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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. G B Johnson


Gerald Bruce Johnson was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th September 1919, the son of Allan Cleveland Johnson and Lillian Beatrice Johnson.

After leaving school he was employed in a clothing business. He volunteered as an Air Gunner in September 1939 and started training at Weraroa on 18th December.



In mid-January 1940 he went to the Air Observers' School, Ohakea for a gunnery course and air experience. Johnson sailed for the UK on 23rd March in the SS 'Akaroa'. He was posted to 5 OTU at Aston Down on 29th May to convert to Blenheims and was awarded his air gunner's badge and Sergeant's stripes on 5th July and joined 23 Squadron at Collyweston the next day.

From late December 1940 the squadron, flying from Ford, was carrying out night-intruder sorties over enemy-occupied France, still in Blenheims. They started receiving Havocs in March 1941.

Johnson was killed on 28th May 1941 when Havoc BB893 spun in during a low-level practice dogfight near RAF Manston. The pilot, F/O Derek Alan Willans, another Battle veteran, was also killed along with Sgt. Lloyd Jones.

Johnson is buried in Clymping churchyard, Sussex.





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