RSM George William Johnson was born on 7 November 1904 in Peterborough. On 16 January 1923, he enlisted with the Buffs and saw service in Palestine (1936), India (1937) and Ceylon (1938).
On 27 July 1943, Johnson was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace. The next day on 28 July 1943, Johnson transferred to the Army Air Corps and was posted to The Parachute Regiment. He successfully completed his parachute training at RAF Ringway on 2 September 1943. His course report noted that he had 'very good control' and that he was 'reliable and confident'.
RSM Johnson took part in Operation Overlord on 5 June 1944 as part of 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion and reinforced the main assault to take Pegasus Bridge. As the 7th Battalion move further inland through Normandy, RSM Johnson was awarded the Military Medal for bravery shown during the Battle of Bob's Farm on 18 June. His citation read:
At BOIS DE BAVENT on 18 June 1944 a patrol reported on return that it had been unable to bring back some wounded. RSM Johnson at once organised a party of stretcher bearers and at complete disregard of his own safety returned to the scene of the patrol’s task. This area had then been re-occupied by the enemy who were thoroughly aroused by their recent brush with the patrol. RSM Johnson and his party became the target for all the enemy weapons in the area and would have been well justified in turning back. However, he did not turn back and succeeded in bringing back all the wounded. This W.O. has been an inspiration to all throughout the campaign by his unfailing energy, enthusiasm and complete disregard for his own personal safety.
Following the Second World War, RSM Johnson served in Malaya and Java from July 1945 to October 1946.
RSM George Johnson died at the King Edward VII Retirement Home for Officers (Osbourne House) on the Isle of Wight on 13 December 1974, aged 70.
Compiled by Josh White with information supplied by Dave JarrettRead More