KING Charles signs photos and chats with RAF veterans during a visit to mark the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.
He met 18 WWII heroes at an annual tea party hosted by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Charles signed a picture of the Lancaster bomber being flown by Russell “Rusty” Waughman, 100, of Kenilworth, Warwicks, telling the veterans of RAF Coningsby, Lincs: “Thank God for all these men: people like you who looked after us.”
In the May 1943 raid, the RAF used jump bombs to attack dams in the German Ruhr area.
The last surviving member of the Dambusters, Squadron Leader Johnny Johnson, died in December at the age of 101.
Bomber Command’s pilot, Flight Lieutenant Colin Bell, 102, told the King, “We are criticized by people who would never have existed had we lost the war.” Bomber Command’s goal was to destroy German attack capabilities on us.
“We had no interest in killing Germans. All we cared about was damaging the cities and the guns and weapons the Germans were supposed to be using.
“Overall, Bomber Command did a pretty good job.”