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WWII vet missing from nursing home turns up in France for D-Day anniversary

June 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM ET

Bernard Jordan, 89, a British World War II veteran, was reported missing from his nursing home on Thursday night and turned up at the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, on Friday.
@GracewellHealth/Twitter / @GracewellHealth/Twitter
Bernard Jordan, 89, a British World War II veteran, was reported missing from his nursing home on Thursday night and turned up at the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, on Friday.

A British World War II veteran who was reported missing from his nursing home on Thursday night turned up on the beach in Normandy — wearing his medals — during the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on Friday. 

Bernard Jordan, 89, left The Pines, a nursing home in Hove, England, on Thursday morning and did not return that night. Dressed in a gray raincoat with a jacket underneath that had his medals pinned to it, Jordan took a bus to France to be there for the anniversary of the largest amphibious assault in history, according to a report by The Guardian. Meanwhile, the nursing home reported him missing to the Sussex Police at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, resulting in a search of the area and local hospitals. 

Video: Royal Navy veteran Bernard Jordan made an epic escape from his nursing home in England to join friends in France for the 70th anniversary ceremonies.

At 10:30 p.m., the home received a call from a younger veteran saying that he met Jordan on the bus and that he was accompanying him to Normandy. Gracewell Healthcare, which runs The Pines, confirmed it was Jordan, who is also a former mayor of Hove.

"Gracewell Healthcare can confirm that The Pines care home resident Bernard Jordan attended the D-Day commemorations in Normandy today,'' Gracewell Healthcare CEO Peter Curtis said in a statement to TODAY.com. "Mr. Jordan has full capacity, which means that he can come and go from the home as he pleases, which he does on most days. At no stage was he banned from going to the commemorations."


In fact, the home's staff had tried to get Jordan on an accredited tour with the Royal British Legion at one point, but were unable to since it was a last-minute request.

"Mr. Jordan was reported missing to the police yesterday evening as a matter of caution because he did not return from his normal trip to town, and when he left had not told us he was still intent on trying to get to Normandy. At Gracewell Healthcare we celebrate the individuality of our residents' lives and are in awe of the part Mr. Jordan played in the D-Day invasion 70 years ago."

Jordan's appearance in Normandy was also confirmed by Nev Kemp, the police chief for the city of Brighton and Hove, who couldn't help but admire Jordan's journey. 



Watch: President Obama visits Normandy for D-Day ceremony

Video: On the 70th anniversary of the invasion, veteran NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw sits down with Army paratrooper Tom Blakey, now 93 years old, who still remembers that fateful day vividly.

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