Edward Vaughn, right, is congratulated by Consul General of France Philippe Sutter following the award ceremony. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

‘I’m just an ordinary pilot’: B.C. veteran, 96, awarded France’s highest honour

Saanich resident completed 36 successful missions to help liberate France in Second World War

Edward Vaughn, now 96, was a pilot in his early 20s. With sharp night vision, he completed 36 successful missions during the war to help liberate France.

The Saanich Second World War veteran was recently awarded the French Legion of Honour.

“I’m just an ordinary pilot,” says Vaughn. “Who knew that I could receive an honour like this? I’m very pleased. I hope the others who fought with me get an award too.”

Born up-Island in Cumberland on Sept. 5, 1923, Vaughn signed up for war on his own at the age of 20. He was trained as a pilot in Alberta and was later sent off to Yorkshire with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“We will never forget those who fought in battle and combat,” says Philippe Sutter, the Consul General of France for Western Canada. “We’ve come to pay tribute to Mr. Vaughn for being an inspiration. France and the other nations he helped liberate will never forget … the dangerous things he accomplished during World War II.”

During one mission, a bomb fell through a wing, taking out an engine and starting a fire on board. Vaughn and his crew were able to fully extinguish the fire and return to the base safely with only three engines.

“There was a crew of seven of us. Some as young as 19 and others who were 28. We became friends and went on to be come officers,” said Vaughn, a Broadmead Care Centre resident for the past two years.

Vaughn has five children, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

“As someone who has taught history, it’s wonderful because I have my dad as living proof of someone who went through that time,” says Gail Krickan, Vaughn’s eldest daughter. “I’m so happy that he has been given this honour.”

The French Legion of Honour is the highest decoration that France can give. It rewards individuals who served France with outstanding achievements. The honour is equivalent to the Order of Canada.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

UPDATE: Knuckles has been returned to LCHC display

Knuckles was stolen between 11:00am - 12:00pm on July 1

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Most Read