Veteran set to appear on TV

Jim Baker, 90, of Blackpool, is a former landing craft operator who was awarded  the Distinguished Service Medal by King George VI.
Jim Baker, 90, of Blackpool, is a former landing craft operator who was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by King George VI.
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A decorated war hero from Blackpool is set to appear on national television as part of a BBC project to commemorate the D-Day landings.

Former landing craft operator Jim Baker, 90, is one of nine veterans who will be featured on the National Lottery on BBC One tomorrow.

The lottery-funded D-Day Revisited project was set up to help remember thousands of soldiers who never returned home.

BIG Lottery Fund’s Heroes Return programme contributed £44,000 to allow veterans to return to the Normandy beaches, where the landings took place in June 1944.

Mr Baker, of Hawes Side Lane, Marton, took part in 22 landings and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by King George VI.

Mr Baker, who returned to Normandy in June last year, said: “It means a great deal to return to those battlefields.

“Although nearly 70 years has passed, we feel a strong sense of duty to return to pay respects to our comrades who were not so fortunate.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity.”

The D-Day landings, during the Second World War, were part of the biggest amphibious invasion in world history and involved more than 60,000 British soldiers.

John Phipps, of D-Day Revisited, said: “For that huge contribution to our modern freedoms, D-Day Revisited’s motivation is to help veterans to be front and centre, always so smartly turned out in their blazers and medals, so that we can learn more of our nation’s history from the people who were actually there.”

The D-Day Revisited television feature aims to raise awareness of the landings with the younger generation.

The veterans will appear during National Lottery Live on BBC One tomorrow. The programme is scheduled to begin at 8.50pm.

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