Dambusters survivor ‘Johnny’ names GWR IET to commemorate RAF centenary

SQUADRON Leader ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE, DFM, the last British survivor of the Dambusters raids, has named GWR Class 800 IET No. 800019 Johnny Johnson.

The event marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and the 75th anniversary of the raids on the Sorpe, Eder and Möhne dams.

Mr Johnson was the bomb aimer in the second wave of Lancasters that attacked the Sorpe dam as part of Operation Chastise, involving 617 Squadron carrying the bouncing bombs, designed and invented by Sir Barnes Wallis.

As well as carrying the name Johnny Johnson, the set also carries the name of Joy Lofthouse, one of 166 women pilots of the Air Transport Auxilliary who flew a range of planes, including the iconic Spitfire, to the frontline airfields of England.

Next to Joy’s name is the shape of the Spitfire, while next to Johnny’s name is a formation of 19 Lancaster bombers, separated into three groups representing the three waves that carried out the raid.

Eight of the planes have been shaded in tribute to those lost on the raid along with the 53 aircrew that did not return. PICTURE: JACK BOSKETT/GWR

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