Sunderland war veteran still helping others – despite being 91

War veteran John Hall

War veteran John Hall

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A NINETY-one-year-old war veteran is helping young ex-members of the armed forces adjust to life on Civvy Street.

Flight Lieutenant John Hall, from Grindon, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after flying 60 bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe in the Second World War.

Yet despite approaching his 92nd birthday, the pensioner is mentoring struggling former RAF, Royal Navy and Army service personnel with the Forces For Good support group.

He also attends meetings at community venues to share his experiences.

“Fortunately for me, I was able to go back to my old job once I’d left the armed forces, but that isn’t always the case,” he said.

“There are many people who can’t adjust to life after they leave the Army, Navy or RAF. They sometimes forget what civilian life is like and need to learn it all over again.

“It’s important to let them know that they are not alone, to tell them that there is someone there to talk to and listen.”

Mr Hall, a former Lancaster bomber rear gunner who still holds his rank as an honorary title, took part in the raid on Nuremberg in March 1944.

A total of 795 bombers were sent to the industrial town, and 95 failed to return.

More airmen were killed that night than in the entire Battle of Britain.

Tony Wright, from Forces For Good, paid tribute to Mr Hall and said: “He is respected by everyone.”