D-Day veteran Michael d’Alton receives Legion of Honour
"Hitler had to be stopped"
At 93, Michael d’Alton is still well aware of the reasons he enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1942. Born in 1921 in Dublin, Michael had just finished training as a quantity surveyor when he enlisted to take part in World War II.
Michael was on secondment from 5th army corps on June 6 1944 when he took command of an LCT 796 landing craft on Omaha Beach with the mission to bring Sherman tanks and their crews on the battlefield for operation Overlord. "The big thing was to try and get on the beach without crashing into other craft. That took seamanship" explained the now Knight of the Legion of Honour to journalists on Monday.
Received onboard the Somme, a French supplier vessel who docked in Dublin harbour on purpose last Monday, Michael was decorated by Ambassador Thebault during a ceremony which gathered army officials, representatives of the Dublin City Council, of the Diplomatic Corps, members of veterans’ associations, family and friends.
In uniform and with all honours, the guard present onboard the Somme also presented their respects to Mr d’Alton who accepted the award on "the clear understanding that it was not for him alone but for the tens of thousands of Allied servicemen who served on D-Day".