Johnnie Johnson, war-time hero and RAF flying ace, formed his housing business back in 1969 and badged it with his own name. This is where our history began. This was not arrogance or egotism. Johnnie did not need bricks and mortar to leave his mark in the world. But in doing so he fixed his personal colours to the enterprise, endowing it with his own brand of enthusiasm, energy, and courage, and giving it the intensely personal style which he then embodied as its leader for the next 20 years.
James Edgar Johnson
Johnnie grew up and was educated in the East Midlands, where he qualified as an engineer. Having been interested in aviation since his youth, he joined the RAF. In 1940 he began flying regularly, taking part in the offensive sweeps over German-occupied Europe from 1941 to 1944, almost without rest. His combat tour included participation in the Battle of Normandy, Operation Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge, and the Western Allied invasion of Germany.
Johnnie was credited with 34 individual victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probable, 10 damaged, three shared damaged, and one destroyed on the ground. He flew 700 operational sorties and engaged enemy aircraft on 57 occasions. This score made him the highest scoring Western Allied fighter ace against the German Luftwaffe. Johnnie continued his career in the RAF after WWII, serving in the Korean War and retiring in 1966, with the rank of air vice marshal.
The original voluntary Committee of Management of Johnnie Johnson Housing consisted of conscripts from Johnnie’s RAF days (including Sir Douglas Bader) but has developed into a business-like board of high calibre, strengthened by the involvement of our own residents.