Last D-Day light bomber pilot Leslie Valentine dies

Leslie Valentine

Leslie Valentine

First published in News
Last updated
The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

LESLIE VALENTINE, thought to be the last surviving D-Day light bomber pilot, passed away today.

His son Dudley, 71, has tonight paid tribute to his 95-year-old father's immense bravery during his war service, that included flying 60 operations back-to-back.

On D-Day the then 24-year-old flew just 50ft above the Normandy beaches laying down smoke as protection for the invading Allied Forces. Two aircraft were lost in the mission, but Flight Officer Valentine returned safely to his base at RAF Hartford Bridge.

His son said: "I have a million words running through my head, but the one thing is that I am just very very proud to call him my father."

Mr Valentine died at Fewcott House care home shortly before 2am. Prior to that the Scotsman had been living in Hethe, north of Bicester.

In November 2012, Mr Valentine was presented with his Defence Medal by Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing lStreet.

Mr Valentine was given VIP treatment in London including a chauffeured limousine ride, a visit to the Bomber Command Memorial and a tour of Number 10.

He originally missed out receiving the medal for his service with the Highland Light Infantry because he volunteered for the Royal Air Force and went off for training.

The Government acted after the oversight was highlighted during a radio interview.

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