Saturday 1st October saw one of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre's most anticipated events of 2016 take place, with Dambusters legend Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson visiting the museum for a very special day of events.

 

In front of Avro Lancaster NX611 Just Jane, Johnny gave a lecture of around 45 minutes to an enthralled capacity audience. As the last British survivor of the original members of 617 Squadron, and of Operation CHASTISE, the lecture naturally covered his time with 'The Dambusters' as a

Bomb Aimer, and was followed by a question and answer session. There was surely no better setting for Johnny to give his lecture as he sat in front of the Lancaster and alongside an 'Upkeep' bouncing bomb.

The day also offered visitors the sight and sounds of Lancaster Just Jane taxying three times and a signing event with Johnny at the Aces High art gallery marquee, erected on site especially for the event. Other notable visitors included veteran 101 Squadron Pilot Flight Lieutenant Russell 'Rusty' Waughman, who appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed his time at the centre; often spending time talking to members of the resident living history group, Rusty donned wartime flying kit and waved off the Lancaster taxy runs - indeed Johnny joined alongside to wave off one of the runs, accompanied by Centre co-founder Harold Panton.

 

No less notable was Flight Sergeant Roy Roper, a Navigator with 576 Squadron. Roy visited Just Jane and reminisced with his family about his wartime experiences. Roy spent time behind the barbed wire of Stalag Luft 1 on the Baltic coast in 1944, after his Lancaster was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a raid on Berlin.

 

Given the continuing good health of the veterans, and suitable interest, lets all hope this incredible style of event can be repeated during 2017.