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Surviving Dambuster hits out at revisionist historians

One of the last survivors of the Dambuster missions has lashed out at revisionist historians who criticise Britain’s tactics of razing German cities to the ground.

Johnny Johnson MBE, 95, hit out at historians who were not there at the time, telling them to ‘keep your bloody mouth shut,’ as he demands bomber crews are finally recognised with a medal.

The former bomb aimer for a Lancaster bomber was a part of the top-secret Operation Chastise, that sought to breach dams and flood munitions factories in the Ruhr valley.

One of the last survivors of the Dambuster missions, Johnny Johnson MBE (pictured), 95, has lashed out at revisionist historians who criticise Britain’s tactics of razing German cities to the ground during the war, telling them to ‘keep your bloody mouth shut’

Johnson was the bomb aimer on one of only two planes to breach the Sorpe Dam, in the early hours of May 17 1943 

‘I will never forget it and it will always raise the same, how can I put it? Joy, ultimately at being able to do the job properly,’ he told The Telegraph. 

‘I think the most important result was the morale effect it had on the people in this country,’ he added, before moving on to discuss his frustration at revisionist historians who have not lived through the horrors of war. 

He said: ‘I have a pet hate of what I call “relative” historians. I ask them two questions: “Were you there?” and “Were you aware of the circumstances at the time?” The answer is no, so keep your bloody mouth shut.’

The former bomb aimer for a Lancaster bomber was a part of the top-secret Operation Chastise, that sought to breach dams and flood munitions factories in the Ruhr valley. A younger Group Captain 'Johnny Johnson (right) talking to a companion in London in 1946

The former bomb aimer for a Lancaster bomber was a part of the top-secret Operation Chastise, that sought to breach dams and flood munitions factories in the Ruhr valley. A younger Group Captain ‘Johnny Johnson (right) talking to a companion in London in 1946

Johnson was the bomb aimer on one of only two planes to breach the Sorpe Dam, in the early hours of May 17 1943. As the 75th anniversary of the Dambuster raid approaches next year, the retired Squadron Leader is demanding proper recognition of his services with a medal 

Johnson was the bomb aimer on one of only two planes to breach the Sorpe Dam, in the early hours of May 17 1943. As the 75th anniversary of the Dambuster raid approaches next year, the retired Squadron Leader is demanding proper recognition of his services with a medal 

Such was the unpleasantness of the task asked of Johnson and his comrades, bombing German cities with huge German casualties, many politicians, including Churchill, distanced themselves from the raids after their completion.

However, as the 75th anniversary of the Dambuster raid approaches next year, the retired Squadron Leader is demanding proper recognition of his services, with a Bomber Command medal.

While a memorial was erected to the men in London’s Green Park in 2012, the clasp awarded to him still feels insufficient given his and his friends’ sacrifices. 

The RAF veteran (centre, with Prince William) was born in Lincolnshire but now lives in Bristol in a care home. The other surviving Dambuster is Canadian Fred Sutherland, 94, who lives in Alberta

The RAF veteran (centre, with Prince William) was born in Lincolnshire but now lives in Bristol in a care home. The other surviving Dambuster is Canadian Fred Sutherland, 94, who lives in Alberta

‘All I’m asking for is a Bomber Command medal. They have absolutely no recognition apart from this miserable clasp,’ he said.

The RAF veteran was born in Lincolnshire but now lives in Bristol in a care home. The other surviving Dambuster is Canadian Fred Sutherland, 94, who lives in Alberta. 

Johnson also laments the fact that many of his ground crew fail to get the recognition they too deserve, suggesting they get ‘a little left out’. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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