Johnnie Johnson; This is Your Life

Our tribute to Johnnie Johnson here on this website has been very popular. He was Britain’s leading spitfire ace during WW2, with 38 kills to his credit. Although not born in Waltham, Johnnie spent his boyhood years in the village during the time his father was police sergeant here, living in the police house opposite the Royal Horseshoes. And he credited his considerable markmanship skills to the many hours spent hunting game birds in the fields around Waltham.

We recently discovered a video of Johnnie appearing on Eamonn Andrew’s popular programme, ‘This is Your Life’. I’m not sure when it was filmed; probably in the late ’70s, early ’80s. I’ve just put the clip above on YouTube, but it’s only a brief excerpt. Johnnie was obviously not comfortable in the spotlight, and at times looks like he’d far rather be dog-fighting Germans in his spitfire!

I’ve included the appearance of one of Johnnie’s Luftwaffe adverseries on the stage. It’s plain that not all of Johnnie’s comrdades were entirely comfortable with this. But Johnnie took it all in good spirits.

Johnnie died at the age of 81 in January 2001. Click on our main tribute page to read more about his life, and also read excerpts from his log book. These include fascinating insights into his war-time exploits, including dropping Douglas Badder’s ‘tin legs’ over France after he’d crash-landed and been imprisoned by the Germans.

Ps. If anyone in the village would like to borrow the complete DVD, use our contact page to send me a message.

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