May 21, 2021 10.24 am This story is over 14 months old

Petition calls for Bomber Command medal for last surviving Dambuster

“We hope that we can rectify this for him and all his generation”

A petition, set up by the artist who created a 100th birthday portrait for the last surviving Dambuster, is calling for Bomber Command veterans to receive a medal for their wartime efforts.

George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the only Dambuster to still be alive, was a bomb-aimer on the raid of the Mohne and Eder Dams in Germany in 1943, an operation which utilised the now notorious bouncing bomb.

Almost half of the 125,000 personnel serving with Bomber Command lost their lives in World War Two, and no medals were awarded to any of the survivors.

A petition is calling for a medal to be awarded as way of recognition for Bomber Command’s actions during the war.

It states that “political expediency” caused the veterans to be overlooked for their wartime service, due to the fact that crews came from more than 60 countries.

With only a handful of veterans still left, including George Johnson the final remaining Dambuster, the petition aims to rectify the medal issue in memory of those who gave their lives in battle.

A special 100th birthday portrait of the last living Dambuster, George “Johnny” Johnson. | Portrait: Dan Llywelyn Hall

The petition was set up by Dan Llywelyn Hall, the artist who was commissioned to create a portrait of Lincolnshire-born Jonny in his 100th year.

He sat with Jonny in Bristol in 2018 before inviting him to an exhibition of all the Dambusters’ portraits he’d made for the 75th anniversary of the Dams Raid.

The portrait sold for £25,000 when it went to public auction, with proceeds going to the charity 617 Group, which Jonny Johnson is president of.

At the time of publication, almost 920 people have signed the petition so far.

Jonny said: “I look forward to my century and I am honoured to still be able to represent the men who went on the Dams Raid.

“It would be excellent if a new petition could finally see Bomber Command finally recognised with a medal.”