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The Connoisseur’s Sale 05/Jan/2017 11:00 AM, Lot No. 192

Portrait painted of Group Captain (later Air Vice-Marshal) James Edgar “Johnnie” Johnson, CB, CBE, DSO and 2 Bars, DFC and Bar.

Painting signed upper left hand corner “L H Wells / Lubeck ’45”

The Artist was a portrait painter who was born in Nottingham and who studied at the Nottingham Municipal School of Art & the Royal Academy. Exhibited 1922 -31. Two of his portrait paintings are owned by Braintree District Museum and can be seen on the Art UK website

oil on canvas
49 x 59 cm

Provenance: By descent within the family of the sitter

The attached photo shows Johnnie with two of his many loves: his Spitfire IX in Normandy complete with D Day markings and Sally. his faithful Labrador. Johnnie said of his first encounter with Mk IX:

“I found the engineer officer and together we had a look at her, gleaming and bright in a new spring coat of camouflage paint. Later I took her up for a few aerobatics to get the feel of her, for this was the first time I had flown a Mk IX. She seemed very fast, the engine was sweet and she responded to the controls as only a thoroughbred can. I decided that she should be mine, and I never had occasion to regret that choice.”

The Oil painting shows Johnnie in his RAF Group Captain’s uniform and was painted at the end of WW2 during 1945 at Lubeck in occupied Germany where he was the station commander.

Johnnie flew Spitfires with the RAF during the Battle of Britain, escorted USAAF bombers, led Canadian Wings which as the war ended included the Belgian- manned 350 Squadron. He ended the WW2 as the Allies top scoring Fighter pilot in the European theater.

An excellent summary of Johnnie’s life can be found at

His autobiography “Wing Leader” was an international best seller.


Condition appears fine – under glass.

Cheffins, Fine Art Auctioneers, at Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, CB1 7EA, UK are selling Johnnie’s portrait on the 5th January 2017 at 11:00 AM, Lot No. 192. Their contact is Sarah Flynn, Tel: +44 (0) 1223 213343 & her email:

If you wish to leave a bid please email your name, billing address, telephone number and ID to

There is very little time between now and the auction especially given Christmas and New Year holidays hence this alert to you. If you would like the auctioneer’s sales catalogue please contact Cheffins ASAP due to the forthcoming UK mail strike.

Annual General Meeting – 21 May 2016

The Spitfire Society AGM will be held at Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, RG8 9BE and is signposted off the M4. On Saturday 21 May and beginning at 1.30pm in the Beale Centre. Entrance to venue is free on presentation of a current membership card.

Any postal voting forms must be received by 18th May – envelopes to be marked POSTAL VOTE so that they are not opened until the AGM.

Brief Biographies of Committee Members

Jon and Wendy Fellows – Incumbent Chairman & Secretary.

With a lifelong interest in Spitfire aircraft, the history of its development, and all the people involved with manufacturing, servicing and flying this iconic fighter for the last eighty years, and all those devoted to maintaining this unparalleled status: we were not prepared to let The Spitfire Society disappear. We believe very strongly in the objectives laid down in the constitution, and that our Society should be the leading institution in raising awareness of the tremendous debt owed to RJ Mitchell and the brilliant team of designers and engineers he put together.

We were co-opted onto the Executive Committee last September and we are very keen to continue with the task of taking the society forward.

ANTHONY ROBERT NORTH – standing for Vice Chairman Metropolitan Police 1957-1973 BEA/British Airways 1973-1991 HMG Civil Service 1991-1998 My passion for Spitfires started at the age of 7 and has continued all my life, I was fortunate to have been offered a flight in a Mk IX in 2011. It was exciting but also a very humbling experience, I remember sitting in the rear cockpit, the pilot having switched off the engine and climbed out. I was alone in this magnificent machine, the only sound was the wind and the tinkling of the hot metal as it cooled. My thoughts went to all those brave young men who flew this wonderful aircraft in the time of conflict, by the time I undid the straps, unplugged the intercom and climbed out I had very moist eyes.

