A Second World War veteran who worked to confuse the Germans in the days after the D-Day landings has finally fulfilled a lifelong ambition to go up in a hot air balloon.
The trip was arranged by staff at Connaught Court Care Home at Fulford, where Ron Shelly, now aged 98, lives.
The first date he was due to fly – in August 2019 – had to be cancelled because of the weather. Covid restrictions meant there was to be a two-year delay before he could get in the basket again.
Yesterday evening (Monday 2 August) with the help of Yorkshire Balloon Flights pilot Oliver Webb, Ron finally took the skies above his home city.
Ron was a wireless operator and was sent to France just six days after the D-Day landings in 1944..
At the age of 22 he was involved in sending out false messages to mislead the Germans making them think the allied forces were too big to risk attack.
Pilot Oliver Webb said he was honoured to have been able to take Ron on the trip and that he had a big smile on his face the whole flight.
“We managed to see the Minster from about 2000 feet and Ron was able to point out all the local landmarks he knows so well too,” Oliver said.
He also spotted the Masons Arms pub on Fishergate, which he used to run in the 1970s.
Ron’s trip will feature on BBC Look North tonight (Tuesday, 3 August) on BBC1 Yorkshire at 6.30pm.