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  1. ITV Report

Taunton veteran shares his memories of secret D Day mission

The 97-year-old says he wasn't aware at the time how significant his job was. Credit: ITV West Country

A man from Taunton, who was part of a secret mission to spy on the beaches of Normandy ahead of D-Day, says he wasn't aware at the time how significant his job was.

97-year-old Jim Booth helped to prepare for the invasion and will be returning to France for its 75th anniversary on the 6th June.

Jim Booth's was a young sub lieutenant in 1944 Credit: COPP Heroes

Well that's a hell of a good point because I don't think any were. I mean we knew we were going to invade but I suppose we sort-of pictured that it was just a few ships and things and of course we had no idea of the size of the thing and planning because, thank goodness, there was wonderful security.

– Jim Booth, D Day Veteran

Jim Booth was a young sub lieutenant and part of a secret team with a key task.

Their role was to travel in submarines across the mine-filled English Channel to spy on the beaches of Normandy, find the best landing spots and help guide in the crafts for the invasion itself.

Jim and his crew had a front-row seat to one of the most significant moments in history.

Suddenly the aircraft came down. Then another silence but not for very long because then the mist came, and this is of course the day I'll never forget, suddenly there it was, I mean just unbelievable. The world was alive with ships! Our ships by the thousand - advancing.

– Jim Booth, D Day Veteran
The veteran has been recognised with several military medals for risking his life for his country. Credit: ITV West Country

75 years after risking his life for his country, Jim will return to France on the Royal British Legion charter for the D-Day anniversary.

He's the sole-surviving member of his team whose bravery operating so close to the enemy helped pave the way for D-Day.