Remarkable Veteran Marks 100th Birthday
Today, 24th April 2013, marks the 100th birthday of Wing Commander Jim Flint DFC. GM. DFM a most remarkable man and veteran of 57 wartime bombing missions over occupied Europe.
Jim joined the Royal Air Force in 1938 to take advantage of the opportunity to learn how to fly and be paid at the same time. Of course the outbreak of the Second World War changed all his plans and by 1941 he found himself as a sergeant pilot flying Hampden bombers over Europe.
One of his most dramatic scrapes came when his aircraft was returning from a bombing mission, when it was engaged and damaged by German fighters and forced to ditch into the North Sea. Jim and his crew managed to make it into a rubber dingy, but soon realised that their navigator was missing. Without hesitation, Jim dived into the sinking fuselage ofthe bomber and dragged his stricken comrade to safety. For this act of gallantry, Jim was awarded the highly prestigious George Medal.
As the war wore on, Jim saw action with Bomber Command at a time when casualties amongst its airmen were quite horrific. However, he rose to the challenge and excelled in his field, rising to the rank of wing commander and winning both the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) for his deeds.
Now living peacefully in a nursing home in Nottingham, Jim is renowned for wearing his dapper bowler hat and sharp pin-stripe suits. He will be celebrating his special birthday with a cake in the shape of one of the Hampden bombers that he flew so many times over enemy territory.
The Senior Citizen Liaison Team would like to salute this extra-ordinary gentleman, and wish him many happy returns for his very special day.