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customer story: dambusters hero George lives life to the fullest

Image for customer story: dambusters hero George lives life to the fullest
09-05-2019Personal Use

There are few stories as powerful in British history as that of the Dambusters.

It charts the extraordinary feat of the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron as they set out to complete a daring mission at the height of World War Two.

Known officially as Operation Chastise, the night flight to the Ruhr Valley in Germany on May 16, 1943 became known as The Dambusters Raid – one of the most famous air operations of all time.

Then, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson MBE – the last survivor of 617 Squadron – was the bomb aimer in the Lancaster AJ-T which attacked the Sorpe Dam.

Today, the heroic airman remains active and independent, living the life he wishes to at home, aged 97.

He uses an OKEachDay phone to signal that he is fine every morning before getting on with his day.

Mr Johnson, who still takes part in interviews and activities relating to World War Two remembrance and commemoration, said:

“It really is very good. In fact, I find it absolutely essential. I like that I press the button. It’s simple. I’m not waiting for someone to call me.”

The former squadron leader has previously explained how he was selected for the specially formed 617 Squadron before training got underway for the top secret mission.

None of the crew set to take part were informed of their target until the last moment.

Finally, it was revealed as the Eden, Mohne and Sorpe dams in Germany – heavily guarded and believed to be impenetrable to attack.

The crews were tasked with using newly designed ‘bouncing bombs’ by Vickers engineer Dr Barnes Wallis in a daring, strategic raid. The mission was technically difficult and required absolute accuracy to succeed.

Tragically, eight aircraft were shot down with 53 airmen lost. However, Operation Chastise was deemed a success with two of the dams breached.

Mr Johnson went on to spend 22 years in the RAF, flying and working all over the world.

He has been a prolific fundraiser in his retirement and has also written his autobiography: George ‘Johnny’ Johnson: The Last British Dambuster, which was published in 2014.

Mr Johnson received his MBE at Buckingham Palace in 2017 for services to World War Two remembrance and the community of Bristol. His award followed a nationwide petition backed by more than 200,000 people which called for further recognition of his efforts.

Mr Johnson said the OKEachDay phone allowed him to continue to be independent, to live at home and to be able to choose to continue with the activities his public life entailed.

“It’s a very good service indeed. I wouldn’t want to do without it.”

For more information on our Clever Contact service for personal use and the OKEachDay phone, email us on or call 0808 208 1234.