‘I knew I would return from Dambusters raid’

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THE last living British Dambuster has told how he always believed he would survive the daring raid.

George “Johnny” Johnson was one of a secret squadron that blighted the Nazi war effort by destroying huge hydroelectric dams. A huge number – 53 of the 133 aircrew – were killed in the mission, made famous in the 1955 film.

But in the run-up to the air raid’s 70th anniversary later this month, the 91-year-old said: “There were a lot of empty chairs in the Mess the next day. Very sad, but I never had any doubt I would make it home.”

Mr Johnson is the last surviving British member of the Bomber Command crews who used Barnes Wallis’s revolutionary bouncing bombs to smash the Ruhr dams.

Speaking about joining the secret squadron, which had no idea of its target until just hours before the audacious raid, he said: “The first thing that surprised me was the number of experienced and decorated crews that were assembled for this squadron.

“The second surprise was when we were told that this operation would involve flying at 100ft and below. People ask me how I feel about the dams raid now and I have to say I feel honoured and lucky enough to have taken part.”