Thursday, 4 August 2016

Immigration Service cyclists visit Johnson's Corner

Johnson's Corner, Romney Marsh, Kent.
On 13 April 1944, Lt William H Johnson was piloting his B17 Flying Fortress bomber on a raid to Germany. Just after crossing the French coast the plane was hit by anti aircraft shells, wounding the co-pilot, the navigator and Johnson himself.  Two of the four engines were quickly put out of action and Johnson decided to turn back. By the time they reached the coast of Kent, they only had one engine working out of four and the plane was on fire and losing height. He managed to nurse the plane over the land and ordered his crew to bale out, which they did. He realised that there was a risk that the bomber would crash on the settlement of Ham Street and so returned to his seat to turn the doomed aircraft away from the buildings. It was the last thing that he did. The plane crashed on Romney Marsh. Johnson was killed, his crew all survived.

Monument to Lt Johnson of the USAF.

In the 1980s when Ham Street finally acquired its long awaited bypass road, a junction was needed and it happened to be sited on the land upon which the stricken aircraft had crashed. 

The local farmer donated the land for a monument to remember Lt. Johnson, and the road junction is now named Johnson's Corner.

If you are travelling on the A 2070 between Ham Street and Brenzett, keep a lookout for cyclists, and the monument at Johnson's Corner.

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