James Fisher awarded the Legion d’Honneur
Defence Attaché to the French Embassy in Pretoria, Colonel Olivier Ducret, bestowed, on 11 September 2018, the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur upon James Fisher, a veteran of the Second World War.
The function took place at the Alliance Française in Port Elizabeth. A large part of his family shared the moment with him. Members of the South African Gunners Association and of the Battalion Veteran’s Association were there. Honorary Consul of France in Port Elizabeth, Gerald Henderson, and members of the Alliance Française also attended.
A British national living in South Africa, Mr. Fisher was awarded for his participation in the Liberation of France during the Second World War. Born on 19 May 1925 in London, Mr. Fisher joined the Royal Navy in 1942 at the age of 17 and trained as a Seaman Gunner 2nd Class at Portsmouth. He served on the LCF36 ship on the North Atlantic Sea on convoy duties escorting ships from America laden with war materials. On D-Day, James’ task was prior to the actual landings, to bombard targets on the Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, with the Cruiser HMS Frobisher, firing shells overhead to inland targets. Mr. Fisher was then ordered to proceed to the US beach Omaha to assist in towing a Landing Craft Infantry which had hit a sandbar and lying broadside to the beach, back into deeper waters. He also took part of a small invasion force of US and Royal Marine Commandos in Holland, to prevent the enemy forces destroying the inland canals and waterways.