AN RAF veteran who dreamed of soaring into the sky had his wish answered.

Richard Chaplin, 91, hung his idea on a “wishing tree” at his care home at Corner Lodge, Jaywick Sands.

He had no idea the wish would be passed onto his daughter, Beryl Law, who booked a surprise 30-minute flight from Clacton Airfield.

Accompanied by Debbie Collins, who started the wishing tree, the dad-of-nine flew another daughter, Karen Buer, and grandson Matthew over Clacton.

Debbie said: “Apparently he didn’t wait for the pilot’s instructions - he just pulled back on the yoke.

“It was brilliant to see his face because he was just grinning, especially once we got him on the place.

“He had to sit on a few cushions because he couldn’t see over the cockpit but the pilot reassured him once he was in the air and had levelled out, he’d be able to see everything.

“It was breathtakingly wonderful and put tears in my eyes.”

Mr Chaplin, who was born in Colchester, served in the RAF as a chef, and in the Territorial Army, but never took to the skies.

He is the last surviving member of his 12-sibling family, having survived a twin brother and his wife Nancy, who died at Corner Lodge last September, aged 91.

The pair were married for 72 years and shared 14 grandchildren and more than ten great-grandchildren.

Daughter Beryl added: “He used to make model planes for the grandchildren.

“My mum was in the Land Army. When they got married, they first went to Jaywick then moved back to Clacton and have stayed there ever since.”

Corner Lodge is appealing for a car owner with a Rolls Royce to offer a ride for another wish to be fulfilled.

Contact activities co-ordinator Debbie Collins on 01255 220228.