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This special Dambusters 80th Anniversary pack includes an A5 Picture Card of Avro Lancaster AJ-T ED825, the aircraft flown by Flt Lt Joe McCarthy with George ‘Johnny’ Johnson as the aircraft’s bomb aimer.
The Last British Dambuster
Author: George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE
One man’s extraordinary life and the raid that changed history.
‘With the cross hairs on the T1s and the switch in my hand, I pushed the button, giving the call, “Bombs gone!” The aircraft bucked as the massive load departed, but Joe had to hold her on course, flying straight and level for a few agonising seconds longer.’
Recounting one of the most daring and ingenious air raids of all time, 93- year old (at the time of writing the book) Johnny Johnson’s memoir is a rare first-hand account from Britain’s last surviving Dambuster.
Candid and vivid, Johnny recalls with clarity the events of 1943, including the tough training conducted in secret, the race against time to release the bomb, the sheer strength and bravery shown by a small unit – and the devastating aftermath. But this personal history is also much more than an eye-witness account of the deadly mission; it is the life story of an extraordinary man who lived through 10 decades.
“A wonderful read” – Huw Edwards, BBC News
“His descriptions take wing and become lyrical” – The Times
“An evocative reminiscence of a bygone era” –The Express
Author: Johnny Johnson was awarded an MBE for his remarkable services in World War II
“I was anxious to fight. Hitler was the bastard who had started all this and he needed sorting out. We were under threat. Everything we stood for: our country, our families and our way of life was being attacked by this maniac. He could not be allowed to win. So for me and many, many others like me, there was no alternative. We were in a pickle and something had to be done.”
On May 16, 1943, Johnny, alongside 132 specially selected comrades, took off from Scampton airbase in Lincolnshire. For six weeks they had been trained to fulfil one mission that was near impossible: to destroy three dams deep within Germany’s Ruhr Valley. It was a daring task but, against the odds, Johnny and his crew survived. Sadly, 53 comrades did not.
At the age of 93 when writing the book, Johnny Johnson was one of very few men who could recall first-hand the most daring and ingenious air raid of all time. He also vividly remembered his childhood spent working on a farm with his controlling father, the series of events that led him to the RAF and the rigorous training that followed. But it was his decision to join 617 Squadron, and the consequences, that truly stayed etched in his mind.
George ‘Johnny’ Johnson passed away in December 2022 at the age of 101.