Sergeant JJ Booth was a key member of 600 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War. He joined four years prior to the war beginning, before being called upon on the 24th of August 1939. Booth completed his training quickly, and rejoined 600 Squadron just before June in 1940. As well as being a skilled pilot, taking part in the some of the most influential times of war. John James was an avid animal lover.

Booth had a pet monkey, Minnie, who completed over 250 hours of flight with him. She was JJ’s mascot and boosted his morale. Dressed in RAF uniform, which would be changed any time Booth received a promotion, Minnie sat in Booth’s tunic pocket during flights. She was there with him in the hardest of situations; Minnie even flew with him in the Battle of Britain.

But Minnie wasn’t just popular with her master; she was beloved by even the most surprising of people. When out of the skies Minnie would entertain the officer’s in their mess, with one of her favourite tricks being to put out the discarded cigarette ends with her foot. On one occasion a photo of her was given to The Queen Mother as a gift for attending a reception for 600 Squadron.

Minnie however wasn’t always friendly, she hated when girls showed an interest in Booth being described as jealous by many. JJ shared that once a girl actually received a slap in the face from Minnie.

Booth’s beloved monkey passed away years before he did, after three years service. After sharing the news of Minnie’s death JJ said “I took her to a taxidermist, who is putting her on the wing tip of a plane for the old mess of my old squadron – The City of London.”