Captain James Doohan

The pictures above are photographs of a young Captain James Doohan of the Royal Canadian Artillery.

Doohan was in action on D-Day where he served with exceptional courage and distinction during the assault on Juno beach. He killed two enemy snipers and successfully led his men on foot through a minefield. Doohan was then hit six times by machine gun fire, 4 times in the leg, once in the finger, and once in the chest. The latter round would probably have killed him but for the cigarette case he had in his tunic pocket which deflected the bullet.

In case you haven’t yet realised, after the war was over, James Doohan became an actor, best known for the role of ‘Scotty’ in the TV series Star Trek…

Captain James Doohan was just one of around 160,000 officers and men who took part in the invasion of Normandy that began on 6th June 1944.

Another, not now famous, whose name along with many others, I came across this morning while waiting for my plane, was a George Jones of No 4 Commando who landed at Ouistreham (Sword beach) with the 1st Special Service Brigade around 7.30am on D-Day. Between the beach and Pegasus Bridge, four miles inland, his unit was constantly under fire and all but 80 of his 500 comrades were killed or wounded.

George Jones, James Doohan and countless other brave men like them were fighting to liberate a continent from Nazi tyranny. It is to our shame that so many today who owe their freedom to the sacrifices of an earlier generation are once again marching to the fascist drum.

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