A 99 year old RAF veteran has given his seal of approval to a memorial erected to seven airmen killed in a plane crash in Nottinghamshire during the Second World War.
The crew of a Lancaster bomber died in 1943 when their plane crashed in the village of Halam near Southwell. Last year a granite memorial was unveiled in their honour after two locals - Andrew Paris and Tony Denyer - campaigned for the crash site to be recognised. Relatives of the crew from Australia, Canada and the UK were present at the blessing.
Jim Flint is the oldest and most decorated surviving RAF war veteran and Bomber Command pilot. He flew 56 missions and became a Commanding Officer. During his career he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), the George Medal and the Aircraft Efficiency Medal (AE). Jim received the George Medal for bravery after his plane ditched in the sea off the coast of Norfolk. His navigator was trapped and Jim swam back to rescue him.
Today he spoke about the need to remember the war dead.
– Jim Flint
"There was many a mission I flew that I honestly didn't know if I would return home from. I lost so many dear friends during the Second World War and to have colleagues recognised with these special memorials is marvellous."
The memorial at Halam is one of a number of RAF crash sites that have been recognised by Nottinghamshire County Council through their Local Improvement Scheme. Over the last eight years the Council has spent around £500,000 to fund the restoration and creation of more than 35 war memorials across Nottinghamshire, including the village of Staunton near Newark, and Milton near Retford.