MEMBERS of Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association led a parade in Hamstreet, Kent on April 13, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lieutenant William H Johnson sacrificing his life to save his crew.
On April 13, 1944 Lt Johnson, of the ‘Mighty 8th’ USAAF, piloted his crippled B17 Bomber back towards base. He had turned the aircraft over Romney Marsh so that the crew could all bail out safely over land, but before he himself could jump, he decided to steer the massive bomber away from Hamstreet, where it was about to crash. Lt Johnson died in the impact, just outside the village. Veterans bore the Queen’s Colour and ‘Old Glory’ (Stars and Stripes), together with their own Standards. Wreathes were laid at the memorial at Johnson’s Corner. Picture by Frank Copper.