Last British survivor of WW2 Dambusters raid turns 100

Last British survivor of WW2 Dambusters raid turns 100
George ‘Johnny’ Johnson was part of the RAF team which led the attack on German dams in 1943 (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)

The last surviving British member of the Dambusters – which carried out bombings on German dams during World War II – has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Squadron leader George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, from Lincolnshire, was a member of the RAF’s No 617 squadron which took part in the 1943 attack known as Operation Chastise.

‘I’ve had a very lucky life in every respect,’ he told the BBC.

‘Firstly meeting my lovely wife and our family we produced – that family have been my support for the last several years.’

The former RAF officer, who now lives in Bristol, was joined by friends and family to celebrate the special day.

Johnny received a birthday card from the Queen and staff at his care home made his favourite cake – chocolate fudge.

He was awarded an MBE in 2017 for ‘services to World War II remembrance and the community in Bristol’, off the back of several campaigns for him to be honoured.

A petition calling for Johnny to be knighted, which gained more than 235,000 signatures, was handed into 10 Downing Street by TV presenter Carol Vorderman and RAF veteran John Nichol.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Oliver Dixon/REX/Shutterstock (12617639c) Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson, MBE, DFM, celebrates his 100th birthday tomorrow, 25th November 2021, pictured with a stunning cake presented by the RAF Benevolent Fund. Johnny is the last surviving original member of Operation Chastise, also known as the Dambusters raid. During a distinguished career that took him all over the world, Johnny was selected to be part of the elite 617 Squadron or 'the Dambusters' as they famously became known. After serving in the Royal Air Force for 22 years, Johnny became a teacher until he retired. Earlier this year, the Fund launched The Dambusters Ride to celebrate Johnny's centenary. The cycle challenge raised more than ?150,000 for the charity. Squadron Leader George Johnson celebrates his 100th birthday, UK - 24 Nov 2021
Johnny was just 22 when he took part in the 1943 Dambusters raid, known as Operation Chastise (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)
Archive photo of Sqn Leader Johnny Johnson - the last of the Dambusters. See SWNS story SWBRbirthday; The last surviving original member of the Dambuster raid is celebrating his 100th birthday today. George 'Johnny' Johnson was a key part of Operation Chastise, the famous 'bouncing bomb' attack on German dams in 1943.
Johnny flew in a Lancaster bomber as part of the No 617 squadron, which carried out the famous ‘bouncing bomb’ attack on German dams (Picture: SWNS)

An education centre in Lincoln was named after him a year later, in recognition of his role teaching those with learning difficulties after the war, while the ‘Johnny Johnson’ train was unveiled in Bristol in 2019.

Johnny’s centenary was also celebrated in May, when 12 cyclists completed a ‘flypast’ on the 78th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

He said: ‘I consider myself to be very lucky that I was with the right crew, in the right place and at the right time.

‘I feel privileged and even honoured to have been able to take part in that particular raid.

‘It’s something I’ll never forget and I’m proud to have taken part in it.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Bristol – Metro