Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Bomber pilot's funeral in Sheffield boosted by appeal

George Thompson
Image caption George Thompson patrolled skies above the Burmese jungle until VJ Day in August, 1945

Hundreds of people are expected to answer an appeal to attend the funeral of a 96-year-old war veteran who died with no surviving family.

Former RAF pilot George Thompson, from Sheffield, died in a care home on 14 May.

The World War Two veteran served as a bomber pilot then as a night fighter pilot, before being demobbed with the rank of warrant officer.

The RAF has urged people to attend his funeral in Sheffield on Friday.

Derek Padgett, from RAF Rotherham, said: "We thought it was a shame that someone who had such a service record should be sent on his final journey with just two friends and a couple of people from the care home.

"We thought if we could generate some interest we could get 20 people there, but its gone global more or less. We're hoping for hundreds, if not more. We're over the moon about it."

Mr Thompson was accepted into the RAF when he was 24-years-old and flew bombers in the USA and Canada before training to become a night fighter.

His squadron flew night interception and patrolled skies above the Burmese jungle looking for Japanese incursions until VJ Day in August, 1945.

He left the RAF the following year.

The funeral will take place at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium at 3.30pm.

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