Thousands join call to knight our Dambusters hero Johnny

George 'Johny' Johnson at RAF Coningsby earlier this year
George 'Johny' Johnson at RAF Coningsby earlier this year

More than 38,000 people have signed a petition calling for Horncastle’s Dambusters’ hero George ‘Johnny’ Johnson to be knighted.

The petition was started earlier this year by Kent businessman Stephen Hadley.

It was supported by a number of regional and national organisations who all called for the Second World War hero to be honoured.

Mr Hadley launched the petition after reading that Prime Minister David Cameron’s barber had been knighted for his services to hairdressing.

Mr Johnson is the last British based survivor of the legendary Second World War mission.

The 617 Squadron of Lancaster bombers dropped ‘bouncing bombs’ on German dams.

Their mission - which was featured in one of the most famous war films ever made - helped turn the wear against the Germans.

Mr Johnson, who was born in Hameringham, regularly returns to the Horncastle area.

He was in Woodhall Spa - the former home of the 617 Squadron - last year for the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

And, earlier this year, he travelled to RAF Coningsby to see the two Lancaster bombers - Thumper and Vera - united.

Like many other veterans, he was moved to tears when the Canadian Lancaster landed at Coningsby alongside the bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

At the time Mr Johnson said he was ‘proud and honoured ‘to witnessed the historic event.

Mr Johnson now lives in the Bristol area and celebrated his 93rd birthday last week with friends and family.

He has also published his life story - including his early childhood on a farm in Hameringham, He still speaks about his childhood and says his best friends was a pet pig.