June 15, 2015
When Yarraman resident Paul Tunn was risking his life aboard a cold and noisy Halifax bomber above the skies of France in June 1944, he could not have believed he would be receiving a medal more than 70 years later.
But that’s exactly what happened on Friday when Paul and 17 other Australian World War II veterans received the highest honour that can be awarded by the French Government.
French ambassador to Australia Christophe Lecourtier presented the Legion of Honour to the group of 18 at Coorparoo RSL Club.
The veterans were accompanied by their proud family members at the special ceremony.
It was 71 years to the day since Paul took off on his first bombing raid, one of 36 sorties over France and Germany he flew between June and November 1944, serving as the wireless operator in the Halifax crew.
“It’s always difficult to address men who did exceptional things,” M. Lecourtier said.
“I’m impressed by the way you faced your destinies, by your courage and your sense of sacrifice.”
M. Lecourtier said the honour was a way for his country to express the depth of its gratitude to the liberators of France.