Record-breaking NHS fundraiser, Captain Tom Moore, will get the ultimate ‘salute’ for his 100th birthday with a flypast courtesy of the Royal Air Force.
The WWII veteran will be celebrating his 100th birthday tomorrow (the 30th of April) after receiving over 130k birthday cards from wellwishers around the world.
Capt Moore has raised £30 million for a charity that represents a consortium of different NHS charities, which will be tasked with providing support to the frontline healthcare professionals who have been treating thousands of COVID-19 patients.
The veteran decided that, rather than sitting back and doing nothing during the lockdown, he would walk 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the men and women who serve in the NHS.
His initial target was only £1000 but as his charity walk attracted more publicity, the amount he raised skyrocketed to just under £30m.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated on Twitter that the aerial salute was “meant to be a surprise for Tom”, but confirmed it would be happening after it emerged that his department rejected an earlier plan for a flypast organised by a Spitfire restoration company.
Capt Moore has already been given a ‘Pride of Britain Award’, and his supporters have called for him to be knighted in recognition of the inspirational role he has played during the national emergency.
Kent’s Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar had organised a birthday flypast for Captain Moore involving a rare Mark 9 Spitfire named ‘The Spirit Of Kent’.
But on Monday the organisation revealed that it had been denied permission for the flight by the Department for Transport.
The firm said the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), which is based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and includes six Spitfires, is “not bound by the same restrictions”.
It added: “It is our understanding that they are now picking up the baton to provide a flypast for Captain Tom.
“Getting a Spitfire overhead for Captain Tom was always the primary goal, and we’re thrilled that this may still be possible.
“We wish the BBMF team the very best of luck and hope that the weather permits a flypast on the 30th of April.”