Norman Parker – standing for Vice Chairman

I am applying for the position of the vacant Vice-Chairman of the Spitfire Society as I have extensive knowledge and experience of the Spitfire over many years. !0 years building, repairing, servicing and subsequent researching it’s history and development. I have been a Society member for over 11 years during which time I was Chairman of the Central Region and since its demise, Chairman of the Salisbury Flight. During this time I have worked tirelessly in support of the Society, as Chairman in 2014, so I have extensive knowledge of Society activities over many years and hope to continue in the future.

Sincerely Norman Parker.

Michael & Lucy Hayes – Incumbent Membership Secretaries

We have been members of The Society for 12 years and became Membership Secretaries at the EGM in June 2013.

After a considerable amount of work the database is now in a manageable state.

We would like to see The Society go from strength to strength under new leadership, giving the members value for money and to keep the iconic ‘Spitfire’s’  (pilots, ground crew and those who built them) memory alive.

Daniel Scott-Davies – Treasurer

I volunteered to be the Society’s Treasurer at the EGM last year. I’ve had the privilege of working with Alex Henshaw and the RAF Museum on a joint project, also working on producing a history of the Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory. Have been involved in the management of a professional society for over ten years as a chair, secretary and treasurer so I have a fairly good knowledge of charitable governance. Apart from maintaining the Society’s financial management I’ll be looking to improve the website offer to members and the public so watch this space!

The Aksel Spitfire Replica.

The Aksel Replica Spitfire has now arrived at Beale Park where she will be displayed to a wide age range, prompting memories in some, and introducing others to the story and significance of the Spitfire aircraft. Beale Park is located near Reading, just off Junction 12 of the M4, and re-opens after it’s winter break on February 11th 2016.

This replica Spitfire was commissioned by the family of Pilot Officer Aksel Andreas Svendsen. She has been residing in Cornwall where volunteers from the Cornish Rondel have helped to refurbish her and from where she has been towed to events to help promote the work of the Society.  We would like to thank the Cornish Roundel for all their work in restoring this tribute to the young Danish pilot.

Press Release 21 September 2015

The members of The Spitfire Society Executive committee are pleased to announce that volunteers came forward at the EGM, on the 19 September-15, and therefore the society will not be closed. More information on the new officers will be posted soon. At the same meeting the Treasurer reported that the Draft constitution which was  agreed at the AGM had been accepted by the Charity Commission and therefore it is now the governing document of The Spitfire Society. The new constitution will soon be available for members. Executive Committee.

Dates For Your Diary (png image)


The Southampton Roundel will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first Spitfire flight by having a wreath laying ceremony on 5th March at the resting place of R J Mitchel in South Stoneham Cemetery Southampton at 11am.

For further details please contact:
Paul Fielder
Southampton Roundel


This year marks the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire. The following extract is from an email sent to the Society by Mr Robin Martin.

Let me firstly introduce myself as the Museum Director for the Defence of the Nation Museum in Ramsgate, a Community Interest Company set up with the intention to identify the isle of Thanet, its people and heritage as a location of historical and strategic military importance. It was indeed from Ramsgate that the Little Ships sailed in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk.
On the 5th March 2016 we will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the spitfire with an event in and around the Ramsgate Tunnels, the location of our museum. The highlight of the day will be a 10 minute choreographed display by the “Spirit of Kent” Spitfire based in Biggin Hill.
We are also organising a Prize Draw, the first prize of which is a 4 hour spitfire experience at the Biggin Hill aerodrome to include 30 minutes in flight in the rear seat of a Mk IX Spitfire.
Please find below a link to our facebook page which features details of the event and prize draw. We would be happy to donate £1 per ticket sold / referred by yourselves. Simply mention the Spitfire Society name on the ticket application form. Here is the facebook address;
By working together we can help to widen the appreciation of this wonderful aircraft.
If you are interested in attending this event please visit their facebook page for further details – and if purchasing tickets please remember to mention The Spitfire Society on the ticket application.