Prince William has attended a commemorative flight to mark 60 years since the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
It marked 77 years since the start of the Battle of Britain- the United Kingdom’s defence against Nazi Germany air attacks. It was a major turning point in World War 2 and stopped Germany from invading Britain. 1,023 Royal Air Force aircraft were downed alongside 544 pilots who lost their lives.
Prince William is a patron of the Flight, which aims to honour the iconic planes that fought in the Battle of Britain. The Flight was set up 60 years ago by Peter Thomson, a veteran of the Battle of Britain. Peter Thomson began collecting aircraft involved in the conflict. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight currently has 12 historical aircraft, including one of the only two flying Lancaster bombers in the world.
The Flight has flown at thousands of events as a living memorial to those who served in the Royal Air Force.
William arrived by helicopter then spent time talking and joking with the gathered veterans before watching an air display made up of a Lancaster, three Spitfires, and a Hurricane.
Veteran Rusty Waughman, who flew a Lancaster bomber from 1943 to 1944 had a chance to speak to Prince William. He said William was “so easy to talk to, so pleasant.” He added that being there to view the memorial fight “brings back so many memories.”
Rusty was 20 years old when he first piloted the bomber. He said it was a “privilege” to have the chance to fly. However, he added that 101 Squadron had a 60% attrition rate. “To survive, we were very fortunate”
Vernon Morgan, who also served as a Lancaster bomber said that “William was a very nice chap. He spent time talking to everyone. He was it was an honour to be there and meet everyone.” He added that he thanked Prince William for attending. “It means a lot.”
Prince William is a qualified pilot and served as a full-time pilot with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue.