JOHNSON, John Gilbert
- 24 years
- Flying Officer
- Wellington Mk. III, BK501
- 25th January 1944
On 1 August 1942 Leading Aircraftman Johnson was posted to No. 13 Elementary Flying Training School at St. Eugene, Ontario (near Ottawa) to become a basic pilot. On 10 October he was sent to No. 16 Service Flying Training School at Hagersville, Ontario to develop his proficiency in military flying, which included formation and night flying as well as precision navigation. On graduation on 12 February 1943 he not only earned his pilot’s wings but was also commissioned as a pilot officer due to his high ranking on the course. Having been selected for multi-engine aircraft Pilot Officer Johnson was sent on 19 February to No. 31 General Reconnaissance School at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where he served as an instructor for a short period before being posted overseas.
The purpose of an OTU was to prepare a crew for operational duty – to function together as a team and prepare themselves for what an operational flight was like. This was accomplished by having OTU crews fly minor missions such as mine-laying and leaflet dropping.
On the night of 25 January 1944, with their training almost complete, F/O Johnson and his crew took off at 7:22 PM in Wellington BK501 to drop leaflets on Granville, France. They did not return from this mission. Flying Officer Johnson was 24 years old, leaving behind a wife and two children from before his enlistment in the RCAF.