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  1. ITV Report

Prince William meets RAF veterans at Battle of Britain memorial flight display

The Duke of Cambridge greeted veterans of the Battle of Britain Credit: MOD

The Duke of Cambridge met veterans of the Second World War as he attended an air display to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

William is patron of the Flight, which was formed to honour the iconic planes involved in the conflict at the end of 1940. These include a Hawker Hurricane and a Lancaster.

The Duke arrived at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire by helicopter then spoke to veterans before watching an air display of a Lancaster, three Spitfires and a Hurricane flown by serving RAF aircrew.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was formed in July 1957 Credit: MOD

Veteran Rusty Waughman, 94, who was a Lancaster pilot from 1943 to 1944, spoke to William.

He was so easy to talk to, so pleasant. Being here brings back so many memories.

– Rusty Waughman, RAF veteran

Rusty was 20 years old when he first piloted a Lancaster bomber, and said was a "privilege" to fly.

However, he added that 101 Squadron, which performed radio counter measure duties, had a 60% attrition rate, and he was "very fortunate" to survive.

The Duke has completed his service with the RAF Search and Rescue Force Credit: MOD

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was formed on 11 July 1957 by Group Captain Peter Thompson, a former Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot.

He set about collecting and preserving examples of the main aircraft involved in the conflict to honour the RAF's defence of the UK against German attacks at the end of 1940, having realised many were falling out of service.

Group Captain Thompson began the flight with a Hurricane and three photo reconnaissance Spitfires.

Prince William is Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coninsgby Credit: MOD

The BBMF now has 12 historic aircraft, including a Lancaster, a Dakota, six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, and two Chipmunks, which are used for training.

It has displayed at or flown past thousands of events as a living tribute to those who have served in the RAF.

William, who completed his service with the RAF Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey, is Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coninsgby.

The event commemorated the RAF's defence of the UK against German attacks at the end of 1940 Credit: MOD