The 'last Dambuster' Johnny Johnson dies aged 101

It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of Sqn Ldr George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE DFM, at the age of 101.

George was the last living member of the famous Dambusters, the 617 Squadron unit that flew on Operation Chastise. The legendary ‘op’ targeted three German dams on the night of May 16/17, 1943.

‘Johnny’ flew as bomb aimer with Joe McCarthy’s crew in Lancaster ‘AJ-T’ – they were detailed to attack the Sorpe Dam and theirs was the first Lancaster to reach it. It was a tricky target to hit, with Johnson releasing his bomb on the tenth attempt.

George flew a further 19 missions with 617 Squadron and remained in the RAF post-war. He retired in 1962 with the rank of squadron leader. He was made an MBE in 2017, receiving the accolade from Queen Elizabeth II on November 7 that year.

Sqn Ldr George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE DFM died in his sleep on December 7, 2022. He celebrated his 100th birthday last year and told a BBC reporter: “I’ve had a very lucky life in every respect”.

Blue skies, ‘Johnny’…

The crew of Lancaster ED285/'AJ-T' at Scampton in 1943. Left to right: Sgt G Johnson; P/O D A MacLean; Flt Lt J C McCarthy; Sgt L Eaton. In the rear are Sgt R Batson and Sgt W G Ratcliffe. IWM