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Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC*

James Edgar Johnson was born in Barrow on Soar near Loughborough on 9th March 1915. He lived in Melton, the first house on the left of Welby Lane as you leave Nottingham Road, with his parents - his father being a local Police Inspector. Johnnie qualified as a Civil Engineer at Nottingham University in 1937. He joined the RAFVR and did his flying training at 21 E&RFTS, Stapleford before enlisting for full-time service in the RAF at the beginning of WWII. He first went to ITW at Jesus College, Cambridge, completed his ab initio flying at 22 EFTS, Cambridge and his intermediate and advanced flying at 5 FTS, Sealand. Johnnie Johnson joined 92 Spitfire squadron in August 1940, but it was with 616 squadron that he scored his first victory on June 26th 1941 while flying with Douglas Baders Tangmere Wing. He was squadron leader of 610 squadron in July 1942, but it was as Wing Commander of the Kenley Wing in 1943 that his scores really started to mount. He was W/C of 144 wing during D-Day and led 127 and 125 wings until the end of the war when we has the topscoring allied fighter pilot with 38 air victories. Inspired by the great British WW 1 aces like Bishop and Ball, Johnnie Johnson dreamed often as a child of becoming an R.A.F. pilot. The young Johnson enthusiastically joined the Volunteer Reserve at the first opportunity. After completing his initial flight training Johnson was posted to 616 Squadron at Kenley. However, this Squadron had been hit hard with the loss of six pilots and five wounded, and the unit was withdrawn to Coltishall prior to Johnson encountering combat. With only 12 hours of flight time in a Spitfire this was no doubt advantageous. In February 1941 Billy Burton moved the Squadron to Tangmere. Douglas Bader then arrived to take over the Tangmere Wing, and fly with the 616 Squadron. Johnnie, Alan Smith and Cocky Dundas were chosen to fly with Bader. During the summer of 1940 the Battle of Britain was at its peak. Bader took the time to instruct Johnson carefully in both the art of flying and the skills necessary to attain success in aerial combat. Baders idea of an afternoon off duty, according to Johnson, was to take his section over the Channel in hopes of running into Adolph Galland and his Abbeyville Boys. On August 19, 1941 Bader failed to return from a mission when 616 Squadron was hit hard by a group of Messerschmitt 109s. Johnson flew on in Baders absence, and in the summer of 1942 he was promoted to command of the 610 Squadron. In 1943 he was promoted again to Wing Commander of the Canadian Spitfire Wing in Kenley. By that time Johnson had attained eight confirmed victories. During the spring and summer of 1943 Johnnie led the Canadian unit on more than 140 missions over Northwest Europe. Johnsons squadron attained more than 100 victories during this period, and Johnnies own personal score rose to 25. After a short leave, Johnson was posted to lead the 144 Canadian Spitfire Wing. On D-Day Johnson led his Wing on four missions in support of the Allied invasion. On June 8, Johnsons Wing was the first Spitfire group to land in newly liberated France. Johnson continued fighting in France through September 1944 when he achieved his 38th and final victory. Patrolling the Rhine Johnsons unit jumped nine 109s which were flying beneath them in the opposite direction. Five of the 109s were downed. Early in 1945 Johnson was promoted to Group Captain and put in command of the 125 Wing, which was equipped with the Spitfire XIV. Flying from former Luftwaffe airfields the 125 Wing assisted in the final Allied push to Berlin. Johnson attributed much of his aerial combat success to his ability to make tight turning maneuvers. Johnsons tightest call came on August 19, 1942 when he was unable to dislodge an Me-109 from his tail during the raid on Diepppe. Johnson raced his Spitfire flat out at a group of Royal Navy ships. The usual barrage of flak and tracer fire came right at him, and fortunately for the ace, missed his Spitfire but effectively eliminated the brave pilot on his tail. During the Korean War Johnson flew fighter-bombers with the USAF. Following his retirement from the R.A.F. in 1966 Johnson founded the Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust that has provided homes for more than 4000 disabled and elderly persons, and his sixth book Winged Victory was published in 1995. Johnson flew many of the Spitfire models. His favorite was the beautiful Mark IX, the best of them all. Johnnie passed away in 2001 at the age of 85, in Derbyshire, England.



Awarded the Distinguished Service OrderAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service OrderAwarded Two Bars to the Distinguished Service OrderAwarded the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished
Service Order
Bar to the
Distinguished
Service Order
Two Bars to the
Distinguished
Service Order
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Bar to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross

Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* - Signed Robert Taylor Art
Signatures

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Artist Graeme Lothian with Johnnie Johnson.

Aircraft for : Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased)
A list of all aircraft associated with Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased). A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Spitfire



Click the name above to see prints featuring Spitfire aircraft.

Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351

Spitfire

Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
Squadrons for : Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased)
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson CB, CBE, DSO**, DFC* (deceased). A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

125 Wing

Country : UK

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125 Wing

Full profile not yet available.

