A 99-year-old American war veteran has returned to the skies after a chance meeting with a local pilot at the airfield he flew missions from 80 years ago.
Lieutenant Ray Hobbs returned to Horham Airfield, in Suffolk, as part of a reunion trip organised by the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association.
When the group took a tour of the airstrip in a convoy of WWII vehicles, it prompted local Sling Aircraft pilot, Rod Wheeler, to abort landing his Sling 4 light aircraft.
But after Mr Wheeler did manage to touch down, he discovered that Lt Hobbs had once flown B-17s from the airfield – and offered to take him up.
Lt Hobbs’ family watched on in tears as the pair flew several circuits of the airfield. Mr Wheeler said, “At 1,000 ft up, Ray took control of the plane and he flew it perfectly. I was struck by how calm Ray was, he was totally aware.”