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February 23, 2019

WHILE ELITE BRITS DIS CHURCHILL, ORDINARY BRITS DO THIS: Dream comes true for the man who honoured his heroes: Pensioner weeps as thousands join him to watch fly-past to honour WWII airmen whose memorial he tended for decades – and BBC presenter Dan Walker who helped organise event even cries too.

A pensioner broke down in tears today after his lifelong dream was realised when thousands joined him for a flypast in memory of ten Second World War heroes whose plane crashed as they tried to avoid him and his friends.

Huge crowds applauded and cheered for Tony Foulds, 82, in emotional scenes as they gathered at Endcliffe Park in Sheffield to watch the aircraft pay tribute to the American crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress, nicknamed Mi Amigo.

Mr Foulds was eight years old in February 1944 when he witnessed the fireball crash in the park 75 years ago – claiming the lives of ten US airmen – as the pilot tried to avoid him and his friends.

He has dedicated seven decades of his life to the memory of the airmen he never met, spending up to six days a week tending the memorial to them. Mr Foulds said: ‘It’s more than bravery, what they did. They saved me.’ . . . .

A crowd of thousands of people cheered following the flypast, with a clear day meaning the audience had a good view of the planes flying over.

Speaking earlier on BBC Breakfast, Mr Foulds told the crowds: ‘Thank you very much for coming, it’s lovely see you. I can’t wait to get among you.’

The programme also showed footage of Mr Foulds meeting the families of some of the airmen who lost their lives in the crash 75 years ago.

He said: ‘I never thought I would ever meet any of the families of this pilot and crew.’ The pensioner described them as ‘lovely, lovely people’.

And Mr Foulds told Charlie Stayt and Steph McGovern on BBC Breakfast today: ‘Thank you very much, I can’t believe it. Yorkshire people, this is what they’re like.’

Wish this had gotten some coverage here in the States; as far as I can tell it didn’t.

More here.