127 Wing RCAF

Country : Canada

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127 Wing RCAF

No. 127 Wing RCAF was a formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. It comprised No. 403 Squadron RCAF, No. 416 Squadron RCAF and No. 443 Squadron RCAF. 127 Wing, or the 'Kenley Wing', based at RAF Kenley, was led by Wing Commander 'Johnnie' Johnson from Spring to September 1943, and he returned to command it during the Normandy Campaign During operation “Market-Garden” 127 Wing operated from the forward airbase Le Culot near Louvain in Belgium. Studying the operation record books of No. 83 Group only 416, 421 and 443 Squadrons were acting in this operation From 29th September until the end of October 1944, 127 Wing was based at airstrip KEENT (B-82) near Grave South of Nijmegen. Where on 1st October 403 Squadron also joined them On 2nd October six Messerschmitts 262 (jet-planes) attacked the strip with scrapnel-bombs killing P/O. D. E. Reiber (412 Squadron) and F/L O. Lee whilst 35 men personnel being wounded. On 6th October a German air-attack again, killing LACs D. M. Wesson and E. Cox and again an unknown number of wounded. Defending the Nijmegen bridges 127 Wing was involved in very fierce air battles on 27th and 29th of September ’44. 50+ German fighter-bombers escorted by fighters tried to destroy both bridges. During these battles the Wing lost 3 Spitfires but claimed 26 German planes (17 Me-109 and 9 FW-190) operating from airstrip Keent.

144 Wing

Country : UK

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144 Wing

Full profile not yet available.

No.421 Sqn RCAF

Country : Canada
Founded : 6th April 1942
Fate : Disbanded 23rd July 1945
Red Indian

Bellicum cecinere - They have sounded the war trumpet

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No.421 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.610 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 10th February 1936
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Chester (Auxiliary)

Alifero tollitur axe ceres - Ceres rising in a winged car

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No.610 Sqn RAF

610 squadron was formed AT Hooton Park, Wirral in Cheshire on 10 February 1936 as one of the Auxiliary Air Force squadrons equipped with the light bomber the Hawker Hart. In May 1938 610 Squadron aircraft were upgraded to the new Hawker Hind. On 1 January 1939 the squadron role was changed into that of a fighter squadron, and on the outbreak of war in September 1939, he Squadron began receiving the new Hawker Hurricane. By the end of that same month it was flying the Supermarine Spitfire. During the Battle of Britain 610 Squadron was attached to No. 3 Group and was initially based at RAF Gravesend but moved to Biggin Hill before the German offensive began and was one of the units bearing the brunt of German attacks. It moved to RAF Acklington for the rest and recuperation at the end of August, having sustained severe casualties. During the Battle of Britain the squadron included Pilot Officer, later Squadron Leader, Constantine Pegge. In 1941, the squadron moved south to RAF Tangmere where it became part of the Tangmere wing, a three squadron wing under the command of Douglas Bader. 610 Squadron remained based in the UK until 1945, when it moved to the continent to provide fighter cover as the allies entered Germany. 610 Squadron was disbanded before the end of the war at RAF Warmwell in March 1945.

No.616 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1938
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
South Yorkshire (Auxiliary)

Nulla rosa sine spina - No rose without thorns

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.616 Sqn RAF

No.616 Sqn RAF

616 squadron was formed at Doncaster on 1st November 1938 as the last of the Auxiliary Squadrons. Formed initially as a bomber squadron equipped with Hawker Hinds, it was re-equipped with Gloster Gauntlets in June 1939 and transferred to Fighter Command. The squadrons first Spitfires arrived in late October. 616 first saw action and claimed its first victories whilst covering the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940. Returning to Yorkshire, the squadron claimed further enemy victims with 15th August standing out as a memorable day. 616 intercepted a large force of unescorted German bombers off the Yorkshire coast and claimed eight enemy aircraft destroyed. They moved to Kenley to join 11 Group at the height of the Battle of Britain, and destroyed 15 aircraft and claimed a further 15 as probables or damaged. During February 1941, 616 joined the Tangmere Wing led by Wg Cdr Douglas Bader. Flying Spitfire II fighters, they flew circus and ramrod sweeps over Northern France, and re-equipped with Spitfires Vb during July 1941. For the next two years 616 continued as a front line fighter squadron and was heavily engaged during the Dieppe expedition and later flying beach-head patrols on D-Day. In July 1944, 616 re-equipped with Gloster Meteor jet fighter thus becoming the first and only Allied squadron to operate jet aircraft in World War II. The squadron destroyed a number of V1 flying bombs whilst operating from Manston before joining the 2nd Tactical Air Force. In January 1945, 616 moved to the continent and operated in the ground attack role before being disbanded at Lubeck on 29th August. The squadron was re-formed at Finningley on 31st July 1946 equipped with Mosquito NF XXX night fighters which were replaced with Meteor F 3 day fighters a few months later. 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force was finally disbanded at RAF Worksop on 10th March 1957 whilst equipped with Meteor F8 aircraft.

No.92 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 1st October 1994
East India

Aut pugna aut morere - Either fight or die

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.92 Sqn RAF

No.92 Sqn RAF

92 Squadron was formed in the First World War, as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, on 1st September 1917. It flew Pups, Spads and SE5s during the war, becoming an RAF squadron on the formation of the RAF on 1st April 1918, before being disbanded on 7th August 1919. On the outbreak of hostilities of World War Two, 92 Sqn reformed on 10th October 1939, flying Blenheims before converting to Spitfires. It transferred to North Africa, and for some time flew as part of 244 Wing RAF. After the war, the squadron was disbanded on 30th December 1946. On 31st January 1947, the former 91 Squadron was redesignated 92 Squadron, flying the Meteor before re-equipping with the Sabre and then the Hunter. While flying the Hunter in 1960, the squadron was designated as the RAF's aerobatic squadron, with the name Blue Diamonds, a name the squadron carried on after tranferring to the Lightning. The squadron then re-equipped with Phantoms, before being disbanded on 1st July 1991. It was reformed from a rserve squadron on 23rd September 1992, and became No.92 (Reserve) Squadron, flying the Hawk aircraft before being disbanded once more on 1st October 1994.

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