HUNDREDS of people turned out to show their appreciation for the armed forces community on Saturday - as Booker Air Park played host to a day of fun and entertainment.

Bucks Free Press:

WWII Lancaster Bomber in the skies

It was the first time Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day was held in High Wycombe and the event was a huge success.

The day was packed with live entertainment, music and attractions including a two hour long air display.

Bucks Free Press:

Silver Stars parachutists

Although the general public was invited to join the celebration, the main aim of the day was to give Bucks' armed forces a chance to relax and enjoy the sunshine with their families.

Bucks Free Press:

Raising the Armed Forces Day flag

The day kicked off at 12pm before the official Armed Forces Day flag was raised at around 1.30pm.

Crowds were treated to the rare sight of a World War II Lancaster Bomber fly-past before an air display featuring a range of classic vintage planes and modern acrobatic aircraft. 

Bucks Free Press:

Picture by Paul Ricketts of the Bucks Free Press Camera Club

The display was brought to a close in a dramatic finale with members of the Royal Logistics Corps, Silver Stars Team, parachuting from thousands of feet in the air with colourful jets looping through the skies.

Musical entertainment was provided by a mix of traditional bands, modern singers and special acts including Halton Military Wives Choir, Wycombe Steel Orchestra, The Buckinghamshire Band of the Royal British Legion, J's Joyful Divas and the Polka Dots. The prestigious Central Band of the Royal Air Force also made a guest appearance. 

Bucks Free Press:

Aerial shot of Wycombe Air Park 

The event was attended by dignitaries from across Bucks including councillors, the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and HM Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.

Sir Henry said: "We are absolutely delighted at the success of the day.

"It was lovely to see so many members of our armed forces enjoying a day out with their families and local residents coming along to show their support.

"Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the day what it was.

Bucks Free Press:

BCC Chairman Brian Roberts

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in organising this event, from our hosts, Wycombe Air Park, to all our sponsors, without whom we would not have been able to run the event at all.

"We also need to thank all our entertainers and performers, those who took part in the flying display and all those people working hard behind the scenes to help everything run smoothly.

Bucks Free Press:

Major General Bill O'Leary and Councillor Bill Bendyshe-Brown meet the troops

"That includes the many volunteers who gave up their free time to help and the staff who have been working flat out for many, many weeks to bring everything together.

"Armed Forces Day is a national day of celebration of our armed forces past, present and future.

"We must never forget the sacrifices that have been made in the past and the continued brave and dedicated service given by all our armed forces today.

Bucks Free Press:

Photo by Susan Brown of the Bucks Free Press Camera Club

"We will all be forever grateful for everything that they do for us."