Spitfire Ace of Aces
The Wartime Story of Johnnie Johnson
- Dilip Sarkar
15th January 2014
Johnnie Johnson is a character literally straight out of the pages of ' Boys Own'. By the end of the Second World War the RAF Spitfire pilot was a household name in Britain, feted by Churchill and Eisenhower. Although he missed the Battle of Britain, when slow- flying bombers were abundant and easy targets for fighters, by 1945 he had notched up 381/2 enemy 'kills' - all fighters, which took far more skill to shoot down - and was officially the RAF's top-scoring fighter ace. One of his most impressive achievements was that, despite participating in over 1,000 combat missions, he was never shot down. His Spitfire was damaged once, and on his return to base he apologised to his fitter, saying, 'I was surrounded by six of them.' Aviation historian Dilip Sarkar spent many hours with Johnson in the final years of the great man's life, recording the last interviews Johnson ever gave. The book is infused with breathtaking firsthand accounts from Johnnie himself and many of his fellow Spitfire pilots, also interviewed by the author, and profusely illustrated with photographs from Johnson's personal albums.