Three veteran paratroopers to receive the legion of Honour at Chilliwack
During the annual Bornewest christmas luncheon taking place at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Chilliwack on December 3rd, M. Jean-Christophe Fleury, Consul General of France, awarded the French Legion of Honour to three 1st Canadian parachute D Day veterans.
“It’s very important to do that because in France we tend only to think about the Americans,” said Mr. Fleury. “That’s why the French government has decided to bestow the highest French award… to recognize that Canada has played a very distinctive and particular role in the D-Day landing.”
Ray Ward, Joe Pringle, and Peter Braidwood have been bestowed of the highest decoration of the French Republic. Joe Pringle who couldn’t attend the ceremony will officially receive the award next April.
Bornewest is an Airborne Association in western Canada, specifically in Chilliwack BC, that aims at gathering all existing and retired jumpers. This year was a special year for Bornewest as they commemorated the 1st Canadian parachute Battalion’s exploits in France.
The membership of Bornewest spans the entire Airborne family; 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 1st Special Service Force, the Mobile Striking Force, the Defense of Canada Force, Canadian Joint Air Training Centre, 28 Central Ordnance Depot, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, Canadian Forces Parachute Maintenance Depot, Canadian Airborne Center and the present day Jump Companies.
Since its beginnings of 1989 Bornewest has grown to an association of approximately 250 members, continually striving to fulfill its mission: "To Keep the Airborne Spirit Alive".
In total, 486 D-Day Canadian veterans will receive the award this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, which saw the Allies create a foothold in German-occupied France and eventually led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control.