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‘Courageous’ D-Day veteran John Hutton dies aged 96 one year after parachuting into France

A D-Day veteran has died at the age of 96, the Ministry of Defence said.

John Hutton, known by his friends as Jock, was 19 when he served in the 13th Lancashire Parachute Battalion during the Second World War.

The MoD said the ‘courage and spirit’ of Mr Hutton, from Stirling, Scotland, ‘must never be forgotten’ after he died on Wednesday.

In 1944, he parachuted into Normandy and descended to the famous Pegasus Bridge on D-Day.

Mr Hutton replicated his descent in June last year when he parachuted into France alongside fellow ex-serviceman Harry Read.

They took off from Duxford in Cambridgeshire, landing in fields overlooked by poppies – which was also the original drop zone for the 8th (Midlands) Parachute Battalion.

He, and other paratroopers aged in their 90s, jumped from Dakota war planes over Normandy in June last year.      

They were re-enacting the bravery of soldiers who were central to the decisive D-Day landings 75 years ago.   

Around 280 took part in the jump over the French coast, including veterans of landings in World War II.  

Their display brought to life the daring efforts of Allied troops, who secured the first step on the road to defeating the Nazis with the offensive.

Tearful veterans gathered in Portsmouth, Duxford and Normandy as Queen Elizabeth II and US President Donald Trump hailed the bravery of those on the front line.    

The MoD posted on Twitter: ‘We are saddened by the passing of D-Day veteran John ‘Jock’ Hutton who served in the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion. 

‘Last year, Jock touched the hearts of many, parachuting over Normandy at the #DDay75 commemorations.

‘His courage and spirit must never be forgotten.’

Mr Hutton was transferred to airborne forces in late 1943 after serving with the Black Watch. 

He was posted to Mortar Platoon, 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion after taking a parachute course which ran at RAF Ringway in January 1944. He jumped into Normandy on D Day on 6 June 1944. 

In 2014, Mr Hutton was photographed shaking Prince Charles’s hand following his jump over Normandy.  

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