World War Two hero, 96, volunteers at de Havilland Aircraft Museum

Ron Green on steward duty at the de Havilland Museum

Ron Green on steward duty at the de Havilland Museum

Archant

Age is no barrier to being a volunteer at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, the home of the Mosquito Aircraft Museum.

A 96-year-old war veteran has become the oldest person to volunteer at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.

Ron Green, who served in the RAF during World War Two and was a Flight Sergeant on Lancaster bombers in 1945, is once again surrounded by aircraft.

Ron, who lives just down the road from the museum in London Colney, devotes two days a week as a steward at the Salisbury Hall site.

He passes on his knowledge of some of the historic aircraft designed and built in the company’s since-closed Hatfield factory.

The de Havilland DH98 MosquitoThe de Havilland DH98 Mosquito

Ron said: “I joined the museum a couple of years ago and I am thoroughly enjoying helping our visitors.”

One way or another, aircraft have taken Ron to far-flung places.

His wartime service saw him posted to Ceylon, Bulawayo, Salisbury in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and Ismailia in Egypt, before aircrew training at St Athan near Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.

Most of his RAF service (1939-43) saw Ron on ground duties, as an equipment assistant.

de Havilland Aircraft Museumde Havilland Aircraft Museum

In 1943, as a Flight Sergeant in charge of all supplies to an RAF squadron (273), he gained permission to take up pilot training.

Despite gaining his pilot’s wings in 1944, to Ron’s disappointment he never got to fly a Spitfire.

“I really wanted to do that, but it never happened,” he said.

After the war, Ron was demobbed in 1946.

Like many ex-service people, a career as a teacher beckoned, with his first appointment being in King’s Cross, London, followed by three years in one-teacher schools in New South Wales, Australia, before returning to the UK to work at schools in Stamford Hill and Bedford.

“I had really enjoyed being a teacher and it wasn’t until 1980 that I decided to retire,” said Ron.

Ron and his wife, who died in 2015, had three children and he is now a great-great-grandfather.

He said: “Being a volunteer at the museum has added a new interest and talking about aircraft again, after being away from them for more than 70 years, is incredible.

“I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who can devote one or more days a week.

“It doesn’t matter if they have any particular skills.”

• Details of volunteering, just like Ron, can be found at the museum website at www.dehavillandfmuseum.co.uk

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