30/06/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Wing Commander ‘Johnnie’ Johnson’s diary for auction

97f7d01b-fde7-465a-9abc-951dc1b807a8

The July Connoisseur’s Sale at Cheffins will include a diary belonging to Wing Commander, later Air Vice-Marshal, James Edgar ‘Johnnie’ Johnson DSO, 2 Bars, DFC and Bar.

Johnson, who died in 2001, was the most successful RAF Spitfire pilot with a total of 38½ kills. The diary dates cover the entire year of 1942, from 1 January to 31 December, with detailed entries of his every-day life, both domestic and RAF related. 

In this entry for Sunday, 25 January ‘Johnnie’ reveals a tale of drunken adventure: ‘Kirton: Flight arrived back from Garhill more dead than alive, made my report to Group Capt. Woolhams.  In the evening Neville, Nip, Derek and I slipped down to the Royal and met old Nat, pushed along to The Jolly Sailor and had several more beers and the odd brandy. Lovely night with almost a full moon and Nip decided he was going to fly; tried to persuade him not but the bugger was very obstinate and moved quietly off in my van; rang up Kimby & told him to tell Nip that the CO's instructions were not to take off, Dicky Stafford also refused him permission from opps - no use, he took off and after beating up the mess pranged when landing - stalled from about 20 feet. Hell of a row, C.O. talking about a court-martial and the Nip walking about as white as a ghost.’

The diary also includes a photograph of 'Johnnie' with his dog Pusher who was tragically killed by a Motor Transport lorry, when running across the perimeter track. The diary will have an estimate of £5,000-£8,000.

Also at the same auction will be the artworks of a London-based fireman, Wilfred Stanley Haines. Wilfred, was a fireman with the National Fire Service’s River Thames formation during World War II. Much of  his work depicts scenes of London during the war and Cheffins will be selling a collection of eight oil paintings in the June Fine Art Sale, to include a self-portrait of the artist.

Other paintings will include Tower Bridge and Battersea Power station, fires blazing over London in the Blitz with St.Paul’s in the background and a searchlight spotting a V2 Rocket to shoot it down. The collection has come from the artist’s widow to the vendor and thence by descent. Haines died in 1944 aged 39, killed outside a pub from a flying bomb which landed on nearby houses.

This lot will also include a personal archive of Wilfred Stanley Haines, to include his birth certificate and other items.

Cheffins Fine Art is based in Cambridge.

Back to Articles

30/06/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

100 Years of the RAF

Time to celebrate with features and collectable magazines as the RAF hits 100. ...


The Cross of Honour of the German Mother

Duncan Evans takes a look at the civil award in Nazi Germany that encouraged larger families for Hitler’s ...


RAF Biggin Hill

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF; the heroes, the places and the planes ...


The iconic Hurricane

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF; the heroes, the places and the planes ...


Other Articles

Hugh Trenchard, the Father of the Royal Air Force

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF; the heroes, the places and the planes ...


Spitfire Singh

New book reveals the story of an Indian engineer who built and flew airplanes for the fledgling Indian Air ...


IWM North in Syria conflict

From 16 February until 28 May 2018, IWM North will present Syria: A Conflict Explored, a season of ...


100 YEARS OF THE RAF 1918-2018

A 132-page an exclusive collector’s magazine celebrating the people, planes and places that made the RAF what ...