Lorne Frame, local veteran, has received the National Order of the Legion of Honour from France for his time as a bomber pilot for the Royal Canadian Armed Forces (RCAF) in France in during the Second World War. The award is France’s highest award that is recognized in Canada and equal to the Order of Canada. Although it is rare for non-citizens of France to receive, the award has been received by more than 1,000 Canadian veterans who served in the Second World War.
A retired member of Victoria, it would seem that Frame spends his days with ease in his ocean-view apartment in Victoria. Onlookers of his life would not suspect it to be anything but ordinary and quaint. But, in Frame’s late teens he would spend seven weeks in hiding from the German army during the summer of 1944.
In 1942, the 18-year-old Frame, who had hoped to become a pilot, joined the RCAF. He originally trained as a single engine pilot, but upon arriving to England he would become a bomber pilot due to the high demand. Shortly after D-Day, he was sent to France in June 1944 with the 419 Squadron. Frame says his time with the Air Force was a big eye opener.
Upon arriving in France, Frame’s plane was shot down by the German army, forcing the crew to parachute out of the plane. The next morning, alone, Frame met Drue Tartiere, a 26-year-old local woman, who was originally from Yorkshire, England and married to a local man. Because Tartiere spoke English, Frame was able to prove to her that he was not a German soldier, so she led him back to her house and provided him with food and civilian clothing.
“She was quite remarkable. She was able to clothe us and feed us three times a day. To think of her sheltering five of us for that time is remarkable,” Frame says.
Tariere sheltered Frame in her house for seven weeks that summer along with four of his colleagues who had found their way to the house. In late August, American troops liberated France and Frame was sent back to Canada for a 30-day leave. He retired from the Air Force in February 1945, just months after his return.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Frame would return to university and receive a degree in journalism. Upon his graduation in 1949, he would accept a position with the Canadian Press as a reporter.
“I was pleased and surprised to received my award in the mail,” Frame says.
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