insulting ribbon.There is a petition on gov.uk.
Now let’s petition for a Bomber Command Campaign Medal
I agree. I have so much to thank them for.
A well deserved award for his contribution to education and charity, and of course WW2 rememberance.
And not before time Johnny. It’s long long overdue. A well deserved award to a truly fine Gentleman.
My father was killed the night of Sept 15/16, 1943. He got the DFC posthumously. His name was Norman Arthur Botting. How can I find out if he was on the Dams raid below. I got another email yesterday showing a group of men in a training session. Man looking similar to my father in Centre, second row. Rather small!Curious, as I know very little about his was service. Thanks, Cass Cole!
I think that you have asked a similar question before on this blog. Your father Norman Botting was in Ralph Allesbrook’s crew. They were the first new crew to join 617 Squadron after the Dams Raid, being posted in on 20 May 1943. As you say, sadly they were all killed on a raid on the Dortmund Ems canal on the night of 15/16 September 1943. I will contact you by email about the pictures I have of your father. If you send the picture you mention by email I will check it out for you.
Why has it taken so long? He (and others) should have been formally acknowledged 50 year +
how wonderful for Johnny, long overdue and well deserved. I am, at present, reading his book, ‘The Last British Dambuster, a very good read and it just makes you realise what you can achieve in life if you put your mind to it, Amazing man and extraordinary life.
A thoroughly well deserved award to an absolute gentleman. I agree with previous comments that Bomber Command deserve a medal but how sad to think that so few are still here to receive it. They have been so poorly treated.
As Vice Chair Mid-Somerset Branch of the Royal Air Forces Asdocistion, I would likevto invite San Let George ‘Johnny Johnson MBE to a Branch Meeting in the City of Wells.
We are a daylight Branch, meet on the First Monday or each month, Dedication at 1100hrs Business for 30mins followed by social time and Raffle we then have a speaker for approx 45mins and lunch.
The Britannia Inn Bath Road Wells BA5 3LQ
Dear Mr Hawkins
This blog does not have a direct connection to Sqn Ldr Johnson. I will email you with a suggestion as to how to contact him.
Best wishes, Charles Foster
That is very good news I have been ‘surfacing for some time and fell on the site as a possible last chance!
I’ll be most gratified to have your assistance,
As Vice Chair Mid-Somerset Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, I would like to invite Sqn Ldr George ‘Johnny Johnson MBE to a Branch Meeting in the City of Wells.
We are a daylight Branch, meet on the First Monday or each month: Our ‘Dedication’ at 1100hrs. Business for 30mins followed by social time and Raffle we then have a speaker for approx 45mins and lunch.
The Britannia Inn Bath Road Wells BA5 3LQ
Congratulations George, from all the members of Mid-Somerset Branch RAFA meeting at the Britannia Inn, Wells BA5 3LQ