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Airman shot down over France in emotional reunion

Sgt Len Manning, right, with fellow veteran Ivan Potter at the Project Propeller event. Picture: VICTORIA PANTON BACON

Sgt Len Manning, right, with fellow veteran Ivan Potter at the Project Propeller event. Picture: VICTORIA PANTON BACON

Archant

A Suffolk veteran shot down over France in the Second World War had an emotional reunion with members of his Lancaster Bomber crew.

Sgt Len Manning was one of seven crew members onboard the aircraft shot down over France in July 1944.

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Only one of three men to survive the tragedy, he was sheltered by the French resistance and rescued a couple of months later by Americans, who flew him home.

Sgt Manning was one of 100 RAF veterans from the 1939-45 conflict at Coventry Airport for the annual Project Propeller gathering, where private pilots fly them in for a reunion with their former colleagues as a thank you for the years of war time service.

Graham Cowie, one of the organisers of the event, said: "It's an honour and a privilege to have them as our guests and thank them in this way for all they achieved in the dark days of the Second World War.

"When I see a veteran's face light up as a Lancaster or a Spitfire or a Hurricane, that we have arranged for them, roars overhead in salute, it makes all our efforts worthwhile."

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