James Edgar Johnson

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James Edgar Johnson

James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson (born March 9, 1915 in Melton Mowbray ; † January 30, 2001 in Derbyshire ) was an English pilot and with 38 aerial victories the most successful British fighter pilot in terms of number of kills during World War II .


Johnson studied engineering at Nottingham University . He had unsuccessfully tried for admission to the Auxiliary Air Force (AAF), then to the RAF Volunteer Reserve. It was only at the beginning of the Second World War that his application to the Voluntary Reserve , a training organization of the Royal Air Force on a voluntary basis, was accepted. In August 1940 Johnson was relocated to his first operational unit, the 19th Squadron in Duxford. A little later he joined the 616th Squadron, which was relocated to the hinterland after hard fighting and losses during the Battle of Britain to supplement its losses. A poorly healed collarbone fracture led to a hospital stay from September to December 1940, during which Johnson underwent an operation on the shoulder.

In the spring of 1941, Johnson met opponents of the German Air Force for the first time in an aerial combat . In addition to routine missions across the English Channel , France and Belgium , "Johnnie" Johnson u. a. also participated in missions such as the landing company " Operation Jubilee " near Dieppe . As a pilot he flew his 516 sorties mainly on a Supermarine Spitfire and took part in 70 dogfights. Johnson conducted one last special mission just before the end of the war, when he led a British escort group to Berlin to protect a Soviet bomber squadron launched in East Prussia .

Johnson stayed in the Royal Air Force after the war ended . During the Korean War , he served as a British Air Force advisor on US headquarters.

In 1963 James Edgar Johnson reached the peak of his career when he took over command of all NATO air force units in the Middle East with his promotion to Air Vice Marshal . In 1966 Johnson retired and was active as the author of numerous books.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johnnie Johnson , The Guardian, Feb. 1, 2001