A D-DAY hero who was almost murdered by a hammer-wielding thug at his home has travelled to Normandy for today’s 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion.
Jim Booth, 97, suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by a bogus handyman who barged into his bungalow in Taunton, Somerset in November, 2017.
The ex-special forces commando, whose top secret mission launched the D-Day assault on Sword Beach, suffered five deep cuts to his skull and a fractured right hand.
His false teeth were also knocked out by the force of the blows from attacker Joseph Isaacs, 40, who was found guilty of attempted murder and jailed for 20 years.
Jim told the Daily Telegraph: “He left me for dead, but I suppose I was lucky.
“Surviving the war was pure luck and this was the same again.”
D-DAY SUBMARINE MISSION
The World War Two veteran, who was a submarine lieutenant on the Normandy landings, travelled to France to be at today’s D-Day events.
Great grandfather Jim is the last surviving member of a ten-man crack team that spent five days in a submarine guiding Allied craft to Sword Beach before the D-Day invasion.
They travelled across the mine-filled English Channel to spy on the beaches of Normandy.
Jim’s sub squad had to find the best landing spots and help guide in the crafts for the invasion.
We knew we were going to invade. Suddenly there it was, I mean just unbelievable. The world was alive with ships
Jim Booth, D-Day hero
He said: “We knew we were going to invade, but I suppose we sort-of pictured that it was just a few ships and things.
“Of course we had no idea of the size of the thing and planning because, thank goodness, there was wonderful security.
“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 returned to France on the Royal British Legion charter for the D-Day anniversary.
He was also at yesterday’s D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth.
Theresa May spoke on at the British Normandy Memorial event this morning.
MOST READ IN NEWS
The war hero still suffers headaches from the 2017 hammer attack.
Jim, whose family said he was known as “The Legend”, has been honoured for his bravery.
In 2015, he danced with the Duchess of Cornwall at a Royal Navy veteran’s event.