A D-DAY hero who was recently honoured for his role in the battle has died at the age of 92.

Phil Carey, MBE, who landed on Utah Beach with the Royal 2nd Tactical Airforce, passed away at Poole Hospital this morning.

He was a former Bournemouth and Dorset County Councillor, a stalwart of Boscombe Salvation Army and, for many years, the organiser of the Daily Echo’s Toy Appeal.

News of his death sparked tributes from council and community leaders.

Bournemouth council leader Cllr John Beesley said: “This is very sad news and my condolences go to his family at this difficult time. On behalf of everyone at Bournemouth Council I would like to pay tribute to the great work he has done for the town, both during his time as a Bournemouth councillor and since then with his work in the voluntary and community sector.

“He was an inspirational man and will be sorely missed.”

And Royal Bournemouth Hospital tweeted: “Very sad to hear news today that our former governor Phil Carey has passed away. Our condolences to his family.”

Mr Carey, who lived in Southbourne, had been in hospital recovering from an operation after breaking his hip. He had been making a good recovery but his health deteriorated last week.

Just over a fortnight ago, he was one of several Normandy veterans honoured with French commemorative medals at a special ceremony at Christchurch Civic Offices.

This added to the five medals he earned for his wartime service with the RAF and a D-Day badge of honour from the French Government.

He was awarded the MBE last year for his charity work and recently published his memoirs ‘Memoirs of an Ordinary Londoner.’

This details his early life in Tottenham before he came to Bournemouth in 1941 as an RAF conscript. He later moved to the town in 1978 with his late wife Olive.

He served on Bournemouth council between May 1995 and May 2003 and was also a keen Rotarian and a leading Salvationist, involved with the Boscombe, Poole and Winton corps.