Cadets of 649 (Dursley) Sqn were delighted to welcome a very special guest to their parade night at the squadron headquarters on Monday night.
Squadron Leader George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the UK’s last surviving participant from the Second World War ‘Dambuster’ raids, arrived at 7pm, and was greeted by approximately 60 Cadets, officers and guests.
The evening started with a short presentation on the ‘Dambuster’ raids, then Sqn Ldr Johnson addressed the audience, giving details of his experiences during and after the war.
A brief interval gave Cadets and their families the opportunity to talk to the Squadron Leader as he posed for photographs and signed copies of his book.
This was followed by a question and answer session where some of the myths about Operation Chastise, the code name for the raids, were debunked and an inter-flight quiz which tested the Cadets’ knowledge of the topics covered, a great way of engagement with the subject.
Sqn Ldr Johnson spoke to all the Cadets during the signing of their identification books which concluded the evening. Cadet Flight Sergeant Mary Evans said how much she had enjoyed the evening: “Loved that night! He had so many interesting things to say!” Likewise, Cadet Corporal Aidan Hinson had to say: “Such an interesting and humble man. A true gentleman and a pleasure to listen too.”
Officer Commanding 649 Squadron, Flying Officer Sally-Anne Evans, said: “This is the second time I have had the good fortune to meet this marvellous gentleman – he doesn’t disappoint.”
At the end of a very successful evening, Sqn Ldr Johnson expressed his delight at addressing 649 Sqn. He said: “I enjoy giving presentations to people who are interested, such as the Cadets this evening. Whatever I do, it’s not for me – it’s for the Dambusters, just representing the original Dambusters squadron and, I hope, doing it satisfactorily.”