Last surviving Dambuster returns to RAF Scampton to meet Red Arrows

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The last surviving member of the Dambusters has returned to the station where the Lincolnshire squadron was originally formed over 70 years ago.

Retired Squadron Leader Johnny Johnson paid a visit to RAF Scampton, home of the Red Arrows.

Johnny, 95, braved the weather to watch the team practising formation loops and barrel rolls, and spoke to some of the engineering personnel as they made their way back from the flight line.

After meeting some of the current team pilots, he said: “It’s lovely to be back but it’s still as cold as ever.”

Johnny was also struck by how detailed the pilots were in their performance scrutiny, having sat in on their debrief.

He added: “It reminded me of the trust that was integral to the Lancaster crews during World War Two, the similarities are remarkable.”

Johnny was given a tour of the Hawk T1 aircraft by Sergeant Chris Docherty, a mechanical engineer.

He completed his visit with a tour of the Station Heritage Centre where he gave first hand accounts of events in 1943 to the staff.

Those who met him during the visit described him as a true inspiration to the Red Arrows team.

Johnny was given a tour of the station and was able to watch the Reds practise

Johnny was given a tour of the station and was able to watch the Reds practise

Officer Commanding RAFAT, Wing Commander Martin Higgins, said: “It was a privilege to host Johnny. He spoke of his flying days and the unquestionable trust that was built amongst his crew – he knew everyone would do his job to the best of his ability.

“The teamwork, dedication and professionalism of the Red Arrows pilots, engineers and support staff were founded on those same principles that Johnny and his colleagues used over 70 years ago.

“We wish him all the best for 2016 and his very busy schedule.”

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