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

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

City of Rossland looks to electrify vehicles and equipment

City council passed three motions on June 1 to work towards commitment

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Trail centenarian looking forward to her letter from the Queen

With COVID protocols quashing gatherings, Irene can only have a small celebration for her 100th bday

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Angel Flight takes flight from Creston after being grounded by COVID-19

Angel Flight is a volunteer-run organization which gives people flights to doctors appointments

Most Read