A former World War Two fighter pilot fulfilled a lifelong ambition today by flying a spitfire for the first time - at the age of ninety-one! Neville Croucher from Dover took to the skies above Headcorn. Andy Dickenson reports.
A World War 2 fighter pilot will fulfill his lifelong ambition to fly a spitfire today - at the age of ninety. Neville Croucher, from Dover, flew a Hawker Hurricane in the war but never had the chance to fly a Spitfire.
Neville will be flying alongside other spitfires and war planes out of Headcorn. The planes have returned to this last remaining wartime strip known as "Hellfire Corner" where a museum will be dedicated to the courageous war-time pilots.
To mark the 69th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, WW2 veteran Wally Smith from Ramsgate will be revisiting the place he fought in Normandy.
Wally will be supported by the Big Lottery Fund's Heroes Return 2 programme which has helped more than 54,000 veterans.
The veteran will be visiting the scene of one of the most audacious Allied offensives in WW2, Operation Market Garden.
It was the largest airborne operation in history and is awarding grants to veterans to return to the places they saw action.
He joined the Army in 1941 and served at Arnhem as a Lance Corporal with the 4th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment.
– Wally Smith
Whilst there we lay wreaths at war memorial monuments, including the monument at the Arnhem bridge and at the war cemetery. Dutch school children attend and all lay flowers at the war graves, and it is very emotional.Although this may be the last year we organise a group trip, I will keep going back every year, with my son, for as long as I can.
We do it for the comrades that were left behind.”
The remains of a wartime Hurricane which was shot down during a dogfight over Sussex lay buried and undiscovered for more than 50 years - until in 1996 parts of the aircraft were dug up. They've been in a museum ever since.
That was until today, when some sections of the plane were presented to the landlord of a pub in Hove - named after the pilot and located just yards away from where he lost his life.
Charlotte Wilkins takes up the story and speaks to Keith Arnold, a local historian & John Samuels - an eye witness.
A Hove pub, named after a pilot who was killed, will today be presented pieces of a crashed WW2 Hurricane.
The Noble House is named in honour of Dennis Noble who was killed when the aircraft was hit during the Battle of Britain.
A Battle of Britain historian will present the pub with long-awaited pieces from the Hawker Hurricane after the crash site was filled in and the aircraft could not be found.
To many, they're the unsung heroes of WW2 - the air crews who flew night-time raids against Nazi Germany. Now, members of the RAF's Bomber Command are to have their own memorial in a London park. Veterans from Meridian have helped to launch an appeal for funds. Malcolm Shaw reports.