Langley man’s wartime heroics honoured

Muir Adair spent June 6, 1944, on Omaha Beach, fighting to survive during the D-Day invasion.

The invasion turned the Second World War in the Allied favour but took a heavy toll of killed and injured.

A member of a special Allied military unit for water assaults, Adair landed on Omaha Beach, attached to the first American Ranger assault troops.

They landed during low tide and the landing vehicles became stuck on sand bars in deep sand and mud.

Adair swam to shore under fire and found himself surrounded on land by many casualties. Of the 64 in his complement, 47 were killed or wounded.

Adair’s feats during wartime earned him France’s admiration and the highest honour it can bestow. The nation recently awarded him the Legion of Honour (Légion d’honneur). At a special presentation June 30 at Langley Lodge, where he lives, MP Mark Warawa presented accolades.

“You just do what you have to do,” was Adair’s response at the event. 

He noted he was one of the many young men who went overseas during the war and simply got on with the job.

During the bombardment of Omaha Beach, he found a mother and her two children in a trench. He shared some of his chocolate ration and found someone in his unit who spoke French to watch over them.

Langley, at the City, Township and federal levels, also honoured Adair at the special ceremony.

“He’s a humble man who did extraordinary things,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.

After getting off the beach, Adair and his unit made their way through barbed wire to the bluffs, clearing trenches as they went. They regrouped the next day and had a mobile base set up by June 8.

Adair had joined the Royal Air Force in 1941 and was assigned to the radar section. He built and maintained radar installations throughout the United Kingdom.

In 1943 he joined a specialized unit for water assaults.

After D-Day, he spent July to September 1944 pushing toward Paris and entered the City two days before Paris fell to the Germans. He escaped through the sewers with the help of the French Resistance.

Adair has earned the Croix de Guerre, the Defense of Britain Star, the Liberation of France, and other medals.

Muir Adair

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