Tony Foulds hoped a tribute would be paid for them men who lost their lives Credit BBC Dan Walker
WWII

Dream Come True: Pensioner's Wish For Flypast Tribute Is Honoured

The campaign to fulfil the wish of the 82-year-old went viral on Twitter.

Tony Foulds hoped a tribute would be paid for them men who lost their lives Credit BBC Dan Walker

The 82-year-old regularly visited and looked after the memorial for the men who lost their lives (Picture: Dan Walker/Twitter).

A pensioner who has spent much of his life looking after a war memorial to 10 airmen broke down in tears as he was told there will be a flypast to honour their memory.

It followed a social media campaign by television presenter Dan Walker.

Tony Foulds was just eight-years-old when he witnessed the B-17 Flying Fortress, the American plane which was carrying the men, crash in the park on February 22 1944, killing all 10 of them.

The aircraft, nicknamed "Mi Amigo", was returning from a bombing raid, and the then-schoolboy believes it deliberately steered out of the way of him and his friends.

Ever since a memorial to the men was erected in the park in the 1970s, Mr Foulds, who suffers from a severe tremor that makes his hands shake uncontrollably, has devoted much of his time to keeping the area clean and planting flowers.

He told the BBC it would be a dream to see a military flypast at the park to pay tribute to the men.

On Tuesday, Mr Foulds broke down in tears as Colonel Will Marshall of RAF Lakenheath, which houses a US Air Force unit and personnel, told him live on BBC Breakfast: "It gives me great pleasure to say: Look to the skies on February 22 for a very special flyby."

The pensioner, who was visibly emotional, said:

"That's everything to me. That's everything I wanted."

The special tribute will take place on the 75th anniversary of the crash, and Mr Foulds said on BBC Breakfast: "They're my family, my family.

"It's not a memorial, to me. The actual memorial is mine, apart from one day a year when it's the 22nd [of February]. Every other time, it's mine."

He added: "It's the tribute they deserve."