James Edgar Johnson, nicknamed ‘Johnnie’, Royal Air Force pilot and flying ace
Johnnie grew up and was educated in the East Midlands, where he qualified as an engineer. Having been interested in aviation since a youth he joined the RAF. In 1940 he began flying regularly, taking part in the offensive sweeps over German-occupied Europe from 1941 to 1944, almost without rest. His combat tour included participation in the Battle of Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the Western Allied invasion of Germany.
Johnnie was credited with 34 individual victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probable, 10 damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground. He flew 700 operational sorties and engaged enemy aircraft on 57 occasions. This score made him the highest scoring Western Allied fighter ace against the German Luftwaffe.
Johnnie continued his career in the RAF after the Second World War, serving in the Korean War, and retiring in 1966, with the rank of air vice marshal.