Royal Marine veteran Les Budding, 90, served on the Landing Craft Flack (LCF) which provided cover for other landing crafts against air attacks.
He said: “Our mission was to give landing protection for our troops from the German aircaft but as we escorted the troops up to the beach, giving them cover, we were getting fired at by the Germans. We were part of the defence line of ships for 105 days and nights. After covering the troops we then had to protect the boats and anchorage and all around us were e-boats (enemy boats) and submarines, attempting to get through our line of defence.” Les is also chairman of Boston and District Normandy Veterans’ Association and says himself, Ernie and Frank are just a handful of the men who should have received the Legion d’Honneur.
He said: “At one point we had 156 members of our branch. After the French president announced we would be receiving the medal we put in an application and have been waiting 21 months to get here. Unfortunately a lot of our members have died while waiting. I am receiving my medal in memory of those who could not be here and are no longer with us.”