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Arthur Grahame Johns

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Arthur Grahame AWMM
  • Surname
    Johns AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Bill Johns AWMM
  • Service number
    • NZ41907 AWMM
    • WWII 41907 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 March 1922 AWMM SydneyNew South Wales AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 9 February 1941 AWMM 43 Bassett Road, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Arthur I. Johns (father), New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 14 August 1941 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Initial training at Levin, 2EFTS Bell Block, NP, 3FTS Ohakea, RAF OTU Steeple Morden AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 9 February 1941 AWMM
    Age 18 AWMM
    Insurance Clerk/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Weight, Unknown Period AWMM
      139 pounds AWMM
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 7 inches AWMM
    • Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
      Killed on air operations AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • The eldest son of Arthur and Eileen Mariane Johns (nee Mathias) of Auckland. One younger brother Bruce A. Johns. He had uneventful school days, keen on most things, sports etc. Educated at Wanganui Collegiate School 1935/39. Prefect, Cadet Sergeant, Captain 2nd XV.

    His first operation was the first 1000 bomber raid on Cologne, May 30 1942 as co-pilot.( Bomber Command sent more than 1000 bombers to raid Cologne. The raid was a considerable military and propaganda success. 45,000 people were made homeless in Cologne). After five operations he became aircraft captain. Last operation was his 17th, to Hamburg 28.29 July 1942. The aircraft, Wellington Z1570 AA-B, was shot down on return leg to UK. His total flying time was 321 hours.

    His first operation was the first 1,000 bomber raid on Colgne on May 30 1942 as a co-pilot. After five operations he became an Aircraft Captain. His last operation was his 17th, to Hamburg on 28/29 July 1942 when his plane was shot down.

    Mr Bruce Johns, his brother writes: "I visited the crash site in 1999 (a vegetable garden alongside a farmhouse), the village of Haftenkamp and met an eldery farmer who in 1942 was a boy of 15. At daylight he and others went to the site having heard the crash at about 2.30am. The aircraft apparently exploded in mid-air, probably from incendiary shells igniting partially empty fuel tanks. Debris was scattered - an engine, a wing, two bodies in the field, another in trees and pilot and front gunner in the wreckage. Those present were quickly chased away by soldiers who arrived soon after. German and English researchers have discovered that this aircraft was shot down by one Hauptmann August Geiger, born 1920. By September 1943 he had become one of Germany's notable air aces, being credited with 54 British aircraft. On the 29th of that month he was shot down by a British Mosquito Night Fighter - he parachuted safely but was drowned in the Zuider See."

    In 1998 Adriaan de Winter and Ton van Alphen undertook a project in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery photographing all the headstones of New Zealanders buried there. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    29 July 1942 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Europe AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany AWMM 15 E AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.