A HUMBLE D-Day vet has left viewers in tears as he insisted “I’m no hero” in a moving account of the Normandy landings.
Harry Billinge, 93, was just 18-years-old when he landed on Gold Beach as part of the first wave of troops to land 75 years ago.
And in a moving interview with BBC Breakfast, the former Sapper insisted he was simply one of the “lucky ones” to have survived.
He said: “Don’t thank me and don’t say I’m a hero.
“I’m no hero, I was lucky. I’m here.
“All the heroes are dead and I’ll never forget them as long as I live.”
Harry was 18 when he landed with the first wave on Gold Beach at 6.30am on June 6, 1944.
A Sapper with the Royal Engineers, he previously recalled how the water turned red with the blood of soldiers as they reached the beaches.
During the emotional interview, he remembered a mate who had died in his arms during the landing, since having visited his friend’s final resting place in a small French cemetery.
And he said it was through the harrowing experience that Normandy veterans were bonded together.
He said: “My generation saved the world and I’ll never forget any of them.”
All the heroes are dead and I’ll never forget them as long as I live
The vet recently became a local celebrity in Cornwall, having raised more than £10,000 for the Normandy Memorial Trust – collecting donations in St Austell.
This week’s trip is his final pilgrimage to Normandy – with viewers left in tears at his story.
One viewer wrote online: “What a gentleman. I sat in tears watching this and felt so much warmth towards him.”
Another added: “Cant take, it I’m a blubbering mess. What a wonderful man”.
A third said: “This man is definitely a hero, it was moving to listen to him. Thank you from all of us.”
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May paid tribute to the “ultimate sacrifice” made by the soldiers who stormed the beaches 75 years ago.
Prince William and Prince Harry also both attended services for the anniversary.
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