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Hundreds at funeral for WW2 navigator hero

14 February 2020   (0 Comments)
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Hundreds of people, including fellow veterans, turned out for the funeral of the WW2 veteran, who had no surviving relatives.

Veteran groups had made an appeal for attendees at the service in Newark for Jim Auton, who died aged 95 in January.

He had been awarded 20 medals by 6 different countries and hailed a ‘friend of Poland’. With these medals he would proudly wear his ‘O’ observer brevet; within the RAF, this later became the ’N’ navigator brevet. He had flown 37 B-24 Liberator missions with 178 Sqn.

Jim is thought to have been the last British member of the Warsaw Air Bridge, in which supplies were dropped to Polish resistance fighters. This was an unsuccessful 63-day attempt to liberate the Polish capital from Nazi occupation, costing over 150,000 civilian lives and destroying large parts of the city.

After the war, he was awarded honours, including the Polish Presidential Gold Order of Merit and the Soviet Union War Veterans' Medal, and was made an MBE in 2000. He was buried in Newark Cemetery, close to the Warsaw Air Bridge Memorial, for which he campaigned and helped to plan in 1989.

Further details and image from the BBC