Bristol

Dambuster Johnny Johnson would dedicate any honour

George "Johnny" Johnson
Image caption George "Johnny" Johnson took part in the Dambuster raids when he was aged 22

The last surviving Dambuster says any honour he gets will be dedicated to crews who died during bombing raids.

Friends of George "Johnny" Johnson, 95, have criticised the honours system after he was left off this year's list.

Mr Johnson was 22 when he took part in the 1943 air raid on German dams using experimental bouncing bombs.

Campaigner Paul Walmsley wanted the recognition for the man who retired as a squadron leader. The campaign featured in Tuesday's Sun newspaper.

He said he felt "shocked and angry" and would be writing to the prime minister to complain.

The Cabinet Office said it could comment on individual applications.

'Won't be for me'

Bomb aimer Mr Johnson, of Bristol, was one of 34 awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his part in a raid on the Sorpe dam.

Mr Johnson said he would feel "honoured if I did get it". He said: "But it won't just be for me. It won't be for me at all.

"It would be for the squadron and for those who gave their lives on the dams raid.

"I shall make it quite clear, if it comes off, I shall ask with due humility of Her Majesty, if I can dedicate it to the 55,573 bomber air crews that gave their lives during the war."

Codenamed Operation Chastise, eight of the 19 planes were lost, 53 men died and three were captured.

A 1955 film cemented its place as one of the most famous episodes of World War II.

'Very disappointed'

Mr Walmsley, from Reading, said: "There's no reason given why he hasn't received an honour.

"I was told about four or five months ago that they would expedite his honour because of his age and received a personalised letter from the Queen saying she was very touched at the application and had great admiration for those involved in the operation.

"I thought by that he would get an honour with new year and was really shocked and angry when he didn't.

"It does feel like a snub when younger people who have done far less than he has are honoured instead."

He said that although Mr Johnson was "laid-back" he was "very disappointed" to be left off the list.

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