Horncastle Dambuster hero George ‘Johnny’ Johnson tells his life story

George Johnny Johnson EMN-140206-142254001
George Johnny Johnson EMN-140206-142254001

Horncastle’s very own Dambusters hero - George ‘Johnny’ Johnson - has told his incredible life story in print.

The 92-year-old spoke exclusively to the News last year about his role in the famous Second World War bombing raid.

He is the only British survivor of that mission which helped turn the ride of war against Germany.

Now, he’s written his life story, fittingly called ‘The Last British Dambuster.’

In the book, - published by Ebury Press - Johnny writes with great emotion about his early life. He was born in 1921, the sixth child of a farm foreman in the village of Hameringham, near Horncastle.

Johnny describes the death of his mother. Ellen - when he was only two years old - as ‘earth-shattering’.

He says he was brought up by his elder sister, Lena.

He adds: “My closest friend at the time was a pig that was kept in the field next to our cottage.

“He used to let me ride on his back. Not a bad friend for a young boy, I suppose,...”

Johnny also admits he was described as a ‘weakling baby ‘ delivered to a ‘somewhat worried mother.’

He reveals he never bonded with his father, Charles.

He adds: “I was another mouth to feed, a burden, a liability.

“One of my earliest memories is of my father in a foul temper (his usual demeanour) telling someone that I had been a mistake.

“I don’t think he knew I could hear him but had he known, I don’t think he would have cared.”

The family left the Horncastle area to live in Newark but Johnny still visits his birthplace as often as he can.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of the book details his role in the Dambusters raid and the rest of his life, which he describes as ‘a hell of a journey.’