Dame Vera Lynn with life-size cutout of herself after being named personality of the century 230300 CREDIT PA
UK

Dame Vera Lynn As 'Iconic As A Spitfire': Flypast Pilot Pays Tribute To Forces' Sweetheart

The aircraft will take off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and will refuel in west London before flying over the funeral cortege.

Dame Vera Lynn with life-size cutout of herself after being named personality of the century 230300 CREDIT PA

A Spitfire pilot taking part in a flypast ahead of Dame Vera Lynn's funeral has told Forces News she is "as iconic" as the famous aircraft itself. 

The Forces' Sweetheart, who entertained British troops with morale-boosting visits to the frontline during the Second World War, died last month, aged 103.

Her funeral is being held later on Friday which will include a flypast from two Spitfires from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Squadron Leader Mark Discombe, the flight's Commanding Officer, said the aircraft is "perfect" for the commemorations.

"We got an aircraft that sounds beautiful, with a lady whose beautiful music obviously stirred a lot of people in really dark times," he said.

"[The Spitfires] tend to sing, especially when you have the two of them together - so a perfect opportunity to think about the beautiful music of Dame Vera Lynn."

The adored singer became an icon during the Second World War and her music helped raise the mood of the nation - spurring on millions of Britons during times of great fear and uncertainty.

Some of her most famous songs include 'We'll Meet Again' and 'The White Cliffs of Dover'.

Squadron Leader Discombe said when flying the Spitfire over the White Cliffs of Dover for VE Day 75 commemorations in May, he was "thinking about Dame Vera Lynn's music".

WATCH: Squadron Leader Mark Discombe speaks to Forces News.

"We spent 20 minutes in beautiful blue skies, going up and down the White Cliffs of Dover, so that was kind of in the background," he said.

He said it is that song he will "in particular" remember Dame Vera for, as well as watching Second World War veterans "wistfully listening" to her music.

The Spitfires are set to fly over the funeral cortege three times at around midday.

The cortege will be in Dame Vera's home village of Ditchling, East Sussex, where crowds are expected to gather.

One of the Spitfires took part in the Battle of Britain and the other was involved in D-Day.

Squadron Leader Discombe said they are the flight's aircraft with the most battle honours.

The cortege will then move on to the crematorium in Brighton, where a tri-service route-lining party will wait outside the chapel, together with a military bearer party ready to receive the coffin.

A bugler from the Royal Marines will provide a musical tribute inside the chapel, and the Ministry of Defence will be represented by a senior officer who, along with the bugler and the small family group, will be the only people to attend the funeral service.

Cover image: PA.