We love surprises, after all who doesn’t? It was wonderful to be part of a suprise event yesterday (13th December) here at the Air Museum. Veteran Joe Murphy from Burley, Leeds received the Legion d’Honneur (France’s top military honour) presented by over 20 members of his family who travelled from all over Britain to a surprise reception held here at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York.
The special family ceremony took place alongside the Museum’s 1944 Douglas DC3 “Dakota”, similar to the one Joe flew in and jumped from during WWll when he served with the Parachute regiment as part of 6th Airborne Division, which took part in the D-Day invasion of France in June 1944.
Joe was completely unaware that he had been granted the award, which had been arranged by his god-daughter Jane Thompson from Warwickshire. Jane’s father was a comrade in arms with Joe during the War but had died some years earlier.
Local news teams were on hand to record the special moment as Joe was presented with the award, at the age of ninety six and still wearing his paratrooper’s beret with pride.