A Normandy veteran who was badly injured by an exploding mine has celebrated his 100th birthday by taking to the air.

Former Royal Navy officer Boyd Salmon was treated to a 40-minute flight over the Solent area - his home for the past four decades.

After taking off from Bournemouth Airport, the Bliss Aviation helicopter flew towards Southampton before heading down Southampton Water.

After that it turned south-west, giving him a bird's eye view of Calshot, Lymington, and other parts of the Solent coastline.

Bournemouth Echo: Normandy veteran Boyd Salmon, 100, with his birthday card from the King and QueenNormandy veteran Boyd Salmon, 100, with his birthday card from the King and Queen (Image: Newsquest.)

In a separate event, Mr Salmon went to the Lymington branch of the Royal British Legion and was invited to take part in a parade in June to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

"It was a fabulous birthday," he said.

READ MORE: D-Day veteran, 100, returns to the Hampshire beach from where he embarked on the historic landings

Mr Salmon joined the navy at the age of 17. After training at the former HMS Vernon in Portsmouth, he travelled to Normandy in the immediate aftermath of the invasion.

His job was to destroy enemy mines that were littering the beaches, posing a threat to troops and the equipment they were taking ashore.

Bournemouth Echo: Boyd Salmon, 100, with the birthday card he received from the King and QueenBoyd Salmon, 100, with the birthday card he received from the King and Queen (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Salmon began on Sword Beach before carrying out similar duties in Holland, where he was wounded in 1945.

He was only feet from a mine on Domburg Beach when it exploded, causing serious abdominal injuries. He was treated at various hospitals and also spent time at Osborne House, part of which was used as a convalescent home.

READ MORE: How Southampton will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings

"I was going to put an explosive charge on the mine and blow it up - but it blew up on me," he said.

"I think it must have been a delayed action device. Either that or it was set off by vibrations caused by me heading towards it."

Bournemouth Echo: Troops prepared to storm Sword beach on June 6 1944Troops prepared to storm Sword beach on June 6 1944 (Image: Supplied)

Mr Salmon was left with a large scar and pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body.

The Normandy landings involved 132,000 Allied servicemen and changed the course of the Second World War. But like many of the people involved, Mr Salmon plays down the risks he faced and the incredible courage he displayed.

Modestly recalling his hazardous role in mine clearance work he said: "It all sounds terribly brave and important, but it wasn't."

After being discharged from the Navy in 1946, Mr Salmon embarked on a career in engineering. He and his late wife Jacqueline were married on June 6 1950 - the sixth anniversary of D-Day.

He lives at Court Lodge care home in Court Close, Pennington, a stone's throw from his former home in a street called Clarendon Park.