D-Days youngest paratrooper to be honoured

A plaque is to be unveiled in honour of the youngest paratrooper to take part in D-Day at the age of 16 - just weeks before he was killed.

Private Robert 'Bobby' Johns was only 14 when he ran away from home and lied about his age to follow his two older brothers into the war effort.

And a plaque is now set to be unveiled by Portsmouth City Council to commemorate each of the 119 men from the city who died between D-Day and the end of the Battle of Normandy.   

When William and Daisy Johns found out Bobby had dropped into Normandy with the 6th Airborne Division, they alerted the War Office who tried desperately to bring him home.

But before he could be withdrawn from the front line he was shot dead by a German sniper close to Le Mesnil crossroads Normandy on July 23, 1944 - two days before his 17th birthday.

It was yet more heartbreak for his parents who had lost another serving son, William, in a submarine attack in 1940.

Seventy-five years on, a plaque commemorating Pte Johns' bravery and sacrifice will be erected on Friday on the street he was born in Portsmouth, Hants.

It will read: 'Lived as he died, fearlessly.'

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