More than 4,000 people turned out at RAF Museum Cosford over the weekend, as a Lancaster bomber flew over the West Midlands in a series of Battle of Britain-themed events.
Organisers said was one of the best flypasts ever seen at the base. However a Spitfire flypast on Sunday had to be cancelled as weather conditions were poor.
The four-engine plane’s special flight marked 73 years since the end of the Battle of Britain, which had forced Adolf Hitler to postpone his plans to invade.
The plane, immortalised in the film The Dam Busters, flew over RAF Cosford as part of the commemoration of the battle on Saturday.
Visitors also got to see caravans used during the war to house people whose homes were destroyed in German bombing raids.
The Royal British Legion unveiled its new Never Forget memorial, helping the memory of loved ones to be kept alive.
A service of commemoration took place at the National Memorial Arboretum, attended by representatives from the Legion and the Arboretum, invited guests and members of the public.
They include Amanda Binnie, wife of 23-year-old Sean Binnie who was killed in an ambush in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in May 2009.
Mrs Binnie officially opened the memorial and planted an ‘everlasting poppy’ in her husband’s memory.
The centre point of the new memorial is a poppy wreath around which everlasting poppies will be planted, inscribed with individual names and dates, to form a permanent tribute to peoples’ loved ones.
It was one of several events taking place over the weekend in memory of those who had lost their lives in conflict.
Heroes of the Battle of Britain were remembered at poignant services across the region over the weekend.
This year marked 73 years since the final day of the battle, when the RAF defeated Germany’s Luftwaffe formations across the London and south coast skyline – forcing Hitler to two days later postpone his plans to invade Britain.
The RAF lost 650 planes in the battle, and 544 RAF aircrew died during the four-month campaign.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Dudley for an annual ceremony in the town centre.
Air training squadrons from across the borough joined with veterans for the traditional parade which started off from Priory Road just before 11am.
The procession made its way through New Street, Market Place and High Street before stopping at St Thomas’ and St Luke’s Church for an hour-long service.
Residents followed the parade in silence as a mark of respect to those who fought and lost their lives in the battle.
It was led by Reverend Andrew Wickens and attended by civic dignitaries, including Deputy Mayor of Dudley Margaret Aston.
Following the service the procession made its way to the town’s cenotaph in Coronation Gardens, Ednam Road, for a short service.
Wreaths were laid at the foot of the cenotaph by the deputy mayor and Wing Commander Niall Griffiths among others. It was followed by a minute of silence.
Speaking after the event, Mr Deane, 76, of Dudley, said he had been delighted with the turn-out at the commemoration.
“We have had a lot of air training corps members at this event from all over the borough including Dudley, Brierley Hill and Kingswinford,” he said.“It is wonderful for an event like this to be held to honour all those who fought in the battle.”
Mr Deane served in the Royal Air Force himself between 1955 and 1957.
Other activities taking place over the weekend include Merlin and Griffon engine demonstrations and a chance to see how a Second World War RAF ops room worked during the Battle of Britain era, brought to life by re-enactors.
Marjorie Cartwright-Jones gave two cabaret-style performances, while a range of 1940s military vehicles was on display.
Among the visitors was Second World War and Normandy veteran Arthur Jones, aged 87 and from Pendeford. He served in the Essex Yeomanry during the war and said it was important for younger generations to learn about the Battle of Britain.
Mr Jones added: “Each one who took part in the Battle of Britain should be remembered.
“It will never be forgotten and it’s important to pass the message on to youngsters.”
The city’s mayor, Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, was in attendance and laid a wreath, as did the Far Eastern Prisoners of War Association. Before the service started standard bearers led a march along Goldthorn Road to the association’s base.
Readings, prayers, the national anthem and a poignant Last Post followed in a service attended by more than 100 people.
Afterwards the crowd got a special treat when RAF veteran Hal Davenport officially received the British Empire Medal he was awarded in the Queen’s birthday honours earlier this year.
Mr Davenport was given the medal for voluntary service to the RAF Association and to the community in Halesowen and Cradley Heath.