George Skipper was 20-years-old and a newlywed when he set sail for Normandy in 1944 (Picture: PA).
A trip organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day will likely be the “last chance” to remember those who lost their lives, a Chelsea pensioner has said.
George Skipper, 95, urged his fellow D-Day veterans to fill the 100 spaces still available.
"Get on that boat and think you're lucky to be on it because there's a lot of people that didn't make it,” Mr Skipper said.
"Every time I go to events I think, 'Where's Tommy?' They're all passing away. It must be the last chance."
Veterans and a guest or carer will depart from Dover aboard the MV Boudicca on 2 June and take part in commemorative events in Normandy until 6 June.
Door-to-door travel expenses will be paid for by the RBL, the Ministry of Defence and Arena Travel.
Mr Skipper said he had arranged to take a “lovely, marvellous friend” on the trip.
“It can't come quick enough,” he added.
"It will be a great memory for me to think about the people who didn't make it."
George Skipper was 20-years-old and a newlywed when he set sail for Normandy in 1944. He landed on Gold Beach and jumped down into the neck-deep water.
He began helping men who could not swim – all as bullets whizzed around him.
For his courage, he was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by French President François Hollande in 2015.
"When the French president gave me the medal I said, 'it's too late, we lost too many men',” Mr Skipper said.
"I had my gun in my hand and just went forward. A lot got shot down but I was lucky. I must've done something good in my life.
"D-Day was a very important time in my life and I want to go back whilst I can to remember and to pay tribute to the friends and comrades that I lost.
"When I go back I see what we achieved and what we fought for."
192 veterans have signed up to the trip but there is space for a further 118 to attend.
The deadline for applications is 4 March and forms can be downloaded online.