North East UK news Tributes paid after death of Geordie D-Day hero Billy Ness PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Billy Ness was just 19 when he parachuted into France in the first minutes of June 6 1944

North East UK news Tributes paid after death of Geordie D-Day hero Billy Ness PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Billy Ness was just 19 when he parachuted into France in the first minutes of June 6 1944

North East UK news  Tributes paid after death of Geordie D-Day hero Billy Ness PremierLeague-News.Com
15 May 2021 - 16:17

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Tributes have been paid to a Geordie D-Day hero and "extraordinary character" after his death at the age of 96. Billy Ness was just 19 when he parachuted into France in the first minutes of June 6 1944 with the 12th Battalion as part of ‘Operation Tonga’. During what proved to be the most significant battle of the Second World War, Billy was shot and wounded twice yet still returned to active duty. In 2017 he was awarded the Chevalier Légion d’Honneur medal, one of France’s highest honours, for his heroism on and after the D-Day landings. Billy left the army in 1947 after reaching the rank of sergeant, and went back to work as a grocer’s assistant with the Co-op before moving to Parsons Engineering in Heaton. He died peacefully at his sheltered accommodation in Byker, Newcastle, on Wednesday, May 12. Trevor Davison, secretary of the Tyneside Parachute Regimental Association, described Billy as “an extraordinary character”. “Everyone’s devastated,” he said. “Billy started the association in 1949 - there were four of them, and he’s the last to go.” William 'Billy' Ness celebrating his 95th birthday with a birthday bash at Jesmond Royal British Legion Club in 2020 (Image: Newcastle Chronicle) Paying tribute to the veteran, Trevor said: “He was a jovial guy, he always had a story to tell, he always wanted to buy somebody a drink. “He would just do anything for anybody - he was very kind and didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. “Billy never complained about being ill. He fought his frailties, he didn’t want to give in to them.” He added: “He always had time for everybody. He had a great sense of humour, even when he talked about his darker days he always made light of it. “He always finished a sentence with a smile and a joke.” The Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, where Billy previously served as president on the club committee, paid tribute to him on social media. They said: “We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.

News source = PremierLeague-News.Com

.” Bill Ness and William Wake, two Normandy D-Day veterans who received the Legion D'honneur from the French consul Eric Donjon at the 103 Field Squadron centre in Heaton (Image: newcastle chronicle) After parachuting into France during the D-Day landings, Billy’s battalion was first tasked with securing the village of Le Bas de Ranville. They did this successfully until relieved, despite being bombarded with heavy mortar and artillery fire, whilst repelling two German counter-attacks by the fearsome 125th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. On June 7, it held a defensive line protecting the bridgeheads south of Ranville when they came under attack by eight Panzer IV tanks and an infantry company of the 21st Panzer Division. The attack was beaten off for the loss of three tanks at a cost with the battalions’ commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Johnson was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order for the action, while Private Francis James Hall from Murton, County Durham, was awarded the Military Medal for destroying two of the Panzers in quick succession On June 9 Billy took part in an assault on the village of Honorine la Chardonnerette during which he was wounded and returned to the UK to receive medical attention. He returned to the battalion and served in the Ardennes, before parachuting into Germany - and still had a bullet in his leg where he was shot as he crossed the Rhine. He also served in North Africa. In 2017 he was formally thanked by the French government for his efforts at a special ceremony. Billy had seven medals from his service during the Second World War but said that the Légion d’Honneur medal was one of the most meaningful. “The rest I got just for being there, this is something else,” he said. “I am wearing this medal to recognise all the lads that didn’t come back.” Recalling his part in the Allied invasion, Billy said: “One thing I remember when we landed, I looked up in the sky and saw all the planes and thought my mother will be furious that I’m here, she was worried sick. “It was chaos, utter chaos, everything was all over the place. We didn’t realise what was happening, it took a while to realise when you saw a bloke falling down, that was it, they were dead. They were getting killed around me.” Billy married his wife Molly in 1950 and the couple had three children, Brenda and twins John and Joyce. Molly died in 1992. He led an active life supporting numerous organizations and charities, and later lived happily at Theresa Russell House as an independent member of the community. Read More Related Articles Tributes to founding member of the Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council who has died, aged 89 Read More Related Articles Family vow to raise awareness of rare brain cancer that killed Sunderland soldier aged 23

Source = PremierLeague-News.Com

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