FORMER Second World War pilot Graham Furley, 91, has been invited to visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in Lincolnshire this summer.
The invitation came only days after two officers from RAF heritage and watchmaker Christopher Ward presented Mr Furley with a commemorative Spitfire watch to replace the one that was stolen from his home, on New Year’s Day.
During the war, Flt Lt Furley amassed several thousand flying hours which included delivering new aircraft over the Atlantic and dropping paratroopers over the D-Day beaches.
Squadron Leader Duncan Mason, commanding officer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, arranged the visit after reading about the burglary at Mr Furley’s home in Birches Drive, Stroud.
"The whole flight was disgusted to hear how one of our decorated, courageous veterans had been the victim of a burglary in his own home," he said.
"Our first reaction was, how can we give Graham Furley, a veteran Dakota pilot, something positive to look forward to?
"We arranged for Mr Furley to come and see our airworthy Dakota in Lincolnshire and to spend the day as our VIP guest.
"I understand that Flt Lt Furley is delighted with this invitation and I will be honoured to host him for his visit to the Flight."
Mr Furley could not stop smiling when he heard about the invitation.
"I am just so excited at the thought of getting back into a plane," he said.