Thousands will watch the special Battle of Britain air display today (September 15) with great pride and among them will be 92-year-old Eric Greenyer from Selsey.
Eric joined the RAF on his 18th birthday in 1941 and served as a senior aircraftsman until 1947.
Serving in 32 Squadron in North Africa and then Italy during the second world war, Eric fixed Hurricanes which were piloted to carry out night flights intercepting German planes.
The flyover of Spitfires and Hurricanes will go right over Eric’s Beacon Drive house on Selsey Bill today after setting off from Goodwood at mid-day.
“I will be watching it from my house,” Eric said. “I’ve heard there will be about 50 planes including Hurricanes which will be an amazing sight.”
Like so many war veterans, Eric is humble about having risked his life for his country.
He said: “It always amazes me how much interest people show considering it was 75 years ago. When I go into town on my buggy, people salute me and I just think ‘what on earth is going on?’”
“After the war ended there wasn’t really much fuss or bother, people were just relieved the war had ended.”
One of the memories Eric recounts is travelling on one of a convoy of 800 ships across the Atlantic when German Stuka planes dive-bombed, sinking many.
“Our squadron followed our army through North Africa to Italy, shooting trains and anything that moved on the ground,” he said. “I’m proud we did our part in the war effort.”
Eric moved to Selsey in 1999 with his beloved wife Dehra, who sadly passed away last week.
A picture of Winston Churchill and one of his squadron sit proudly on a wall in his house, alongside his medals.
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