Wilhelm "Wim" Johnen
Hauptmann

Wilhelm Johnen

    Wilhelm “Wim” Johnen was born on 9 October 1921 at Homberg in Niederrhein. In June 1941, Johnen was posted to NJG 1. Leutnant Johnen was assigned to 3./NJG 1. He gained his first victory on the night of 26/27 March 1942, when he shot down a RAF Wellington twin-engine bomber. He then attacked a RAF Stirling four-engine bomber but his Bf 110 D-3 (W.Nr. 4224) “G9+FL” was hit by return fire from the bomber’s gunners killing his crewman and wounding Johnen in the left leg. Johnen managed to bale out of the burning aircraft. He was to spend a considerable time in hospital for treatment to his burns and wounded leg. He returned to combat duty in July 1942. On 1 October, 3./NJG 1 was redesignated 1./NJG 5. In December, 1./NJG 5 was redesignated 5./NJG 5. Johnen recorded seven victories during 1943. In January 1944, he added a further seven victories, including three RAF Lancaster four-engine bombers on the night of 27/28 January to record his 13th through 15th victories. He downed a further three Lancasters on the night of 15/16 February (16-18). On 3 March 1944, Johnen was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6./NJG 5. On the night of 27/28 April, Johnen shot down a RAF Lancaster four-engine bomber. He and his crew then made contact with another over Lake Constance heading west for Switzerland. Johnen attacked the Lancaster but his Bf 110 G-4 (W.Nr. 740 055) “C9+EN” received hits in the encounter setting the port engine alight. Coned by Swiss searchlights and with a dead engine Johnen was obliged to land at the Swiss airfield at Zürich-Dubendorf. Johnen and his crew were interned only to be repatriated some days later amid much political manoeuvering. Johnen was appointed Staffelkapitän of 8./NJG 6 on 10 May 1944 based in Hungary. In a little over two months, Johnen added 11 victories to his tally, including four Russian Mitchell twin-engine bombers. Oberleutnant Johnen was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 23 July for 33 victories. In autumn 1944, Johnen was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./NJG 6. He led the unit until the end of the war. Post-war, Johnen attended university and gained an Engineering degree. In 1952 he worked with Professor Willi Messerschmitt before taking up construction engineering, successfully running his own business. Johnen died on 7 February 2002 at Überlingen.
    “Wim” Johnen was credited with 34 victories in over 200 missions. All his victories were recorded at night. Included in his victory total are 24 four-engine bombers.
 
No
Date
Time
A/c Type
Unit
Location / Comments
1
26.3.1942
23:30
Wellington 3./NJG 1 Essen
2
17.6.1942
1:00
Wellington 3./NJG 1 Holland
3
22.6.1943
1:43
Halifax 3./NJG 1 5km E Roosendaal
4
22.6.1943
2:33
Wellington 3./NJG 1 NWHaamstede
5
25.6.1943
1:01
Halifax 3./NJG 1 3km N Rosenburg
6
24.8.1943
1:03
Stirling 5./NJG 5 NW Berlin
7
24.8.1943
1:08
Halifax 5./NJG 5 WNW Berlin
8
1.9.1943
0:58
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 30km SW Berlin
9
3.1.1944
2:56
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 20km SW Berlin
10
3.1.1944
3:16
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 70km SW Berlin
11
6.1.1944
3:27
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 Near Tütos
12
20.1.1944
19:36
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 NNW Berlin
13
27.1.1944
20:36
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 SSE Berlin
14
27.1.1944
20:57
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 SSE Berlin
15
27.1.1944
21:17
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 SW Berlin
16
15.2.1944
20:34
Viermot 5./NJG 5 SE Damgarten
17
15.2.1944
20:44
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 UF
18
15.2.1944
21:20
Lancaster 5./NJG 5 NNW Berlin
19
28.4.1944
1:31
Lancaster 6./NJG 5 Near Besançon
20
26.6.1944
0:22
Wellington 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / Wellington X (LN748) “E” of the 205th BG
21
7.7.1944
1:17
Wellington 8./NJG 6 7km N St Polten
22
7.7.1944
1:25
Wellington 8./NJG 6 S Pyhra
23
11.8.1944
2:08
Mitchell 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary
24
15.8.1944
22:59
Mitchell 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary
25
21.8.1944
22:42
Mitchell 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary
26
22.8.1944
22:23
Halifax 8./NJG 6 13km S Szombor / Halifax II of the 614 Sq 205 BG
27
26.8.1944
21:53
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / Halifax II of the 1586 Flight 205 BG (Polish crew)
28
26.8.1944
22:30
Mitchell 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary
29
27.8.1944
21:50
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / Halifax II of the 1586 Flight 205 BG (Polish crew)
30
28.8.1944
22:12
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary
31
10.9.1944
22:38
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / probably Liberator VI of the 1586 Flight 205 BG
32
13.9.1944
21:30
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / probably Liberator VI of the 1586 Flight 205 BG
33
21.9.1944
20:32
Halifax 8./NJG 6 SE Hungary / probably Liberator VI of the 31 Sq 205 BG
34
16.3.1945
2:45
Lancaster Stab III./NJG 6 15km SE Würzburg

 
Victories : 34
Awards : Ehrenpokal (20 March 1943)
                Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (23 July 1944)
                Ritterkreuz (29 October 1944)
Units : NJG 1, NJG 5, NJG 6
Home