A soldier who helped build a strategic airfield near Caen during the D-Day landings said his regiment’s contribution to the historic moment has been forgotten in history.

Lindsey Jones, 85, from Ewell, helped build an airfield near Caen which was vital to landing heavy duty tanks in France to help push out the Germans.

However, he has not been able to find any record of their heroic efforts.

He was just 16 when the war broke out and immediately went to Brighton to join the Army.

By the time of the D-Day landings he found himself in the Royal Engineers.

Their mission, on June 6, 1944, was to construct an airfield near Caen so planes carrying military tanks could land and roll out the vehicles to help in the fight against the Germans.

Before they set sail from England, Mr Jones and his regiment had to travel down to Guildford to fetch specially modified trucks which would carry all the equipment they needed to build the airfield.

He said: “We fetched the trucks and took them down to a port near Eastbourne.”

There they sat while they waited for the order to set off.

“We eventually landed at about 6am on either Omaha or Gold beach – I can’t remember now.

“The commandos were sent out before us and drawn most of the fire, I don’t think I would have gone if we were first out the boats.

“I was sitting in the driving seat of the truck, when they gave the order I put it in first gear, put my foot down and didn’t stop until I got onto dry land.

“We went into the water as a column of trucks with three in a column.

“We were lucky there was fire from the warships to cover us.”

Mr Jones and his platoon drove to fields a couple of miles away from Caen and began to put the airfield together.

“There were acres of beautiful, golden corn as far as the eye could see all ready to be harvested.

“I think that farmer must have cried when he saw us driving over it, we flattened the lot.”

Once there the troops worked fours hours on, four hours off for the next four days to get the airfield ready so the planes could land.

“Working through the night was hard, we needed light to see by but whenever we turned one on we got fired at by the Germans.”

“When you are young you can do anything,” he said.

As soon as the airfield was finished planes began to land within a matter of hours, unloading their precious cargo, much-needed tanks and weapons to help the push.

Mr Jones has never seen any record of his regiment’s achievement.

He said: “I went over to France a couple of years ago. No one mentioned the road and I couldn’t find it.

“I would love to have to gone over to France for the latest memorial but my wife is not well and I can’t leave her.

“I rang up the Imperial War Museum and they said I could come and look through the records but there were thousands of them.

“I am too old now.”

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