George ‘Johnny’ Johnson receives MBE from the Queen

George  'Johnny' Johnson is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire).
George 'Johnny' Johnson is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire).

Britain’s last surviving Dambuster - Horncastle-born George ‘Johnny’ Johnson - has received his MBE.

Mr Johnson travelled to Buckingham Palace yesterday (Tuesday) and received the award from The Queen.

Mr Johnson, who spent the early years of his life on the family farm at Hameringham, near Horncastle, said the ceremony was the ‘proudest moment of my life.’

The MBE comes after more than 300,000 people signed a petition in a national newspaper calling for him to be knighted.

Several celebrities backed the campaign, including Dame Vera Lynn and Carol Vorderman.

He told reporters after the event: “The MBE is as much an honour as I could have expected.”

And, with typical modesty, he dedicated the gong to his fellow crew members from 617 Squadron who took part in the daring Second World War mission.

Mr Johnson added: “This is a very proud moment for me but I am the lucky one. I am still alive.

“A lot of very brave young men lost their lives in that mission and this is for them. It’s not about me.”

Mr Johnson, who now lives in Bristol, was 21 when the raid took place.

He was a ‘bomb aimer’ as RAF Lancasters took off from Lincolnshire and attacked German dams, dropping the now famous ‘bouncing bombs.’

The Dambusters have strong links with Woodhall Spa, and Mr Johnson - now in his 90s - regularly returns to the area.

He has previously attended Remembrance Day parades in Woodhall Spa but it is not known if he will attend this Sunday’s event, which will feature a poppy wreath laying ceremony at the memorial to the Dambusters in Royal Square.

Mr Johnson spoke about the raid in an exclusive interview with the Horncastle News four years ago.