London, England—The last British Dambuster has received an MBE. George ‘Johnny’ Johnson received the MBE, one Britain’s highest awards, by Queen Elizabeth II. At 95 years, he’s the last surviving Briton of the group that achieved the unachievable in one of World War Two’s more peculiar special operations.

Operation Chastise aimed to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, Germany’s industrial heartland. To achieve this, 617 Squadron was formed.  It was a special operations unit with 133 members.  They flew the four-engine Avro Lancaster heavy bomber.

The operation took place on the night of 16-17 May 1943. With 19 Lancasters, the men of 617 Squadron flew at 100ft (30m) to avoid detection and to make their unique payload work.  They were using barrel-shaped bombs, which were specially designed for Op Chastise. The bombs were meant to bounce in the water before they lodged in the dams.  They were the closest thing you’d get to WWII precision-guided ordnance–they offered they only way to accurately destroy the dams without carpet bombing.

The barrel-looking bombs looked like “glorified dustbins,” according to Johnson, who was a bomber during the raid. He flew 50 missions and retired in 1962 as Squadron Leader (the equivalent of an O-3).