A World War Two veteran recently reunited with his medals was the guest of honour at a special service to mark the return of the Lancaster Bomber to the skies of Lincolnshire.
Donald Nicholson, 93, returned to the International Bomber Command Centre less than two weeks after he was one of the visitors for the grand unveiling of the memorial spire on Canwick Hill.
The day was bittersweet for Donald as following the ceremony, he realised he had lost his Bomber Command Clasp, the 39-45 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal and the Victory Medal.
An appeal issued by the team at the Bomber Command Centre was shared by over 6,000 people on Facebook, and more than 65 volunteers headed to the site armed metal detectors to try to find the priceless medals.
Luckily, Donald’s medals were found at a police station close to his home in Tyne and Wear, 100 miles north of Lincoln.
An emotional Donald, who was proudly wearing his medals at the ceremony, thanked the people who had taken part in the search.
Donald was not the only one to enjoy the special flypast, as hundreds of photographers and keen aviation enthusiasts made sure they caught sight of the Lancaster, which had been grounded since May due to an engine fire.
To the disappointment of many, Thumper wasn’t ready in time for the unveiling of the spire in front of over 200 veterans on October 2.
Hundreds gathered on Monday, October 12 as the aircraft finally passed its test flight at its RAF Coningsby base, before its first official performance over Canwick Hill.
Reaction to the Lancaster’s return was unanimously positive on social media, with photographers and locals capturing the historic occasion.
— Tom Blake (@theblakokid) October 14, 2015