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November 19, 2009

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Mainland veteran of D-Day dies at 91

HUANG Tingxin, the Chinese mainland's last veteran of the D-Day campaign to end the Nazi-Germany domination of Europe in 1944, has died in Hangzhou. He was 91.

Huang, who died on November 11, was made a Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, France's highest recognition of merit, in 2006.

Upon receiving the medal, Huang said: "The honor goes to all the Chinese soldiers who fought there."

Huang's body was cremated and buried in a local cemetery on Sunday.

A graduate of the Qingdao Naval Academy, in east China's Shandong Province, in 1942 at the age of 24, Huang and 23 other young naval officers went on to study and fight in Britain.

After training at Royal Naval College, in Greenwich, London, Huang was deployed as deputy watch officer on United States-made escort carrier HMS Searcher, which carried up to 25 fighter aircraft, in March 1944.

Huang saw active duty when the vessel took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He also fought at a landing operation with the allied forces in southern France's Toulon on August 15, 1944.

Huang returned to China in 1948 and served in the PLA navy after the founding of the People's Republic of China. He left 10 years later and taught at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University until retirement.

Mao Luqiong, a student at ZSTU, on Tuesday recalled the wise words of Huang: "I wish the word ?war' to be a historical term and to remain so forever."


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