A WARTIME RAF gunner who earned a Distinguished Flying Cross was given an emotional visit by members of his former squadron on his 100th birthday.

Personnel from RAF Leeming’s 100 Squadron presented former Squadron Leader Geoff Green with a cake to congratulate him on his birthday.

In 1943, Sqn Ldr Green was a rear gunner the iconic Phantom of the Ruhr Lancaster Bomber and completed a full tour over Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down an enemy jet whilst under attack.

Now living with dementia, Sqn Ldr Green cherishes his original 100 Squadron crest and cites his time on the ‘Phantom’.

Squadron Leader Mark Lawson, Executive Officer of 100 Squadron, said: “It’s been an honour to meet him.

The Northern Echo:

"We live the life we do because of people like him. They did incredible things at a time when they had no choice. I can’t imagine what it was like.

“As a rear gunner, he was the most vulnerable member of the crew. The story of the Phantom of the Ruhr is something which has gone down in 100 Squadron history. He’s an absolute hero and will always be part of 100 Squadron.”

The emotional reunion was thanks to Geoff’s daughter, Laura. She said: “I contacted the Squadron to ask for a birthday card – this is more than I could have hoped for.

"Dad told me a lot about his crew but didn’t say much else – he’s the only one left now.

"He wouldn’t tell me why he got the DFC – I only found it in a newspaper clipping. I am very proud of him.”