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The end of war and the start of a lifetime of love: VJ Day for one RAF veteran

Delays in repairs left RAF veteran Arthur Northfield strip washing over a sink before the Fund stepped in to provide a grant to replace his boiler.

The 96-year-old had been waiting for six weeks for a promised repair to take place until his son Micky spotted the Fund's advert and realised his father was eligible for support.

RAF veteran Arthur Northfield VJ Day 75 RAF Benevolent FundRAF veteran Arthur Northfield

Arthur Northfield joined the RAF in 1942 halfway through the Second World War as a Stirling bomber Flight Engineer in Bomber Command, completing numerous missions over Germany before switching to Special Operations. He and his crew took part in D-Day, Operation Overlord, towing gliders full of paratroopers over France and bombing railway lines to impede the German invasion.

He survived four 'maydays' including one where he ditched into the English Channel when returning from a mission over Norway in late 1944. He was picked up and treated in Cherbourg hospital by American personnel.

On VJ Day Arthur was intending to travel to London to celebrate with his pals, stopping into a pub in Romford along the way. But he got no further as there he met his beloved Mary and the couple were married for 65 years. Shortly after VJ Day, Arthur went out to India before being demobbed at the rank of Warrant Officer in 1947.

Arthur leads a long line of servicemen who have served their country; his son Micky served for 35 years as a Marine and saw active service in the Falklands; his grandson James joined the RAF and served during the first Gulf War and his great-grandson Kieran is currently serving in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan.

Arthur has been awarded the Legion D' Honneur, and he also received the Bomber Command Clasp.

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