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Student to fly aid around the world sponsored by D-Day hero fund

"Despite the hurdles, closed doors, and disappointment, I’m relieved that I never gave up."

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Matthew Veale. (MAF via SWNS)

By Daniel Jae Webb via SWNS

A student is to fly aid to the world's neediest people after becoming the first to be sponsored by a fund set up in the name of a D-Day hero pilot.

Matthew Veale, 26, is fulfilling a lifelong dream to live and work in some of the most inhospitable, hottest, most isolated low-income countries.

He is one of the first students to be accepted for a new Engineer Training Scheme sponsored by Mission Aviation Fellowship [MAF].

It was funded in part by donations made in memory of the charity’s co-founder – former RAF Engineering Officer Stuart King.

Stuart King, Dec 1941 RAF Cranwell - an operational training unit - in front of Wellington Bomber. (MAF via SWNS)

Stuart launched MAF in Central Africa in a bid to bring peace in the aftermath of WWII using a wooden Miles Gemini aircraft.

The D-Day landings veteran crash-landed in the mountains of Burundi in 1948 – yet he survived to help grow MAF until his death in 2020.

Stuart’s legacy to train young engineers for MAF is being carried on through Matthew.

Matthew, of Swindon, Wilts. UK, is preparing to begin his second year at the University of South Wales – where he is studying for a B.S. in Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems.

Today, MAF is the world’s largest humanitarian air service – employing 1,249 and operating a fleet of 120 aircraft.

Matthew Veale. (MAF via SWNS)

Discovering MAF at primary school, he's determined that one day he would be part of the humanitarian air service, which flies aid, medicine, and relief workers to more destinations than any other airline.

A three-week school trip to an Indian orphanage in 2013 brought poverty to life and deepened a desire to help those less fortunate than himself.

“I remember hearing a talk by a trainee MAF pilot in a school assembly," he said.

"It was a real standout day – and it has determined the rest of my life.

''Seeing poverty in India added fuel to the fire and I became passionate about working overseas and using my skills to help the underprivileged.”

Joining the RAF Air Cadets with 878 Highworth Squadron as a teenager, Matthew continued to develop his flying skills alongside his schooling and loved every minute – completing a 100-mile trek in 4 days among other personal achievements.

“One day, I hope to live and work in Asia because I love the culture – they are so welcoming and hospitable," he said.

"Despite the hurdles, closed doors, and disappointment, I’m relieved that I never gave up – and I hope others will follow me in considering an adventure with MAF.”

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