Johnny Johnson collects MBE from the Queen

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.

BBC News Bristol report

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16 thoughts on “Johnny Johnson collects MBE from the Queen

  1. Christianna Franck November 8, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    Now let’s get Bomber Command a medal instead if that insulting ribbon.There is a petition on gov.uk.

  2. Mohne all the time November 8, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    A well deserved award for his contribution to education and charity, and of course WW2 rememberance.

  3. John Lancaster McKee November 8, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    And not before time Johnny. It’s long long overdue. A well deserved award to a truly fine Gentleman.

  4. Cass Cole November 8, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    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!

    • charlesfoster November 8, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Dear Cass
      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.

  5. richard hickmott November 10, 2017 / 5:53 am

    Why has it taken so long? He (and others) should have been formally acknowledged 50 year +

  6. priscilla littmoden November 10, 2017 / 9:40 am

    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.

  7. ANDREW HULME November 12, 2017 / 8:53 am

    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.

  8. John Hawkins November 13, 2017 / 10:14 am

    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

    • charlesfoster November 13, 2017 / 10:33 am

      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

      • John Hawkins November 13, 2017 / 10:56 am

        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,
        Kind regards
        John Hawkins

  9. John Hawkins November 13, 2017 / 10:47 am

    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

  10. John Hawkins November 13, 2017 / 10:52 am

    Congratulations George, from all the members of Mid-Somerset Branch RAFA meeting at the Britannia Inn, Wells BA5 3LQ

    John Hawkins
    Vice Chairman

    O7710 180847

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