went initially to the USA for pilot training. Frustrated at not qualifying and having a burning desire to get airborne, Johnny applied for the shortest possible training course; air gunner. having completed this course successfully Johnny was posted to 97 Squadron as ‘spare’ gunner – mid or upper, whichever was needed. At this time Bomb Aimers were being sought for the Lancasters and as this position warranted extra pay, Johnny applied and passed the training course. He was then chosen by Joe McCarthy to join his crew before they were all transferred to 617 Squadron.
Flying in AJ-T, with American pilot Joe McCarthy and crew they attacked the Sorpe Dam from 30 feet, for which Johnny was awarded the DFM. Johnny went on to fly 40 missions with Joe McCarthy at the controls.