D-Day: Borders veteran John McOwan recalls that fateful day

A 98-year-old from Peebles is among the 300 veterans who are making their way to Normandy today.

Sergeant John McOwan served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical engineers, attached to the 8th Army. On D-Day, the instrument mechanic serviced repairs as required.

John McOwan served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical engineers attached to the 8th Army on D-Day. He is today sailing back to Normandy with 300 fellow veterans,, 75 years to the day after their first journey to those distant shores. (Pic Wattie Cheung)

John McOwan served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical engineers attached to the 8th Army on D-Day. He is today sailing back to Normandy with 300 fellow veterans,, 75 years to the day after their first journey to those distant shores. (Pic Wattie Cheung)

Prior to setting sail on the MV Boudicca to Bayeux with Poppyscotland today, he posed for a stunning portrait to highlight his own personal story of that fafetful day, 75 years ago.

John said: “My most vivid memory was the Armada of ships lying off-shore. They stretched for as far as the eye could see.

“We waited for what seemed like an interminable amount of time before we could go on shore. We felt like easy targets for the Luftwaffe. 
“A couple of ships were hit and we just hoped and prayed that ours would not be one of the next ones.

“For some reason, I remember that I did not even get my feet wet when we eventually came on shore as we were on landing craft vehicles.”

John's most vivid memory of June 6, 1944, was the Armada of ships lying off-shore. He said: "They stretched for as far as the eye could see."

John's most vivid memory of June 6, 1944, was the Armada of ships lying off-shore. He said: "They stretched for as far as the eye could see."