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 News & 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

WWI ship sails again

HMS Caroline, the only World War I, Battle of Jutland, ship still afloat has reopened following the ...


The British side of the American Revolution

Osprey Publishing is to release a new book about the activities of British General, William Howe, and his ...


Speakers announced for OMRS convention

The Orders and Medals Research Society has announced the line-up of speakers for its annual Convention. ...


The Armourer - August issue on sale

The August issue of The Armourer has gone on sale, featuring the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele from WWI. ...


Other Articles

Commemorative coins for Dunkirk

The Koin Club has announced the release of a new collection paying tribute to the Dunkirk Evacuation. ...


Armed Forces rally at Ypres to mark Passchendaele centenary

The British Armed Forces rally team took to the gravel at Ypres last weekend in the fourth stage of the ...


Dambusters log book sells at auction

The logbook of Flight Sergeant Leonard Sumpter, who participated in the Dambusters raid, went for a hammer ...


Take a tour to the Yprés battlefields

Family Tree magazine, sister title to The Armourer, is running a three day battlefield tour to Yprés this ...