Brave Eric Clegg served his country as a pilot with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
Now an exhibition of his life is on show at Sunderland Central Library, thanks to son Colin.
Warrant Officer Clegg kept flying logs, photographs and even his uniform after leaving the RAF in 1946.
When the 88-year-old was moved into a care home, Colin took charge of his dad's affairs and discovered the historical treasure trove.
The history buff from Grindon collected together all the information, which he has dubbed "A Pilot's View".
With help from the Sandhill Centre History Group, the 52-year-old created the display, which launched this week.
Officer Clegg was born in December 1921. After volunteering for the RAF he trained at Hendon, London, and Cambridge, before being transferred to Alabama in the US.
On returning to the UK, he was involved in a serious crash at Aston Down, after the plane he was flying suffered engine failure, leaving him in hospital for several weeks.
After recovering, he was posted to India and Burma, before being demobbed and finding a job in marine insurance.
In 1955 he met wife Nan, who has since died, and went on to have two children – Colin and David, who lives in Chepstow.
Eric, who suffers from Alzheimer's, joined his son for the opening of the exhibition, which is at the library's ground floor until Thursday, before moving to the Sandhill Centre in Grindon.
Colin hopes visitors will learn something from it.
"I hope people will see how our forefathers fought for the country we have now, as I think it is a story which will be forgotten.
"He was one of the many unsung heroes who volunteered to fight for his country to defend the rights of everyone to live in a free and democratic society.