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

 

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

Most Read