A 98-year-old RAF adept has been awarded the Legion D’Honneur for his captivation in the liberation of France during the Second World War.
Former fleet baton Stanley Booker, from Bracknell, Berkshire – who survived abduction and claiming by the Germans, was appointed to the rank of Chevalier in France’s accomplished adjustment of arete aftermost month.
According to the SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, the accolade recognises the veteran’s “military engagement” and “steadfast involvement” in France’s liberation.
Born in Gillingham, Kent, he was age-old aloof 17 aback he active up for the RAF as an apprentice.
He accomplished as an eyewitness in Wales afore abutting 10 Fleet as a navigator aerial on Halifax adviser aircraft.
On June 3 1944, Mr Booker’s even was attempt bottomward in bonfire and comatose abreast Dreux in arctic France.
The aircraft’s pilot and wireless abettor were killed, while added aggregation associates able by parachute and went on to acquisition ambush with the French resistance.
SSAFA said Mr Booker was hidden by associates of the resistance, but betrayed to the German Gestapo by a Belgian “traitor”.
Mr Booker was captured and put through “brutal” interrogations by the SS and Gestapo and interned at Fresnes bastille to the south of Paris, area he was denied captive of war status.
On August 15, bristles canicule afore the liberation of the French basic by affiliated forces, Fresnes inmates were taken to Buchenwald absorption affected in Germany.
The German Luftwaffe eventually anchored the absolution of the actual airmen, who were transferred to Stalag Luft 3 affected in Poland.
A few weeks later, the prisoners were affected on a three-week advance aback to Germany.
They were captivated at Luckenwalde captive of war affected abreast Berlin until actuality absolved at the end of May 1945.
SSAFA said Mr Booker’s “harrowing” war-time adventures advance him to attack for the acceptance of affiliated airmen and Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents were were confined and bent in camps.
In 1946, he alternate to France to chase for the graves of the pilot and wireless abettor dead in his plane’s crash, and to acknowledge the associates of the French attrition who adequate him.
Following the war’s end, Mr Booker remained in the RAF and in 1948 abutting 206 Fleet at Lyneham and flew on the Berlin Air Lift to bear aliment and capital food to the German population.
In 1951, he was recruited to assignment for British intelligence in Hamburg and Berlin and undertook abstruse intelligence acquisition of Soviet activities during the Cold War.
He was afterwards fabricated an MBE by the Queen for his assignment in British intelligence.
Barry Dickens, administrator of SSAFA Berkshire, said of Mr Booker: “He arranged added into the aboriginal 20 or so years of his activity than best would in their accomplished lifetime.
“Modest and backward his adaptation afterwards bailing out of his stricken aircraft is a affidavit to his courage, fortitude, and backbone of character.
“Stanley has the greatest account for the assignment that SSAFA do. He has fabricated few calls on SSAFA but knows the alms is there for him if needed.
“His accolade of acceptable a Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur is abundantly deserved.”
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