The Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington was delighted to be the host venue for the presentation of the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, to another 12 Normandy Veterans from across the Yorkshire region, who served during the D-Day invasion of June 1944.
It was an emotional ceremony for the veterans (all in their nineties) and their families, in some cases including great grandchildren, who gathered at the museum and memorial for this formal presentation. More than 100 people attended the ceremony.
The servicemen represent the British Navy, Army and Royal Air Force services - recognising the contribution by sea, land and air made by so many servicemen in the liberation of France and Europe.
On behalf of the President of France, the Award of Chevalier (Knight) de la Légion d’Honneur was presented to 12 British veterans of the D-Day Normandy Landings of 1944 by Contre Amiral Patrick Chevallereau, French Defence Attaché; Colonel Patrice Morand, French Air Attaché and Mr Jeremy Burton, French Consul.
Among those honoured was Hugh Lorimer who was a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force (No 10 Squadron Bomber Command flying Halifax bombers).
He took part in a number of operations in France after D-Day, including attacking Laon Marshaling yard; Vares Marshaling Yard Paris; Dijon Marshalling Yards; Le Havre Troop Communications and Calais Gun emplacements
Additionally, between July and September in 1944, he also took part in operations against nine bomb sites in the France/Belgium regions.