Ted Vaughan has recieved a French Legion of Honour, the highest award for a non-French citizen, for his work during the second World War, helping to liberate France. (Photo by Eric Brunt)

Victoria veteran receives French Legion of Honour, becoming knight of France

Ted Vaughan was a pilot in the 408 “Goose” Squadron in WW2

A Victoria veteran received a French Legion of Honour, the highest award for a non-French citizen, for his work during the second World War, helping to liberate France.

Looking at Ted Vaughan you wouldn’t know he’s 95 — although he likes to say he’s in his 96th year with a birthday in September. He has a loud laugh and talks using his hands. Vaughan lives in an assisted living facility where the nurses get after him about not sitting on his walker and having his shoe laces too long.

“But when September comes I’ll be in my 97th year,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m pretty old.”

READ ALSO: Victoria filmmaker documents stories of Second World War veterans

Vaughan — who is now technically a Knight of France — was a pilot in the 408 Squadron, nicknamed the Goose Squadron, and took part in the bombing on D-Day that would see the allied forced storm the beaches and eventually the liberation of France and Europe as a whole. He describes flying over the English Channel and seeing the waters scattered with boats.

“I’m particularly proud of that one,” he says.

At 18-years-old Vaughan enlisted in the war, originally wanting to join the army, he was convinced to join the air force after seeing how excited one of his friends was to become a pilot.

READ ALSO: Movies about D-Day continue to divide critics

After the war was over, Vaughan came back to Canada in 1945 with the intent of fighting in India to help aid the U.S. in their fight against Japan. He was on route to base camp in Canada when he heard the news about the atomic bomb being dropped and Japan’s surrender shortly after.

Vaughan was discharged and began studying forestry, eventually becoming a supervisor in the first complete forest inventory of the forest in B.C.

“We managed to train people flying in airplanes and finally in helicopters to do a lot of that work from the air,” he says, putting his piloting knowledge to use. “So now [we] could tell you what species are growing in B.C., where they’re growing and how big they were.”

Vaughan is looking forward to spending his next birthday with his family from all over the Island, along with his grand-children and great grandchildren, with a big party.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Ted Vaughan received his letter and medal on May 27 for his service in the second world war, helping to liberate France. (Photo by Eric Brunt)

Ted Vaughan received his letter and medal on May 27 for his service in the second world war, helping to liberate France. (Photo by Eric Brunt)

Just Posted

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Victoria Police seize drugs, replica firearms and $50,000 in cash after searching Victoria home

A property in the 600-block of Manchester Avenue is focus of investigation

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read