Last surviving member of Dambusters squadron dies aged 101

George ‘Johnny’ Johnson was a bomb aimer during the famous bouncing-bomb raids on German dams in second World War

The last surviving member of the RAF Dambusters raid of 1943 has died at the age of 101.

George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, who died in Bristol on Wednesday night, was a bomb aimer during RAF 617 Squadron’s Operation Chastise, which was tasked with attacking German dams during the second World War.

Around a third of the RAF Bomber Command crew did not survive the bombing raids on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams.

On May 16th and 17th, 1943, a total of 133 Allied air crew left for the raid on board 19 Lancaster bombers, carrying Barnes Wallis’s specially-adapted bouncing bombs – that looked like “glorified dustbins”, according to Mr Johnson.


Fifty-three men were killed and three were captured.

Speaking five years ago, Mr Johnson said he still had “strong memories” from that period, adding: “That is something which will live forever, as far as I’m concerned.”

Mr Johnson previously said his crew was asked to join a special mission towards the end of his first tour, when he was due to get leave. They were not told what the mission was until the night before.

Mr Johnson and his crewmates successfully dropped their bomb on the Sorpe dam. They did not destroy it, but the Germans had to empty it to repair it, causing major disruption to the war effort.

On November 25th, 2022, Mr Johnson, who retired from the RAF as a squadron leader, celebrated his 101st birthday. In 2017 he collected an MBE from the queen. – PA