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D-Day veteran who received France’s highest honor celebrates his 100th birthday | UK | New UK News

Former RAF pilot John “Jack” Forrest provided cover for Allied troops on June 5, 1944 – the night before the D-Day landings. Serving with 277 Squadron at Shoreham, he shot down a flying bomb from the air and was awarded the Knight’s Badge of the Légion of Honor for his heroic actions. Now a great-grandfather of five, Jack celebrated his 100th birthday at Inchmarlo House nursing home in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.

One of his four children was able to spend the afternoon with him at home, who provided balloons and hired a bagpiper to mark the occasion.

His daughter Lesli Paterson, from South Lanarkshire, said: “I think the secret to his long life is never to say no to anything. He doesn’t feel 100.

“He was overwhelmed with all the celebrations and his queen card.”

As a youth, Jack danced with the Queen Mother at Holyrood House, Edinburgh.

Lesli said: “She noticed him because he was the only one wearing a kilt. Everyone was in uniform.

Jack was born in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, and joined the RAF upon leaving school in 1939. He was sent to Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, to learn to fly.

After receiving his wings, Jack returned to the UK and was based in Shoreham flying Spitfires and the Walrus amphibious biplane.

One of the Spitfires he flew hangs at the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow – the MK21 Spitfire LA98 which featured in the movie Battle Of Britain, starring Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer.

Jack’s wife, Margaret, died in 2017.

Lesli said: “He is a hero to his whole family.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-28 12:04:22