TRIBUTES have been flooding in following news that an Irish World War 2 veteran has passed away at the age of 100.
Captain Bill Leckie, who fought the Nazis while serving in the Royal Air Force, died peacefully at his home in Wicklow earlier this week.
Bill was one of the last living heavy bomber captains, and was involved in key S.O.E. operations - a secret campaign designed to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance of Axis-controlled Europe - aiding local resistance movement.
He retired a heavily-decorated servant for his gallantry.
Bill was one of 70,000 Irish citizens who fought in the Second World War, and hundreds of thousands more with Irish heritage who served in the Allied forces.
The Irish Air Corps, the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland, and the Ambassador of Poland to Ireland all paid tribute to the former RAF pilot.
Very sad to inform one of the last #WW2 @RoyalAirForce heavy bomber captains, 100 years old #Bill_Leckie, has died in Co Wicklow. Bill was heavily involved in key S.O.E. ops and decorated for his gallantry. Condolences to all the family. pic.twitter.com/sZeBMNNEn9
— Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland (@RBL_Ireland) October 6, 2021
Irish Air Corps shared a photo from Bill’s 100th birthday with the message: "We were very saddened to learn this news. @GOCAirCorps seen here recently meeting Flt Lt RETD Bill Leckie on the occasion of his 100th birthday. From all @IrishAirCorps, ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam"
We were very saddened to learn this news. @GOCAirCorps seen here recently meeting Flt Lt RETD Bill Leckie on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
From all @IrishAirCorps, ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam https://t.co/CjRN2GEpU4 pic.twitter.com/5jjprrcd0g
— Irish Air Corps (@IrishAirCorps) October 7, 2021
Twitter users poured in to offer their condolences.
"RIP. One of a unique generation whose bravery and sacrifice should never be forgotten," one man wrote.
"Sad news! The last of the greatest generation! Not many left," said another.