RAF airman's 100th birthday marked with Typhoon flypast at Teesside Airport

  • Video report by Kris Jepson

A former RAF airman has celebrated his 100th birthday with a flypast by his former squadron.

Members of 6 Squadron took to the skies over Teesside International Airport in Typhoons to mark the birthday of Warrant Officer Kaz Yajima, who served in Southern Italy during the Second World War.

WO Yajima was also given a guard of honour and presented with medals which he had never received for his service.

He said: "It's been wonderful actually. I'm very thankful to the people who've organised this, particularly the station commander both of the Squadron and at Leeming."

Warrant Officer Kaz Yajima served in Southern Italy during the Second World War. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

After training in South Africa at the age of 18 under the Empire Flying Scheme, WO Yajima volunteered to join 6 Squadron.

He arrived in Foggia on 1 August 1944, where he was involved in armed reconnaissance, anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in the Hurricane Mk IV.

He said: "The Hurricane was an amazing aircraft. It was very adaptable and it was a utility vehicle as much as anything, for carrying out operations.

"I think the special thing about them was that it was one thing that you could measure to an individual. We all had our favourite aircraft and mine was the Hurricane."

WO Yajima still bears scars below his left eye from a perspex splinter, caused by ammunition which came through one side of the cockpit and ricocheted off his goggles.

Wing Commander Noel Rees, Officer commanding 6 Squadron said: "It's been a massive honour to be here today and to support such an important event.

"These sort of events are rare so it's great that we've been here and we've also been able to bring two aircraft here as well to do the flypast to honour Kaz's service.

"To see him at 100 years old finally get his medals is an absolute honour to be a part of it."

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