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Pilot who 'saved Palace' honoured
Ray Holmes saved Buckingham Palace from a German attack
A wartime fighter pilot who saved Buckingham Palace when he rammed a German bomber is being honoured.
Sergeant Ray Holmes, who died earlier this year at 90 in Wirral, rammed his plane into the bomber when he found he had run out of ammunition.
His former squadron will be presented with a model of the Hurricane made from its melted-down engine on Wednesday.
Sgt Holmes's widow Anne will attend the ceremony at the 504 Squadron base at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.
The airman managed to survive by parachuting out of his plane after crashing into the tail of the German Dornier aircraft in September 1940, during the Battle of Britain.
The German plane spiralled into the forecourt of Victoria Station.
Air Vice-Marshal Barry Newton, Honorary Inspector-General of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, said: "Sgt Holmes deserves the highest praise for his courage and determination.
"He was one of our heroes, in the finest traditions of the Auxiliary Air Force.
Sgt Holmes' heroic ramming of a German bomber has become one of the most celebrated events of the Battle of Britain
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Air Staff
"It is fitting that the date of 15 September, when he slammed his Hurricane into that Dornier, has come to be known as Battle of Britain Day and has been commemorated every year since."
Last year, archaeologists unearthed parts of Sgt Holmes's fighter plane for a TV documentary about his exploits.
Sgt Holmes, whose nickname was Arty, continued to fly throughout the war, becoming an instructor teaching Russians how to fly Hurricanes.
He later moved into photo-reconnaissance, taking pictures from 30,000ft over Germany of locations such as Berlin and Hitler's hideout at Berchtesgaden.
He ended the war flying as the King's Messenger, delivering mail for Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Air Staff, said: "Sgt Holmes' heroic ramming of a German bomber has become one of the most celebrated events of the Battle of Britain.
"It took place on a day that turned out to be the turning point in the Battle; soon afterwards Hitler realised he could not overcome the RAF's defence of these islands, and instead turned his attention eastwards towards Russia."
After he saw the end of active service, Sgt Holmes returned to Bebington, in Wirral, where he worked as a journalist.
I heared a rumour about this guy a while back and did some digging about, fascinating story!!