A SPRIGHTLY 95-year-old air force veteran made a nostalgic trip to North Yorkshire for an anniversary celebration.

Flight Lieutenant Harry Hopkins, of the 426 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force, made a trip to RAF Dishforth this week to mark the 75th anniversary of the squadron’s formation in 1942.

Harry, a former navigator, trained at Dishforth and served with the squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse where he completed 32 bombing missions and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and French Croix he Guerre.

For this week’s occasion he was flown across the Atlantic in a Canadian Air Force C130 Hercules with his grandson Chris, a current serving pilot in the Canadian air force and 18 other past and present members of the squadron, including their present commanding officer, Colonel Brent Hoddinott.

During their stay, Harry and his colleagues took part in commemorative events in Linton-on-Ouse, Newton-on-Ouse, Dishforth and Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate.

The group visited the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington near York, where Harry re-acquainted himself with a Halifax bomber - the type he flew during the war – and even found a picture of himself and his crew taken in 1944.

The trip was rounded off with a pint at the Alice Hawthorne pub at Nun Monkton, a popular social venue for Canadian aircrew during the Second World War.

Reflecting on the visit, Colonel Hodinott, said the warm welcome they had received at all the places they had visited was “truly amazing” and showed that the strong links between the Canadians and the people of North Yorkshire, forged in Second World War, were still as strong as ever.