'I was anxious to fight. Hitler was the bastard who had started all this and he needed sorting out. We were under threat. Everything we stood for: our country, our families and our way of life was being attacked by this maniac. He could not be allowed to win. So for me and many, many others like me, there was no alternative. We were in a pickle and something had to be done.'
Johnny Johnson is 92 years old and one of very few men who can recall first-hand the most daring and ingenious air raid of all time. He can also vividly remember his childhood spent working on a farm with his controlling father, the series of events that led him to the RAF and the rigorous training that followed. But it was his decision to join 617 Squadron, and the consequences, that have truly stayed etched in his mind.
On 16 May 1943, Johnny, alongside 132 specially selected comrades, took off from Scampton airbase in Lincolnshire. For six weeks they had been trained to fulfil one mission that was near impossible: to destroy three dams deep within Germany's Ruhr Valley. It was a daring task but, against the odds, Johnny and his crew survived. Sadly, 53 comrades did not.
For the first time, Johnny relives every moment of that fatal night - and the devastating aftermath. He recalls with unique wit and insight the difficult training conducted in secrecy, the race against time to release the bombs, and the sheer strength and bravery shown by a small unit faced with great adversity and uncertainty. Embodying a whole squadron, and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come, Johnny's story is like no other.
©2014 George Leonard Johnson and Morgan Johnson (P)2014 Isis Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks
after reading many books on the Ww2 most of them about the RAF this book really is in my top 5 now having a son who has just finished his 1st year in the RAF 11 more to go , makes me even more proud of him and the service he represent when you have a man like Johnny Johnson if he follows his example in life he won't go to far wrong
Great read thank you
Would usually read something like this but chose it for a couple of long drives.
A great listen about a gentleman who has had an amazingly interesting life, from a generation to which we owe an awful lot.
Anyone interested in the Dams raid or has an interest in the Second World War should listen to this, it won't be time wasted.
The narrator is great, unlike some other books I have listened to, he really makes the story a pleasure to listen to.
Very funny book, brilliant first hand accounts of the raids and a wonderful insight to how he was raised and the choices he made to get to join the raf.
One of my favourites I've listened to in a while.
I have read a few book about the Dambusters and the raids, this doesn't disappoint. It gives a jolly and heartwarming account of, in my opinion, a true legend and inspiration to us all. Not only a birdseye view account of the historic events of 1943 but a colourful and charming display of courage, commitment and struggles through adversity for over 92 years. As a fellow yet modern day Dambuster (now retired) I was truly touched by this man, his life and the effect he had on us whilst serving. 10/10
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