Why is a 99-year-old WWII veteran flying a plane again and what is his connection to India?

Kate Orchard, a 99-year-old Second World War veteran from Cornwall, recently took to the skies in a glider to raise money for charity

A few days before turning 100, Kate Orchard took to the skies to raise money for charity. @RAFNewsReporter/Twitter

A 99-year-old Second World War veteran from Cornwall recently took to the skies in a glider.

Kate Orchard took off from the Seahawk Gliding Club near Helston and was watched by her family on the ground.

The former warrant officer said being able to do this at his age made him feel like he had accomplished something, the BBC reported.

Here’s why the RAF veteran has taken to the skies again:

The RAF plotter was raising money for a charity named Help for Heroes to carry out the theft.

During World War II from 1941 to 1945, Orchard had the responsibility of recording sightings of enemy aircraft allowing friendly forces to be directed against them.

“I believe passionately that it is very important that all ex-servicemen are taken care of.

“Especially those who are unlucky enough to have physical or psychological injuries,” she said, as quoted by the BBC.

As news of her daredevil fundraising adventure spread everywhere, Orchard was inundated with cards, calls and gifts from everywhere.

“I had a lot of phone calls and the doorbell rang six or seven times. I got lots of parcels and flowers, and even a nice big bottle of champagne and chocolates from the RAF in Melbourne, Australia. It’s always so good from them, ”she said, as quoted by Cornwall Live.

The Orchard Indian Connection

According to the BBC, Kate Orchard was born into a large British-Indian family of 13 siblings, with her father working as a chief telegraph inspector on Indian Railways.

When India established the Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India) in 1941, Orchard, then 20, and two of her sisters volunteered.

A year later, she was working as a plotter/scout on 24-hour watches at the Madras Air Defense Center alongside the RAF and the Indian Air Force.

She rose to the rank of Warrant Officer First Class and became a trainer for new plotters.

According to BBC report, she also met her husband, Bill, during the war who was serving in India with the Royal Artillery before being later sent to Burma.

After the war, in 1946, the couple moved into her husband’s house in Cornwall.

In 2013, Orchard was featured in the Battle of Britain Museum.

A BBC The report says Orchard is featured in films at the £9.5million Bentley Priory site in north London.

With contributions from agencies

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