Eric Johnson

 Tribute page: WW2 Fighter Pilot Eric Johnson


Hi and welcome to this site;

I met Gavin Johnson over the internet who is the son of Eric Johnson.  Gavin kindly sent me photograph scans of his dad's photo album and also a copy of his most amazing war story in the form of a booklet.  We subsequently decided to construct this tribute page in memory of Eric's war service. 


Eric Horace Johnson Joined the  South African Air Force in 1941 and qualified as a fighter pilot. He was sent to the Middle East and did operational service with No. 5 Fighter Squadron in North Africa.

He participated in the Alamein battles of 1942 and the subsequent push where the Germans were eventually defeated in North Africa by mid 1943. 

Flying Tomahawk and Kittyhawk aircraft, their squadron did  various duties including protection/defensive sorties to own troops, bomber escorts, armed recces, ground attack sorties and others.

Eric had an eventful combat tour. At one stage he was shot down, wounded and hospitalised. 

For the remainder of the war Eric was involved with pilot training in the Middle East, Italy and South Africa.

After the war Eric had a long and successful career as an Industrial Chemist until his retirement in 1984.


Western Desert 1942 

 With sadness to announce that Eric passed away on 6 April 2015 at the age of nearly 97.

Condolences to his family and friends.


 This is a living web site. Any input and/or participation will be much appreciated regarding additional information, correctness, information from relatives of members who served with Eric, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. 

If you perhaps have a family member who served as a SAAF fighter pilot during WW2 and you would want to find out more about his war service please contact me, hopefully I can be of some help.

Tinus le Roux

February 2015

 

 A profile of the 5 Squadron Tomahawk  GL-H flown by Eric. Graphics done by Gavin Johnson.


 

 MILITARY CAREER


 22/07/1941             

15/09/1941                

02/01/1942

03/03/1942

03/05/1942

02/07/1942        

06/07/1942

04/08/1942                                                                       

05/08/1942

24/10/1942

08/12/1942 

Feb 1943      

27/03/1943

10/05/1943           

29/06/1943 

02/04/1944

03/05/1944

24/07/1944

14/08/1944

09/11/1944




01/09/1951

16/08/1952


No.1 Air School,  Baragwanath, elementary flying training, Tiger Moths

No. 21 Air School, Kimberley, Service flying training, Hawker Harts

Qualified for SAAF flying badge

SAAF base camp Amirya Egypt

No. 71 Operational Training Unit, Sudan

No. 5 SAAF fighter squadron, Tomahawks and              Kittyhawks

First operational sortie, bomber escort.

Aircraft damaged by enemy fire, made a forced landing, sustained cuts above the eye from the crash  and wounded in legs from shrapnel. Walked from the crash site and was  picked up by friendly forces the next day.

Hospitalised in Cairo

Resume with operations

5 Squadron withdrawn from the front for a rest.

5 Squadron  resume with operations, Tunisia campaign

Aircraft holed by 88mm AA shell but did not explode

Flew last operational sortie, strafing of enemy troops and vehicles.

SAAF 7 Wing Training Unit, flying instruction

Returned to South Africa

62 Air School Bloemfontein, flying instruction

2 AS Randfontein, flying instruction

5 AS Witbank, flying instruction

4 AS Benoni, flying instruction


After the war, part-time Civil Force involvement:


7 Fighter Squadron Ysterplaat, Harvards

27 Squadron Ysterplaat , Venturas.


 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ERIC'S MEMOIRS: "A TIME TO REMEMBER"

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ERIC'S PHOTOGRAPHS


 

Eric on the wing of his Tomahawk, Western Desert 1942


Eric with his pilot friends in Cairo, all except Eric were killed in the war. 


Eric with a nurse when he was discharged from hospital 1942 


2009 

Make a Free Website with Yola.