June 6, 2014— -- A British D-Day veteran who was reported missing from a nursing home turned up in Normandy today after traveling to France to mark the invasion's 70th anniversary, authorities said.
Bernard Jordan, 89, sneaked out of the home on England’s south coast on Thursday after being told by staff he could not make the trip to Normandy. Donning his war medals, the Royal Navy veteran joined his former comrades on a coach and then a ferry to travel to France.
The nursing home staff called police Thursday to report Jordan missing. Officers started searching the area, including checking nearby hospitals but failed to find him.
This morning the local police chief tweeted: "Love this: 89yr old veteran reported missing by care home who said he can’t go to Normandy for #DDay70 remembrance. We’ve found him there!"
The plucky veteran even took time to get his picture taken with the crew of the ferry and the “Candy Girls,” performers who were on board this week to entertain veterans with music of the 1940’s.
Jordan was scheduled to return tonight, and ferry officials said they gave him a cabin, all meals and a car to take him back to his nursing home.
“I knew he was a game old boy," said Sonia Pittam, who met him on board the ferry and took him to his cabin and then up to the ferry's bridge. "He certainly has his wits about him. He didn't say much about the [D-Day] landings, just how pleased he was to be on board and couldn't believe how everyone was looking after them and all the people waving on the route to the harbor entrance.”
Jordan told ferry staff that he felt like he was on a luxury cruise, officials from Brittany Ferries told ABC News today.