Amazing cockpit footage of Red Arrows VE Day flypast over London

8 May 2020, 10:38

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The Red Arrows have performed a stunning flypast over London to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Meanwhile, RAF Typhoons appeared above Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast as the air force paid its respects to those who fought and died in the Second World War.

In a message posted on social media, the Red Arrows said they wanted to "pay tribute to those who valiantly defended our nation, our lives and our freedom. Thank you."

In a video posted on the Royal Air Force's Twitter page, a Red Arrows pilot said: "The RAF is proud of its history and tradition, a legacy that has been forged through the action of our forebears, such as those who valiantly defended our nation, our lives, and our freedom during the Second World War.

The Red Arrows flying over the London eye to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day
The Red Arrows flying over the London eye to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Picture: PA

"As part of that, we want to say thank you to all those who have stood so proudly in the face of such danger and we hope to honour and continue the legacy of all those who have gone before us.

"Thank you."

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston wrote on social media: "We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to that generation of heroes, from all backgrounds and many countries, who gave so much to defend the United Kingdom and free Europe in WWII."

ACM Wigston, speaking in a video posted on Twitter, said: "Today we celebrate Victory in Europe Day; 75 years since the Second World War in Europe came to an end.

"Although only 21 years old at the outbreak, the Royal Air Force fought in every significant campaign of the war.

"It was the RAF in 1940 which inflicted Hitler's first significant defeat in the Battle of Britain.

"That glorious record came at a terrible cost in lives lost by the end of the Second World War, with many more suffering life-changing physical and mental injuries.

"Our predecessors paid that price to defend our country and free Europe and the world from Nazi tyranny.

"Today, the men and women of the Royal Air Force are still there protecting the United Kingdom.

"We are inspired by everyone who served before us, but in this year especially, the generation of heroes who fought for and won our freedom in the Second World War.

"We owe you, our veterans, an immense debt of gratitude."