RCAF Flight Lieutenant (ret.) Lance Benson receives medal

By Contributor
August 8th, 2015

RCAF Flight Lieutenant (ret.) Lance Benson received the French Medal of Honour on July 24, 2015 at a ceremony at the Royal Canadian Air Force Wing in Penticton.

Penticton resident Lance “Lou” Benson has been recognized by the French government for his exceptional service as a tail gunner and his contribution to D-day, June 6th, 1944.

During his RCAF bomber command duty, Lou Benson crewed for 33 tours including a mission over Emden, Germany where Benson was injured after his Halifax Heavy Bomber was struck 93 times by enemy fire. He joined the RCAF in 1941 at age 17, flying in 33 missions during WWII.

Conservative candidate Marshall Neufeld said, “Lt. Lance Benson’s service is an inspiration.  As a tail gunner Lou flew into enemy air space regularly, spotting enemy aircraft and directing the pilot how to maneuver to avoid being spotted – and making use of his sharp shooter eye when the time was needed.

Lou is humble about his service, saying that he wouldn’t be given this medal of bravery if they knew how scared he was as he performed his task.  But that is the definition of bravery – staying resolute in performing your duty despite incredible danger and fear.  Congratulations Lou on receiving this honour from the people of France.”

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