The RAF's top scoring 'Ace' was leading the Canadian Wing - 144 - by the time the Allies invaded Normandy in June 1944. It flew patrols over the invasion beaches, the Spitfire IX's adorned with the now-famous 'Invasion Stripes'. Aifield construction units were already ashore on D+1 searching for appropriate areas to build emergency landing strips for the thousands of Allied aircraft that were now supporting the invasion.
By 10th June 1944 just such an airfield had been constructed at St Croix-Sur-Mere and later that same day the Spitfires of 144 Wing, led by Johnnie Johnson, began landing at the base after yet another beachhead patrol. Later, rearmed and refueled, Johnson led the Spitfires off on a sweep, deep into occupied France.
Air Vice Marshal JOHNNIE JOHNSON - 144 Wing - 38 Victories