Andy Johnson guiding in Normandy.
Andy’s interest in military aviation and military history started many years ago and, by the age of 12, he knew that he was going to join the RAF. That dream was realised in 1981, when he joined the RAF and 17 of his 28 years’ service saw him on duty in the Boeing Sentry AWACS, with operational flying in the Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts.
Andy left the RAF in 2009 to become a full-time Battlefield Guide and he completed the International Guild of Battlefield Guides validation programme in November 2011. He enjoys variety, which is reflected in the diverse range of battles he has explored.
Andy has visit Second World War battlefields, with a particular interest in Normandy, including the D-Day beaches, the airborne operations, and the frequently neglected fighting inland, which led to the crossing of the Seine in late August 1944. He has also visited the campaigns across Northwest Europe to the 1945 battles on and across the Rhine, and led tours to Salerno, Cassino, and Crete.
Having spent so long in the air environment, Andy has a huge interest in the air war, and he has led tours to sites related to the First World War, those related to Fighter Command and the Combined Bomber Offensive, and the German secret weapons programmes.
“I enjoy bringing the air war to life, not just from the point of view of the commanders, planners, ground crew and aircrew, but also that of those at the receiving end. Only when you have walked the targets can you understand the difficulties of the attackers, and the effects of total war on civil populations.”
Andy has a keen interest in Great Britain’s involvement in India and has led groups looking at the story of the Indian Corps on the Western Front.
Andy has led tours for school groups to the Western Front and am particularly proud to have been a guide for the Government’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme. He enjoys interacting with young people and gets great satisfaction from helping students to explore history.
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