A LUFTWAFFE pilot who bombed York during the Second World War was hailed as a guest-of-honour during a trip to the area.

Willi Schludecker, who targeted England in 32 separate missions - including a devastating attack on York - paid a flying visit to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, near York.

During the day, he also met the daughter of railway worker William Milner, who was killed during the German raid on York in April 1942.

Brenda Milner, 78, of Wilberfoss, said she no longer felt any hostility for what happened and said she was happy to meet the German pilot.

She said: "I was 13 at the time and we lived in Fifth Avenue. My father was on duty at the railway station when the bombs came.

"When he didn't come home, my mother went out to look for him and when she came back, she said to me: I don't think you've got a daddy any more'.

"I used to feel bitterness, but I got over that a long time ago. We were doing just the same sort of thing to the Germans."

Mr Schludecker, who lives in Cologne, was awarded Germany's highest military medal for his service during the war - the Iron Cross.

Yesterday he was welcomed to RAF Linton-on-Ouse for a whistle-stop tour of the base, during which he put his flying skills to the test in a flight simulator.

He also visited the base's memorial room, which depicts life at Linton during war-time.

Mr Schludecker, 87, said: "This is the first time I have ever set foot on an RAF base and I think it is wonderful."

Flying Officer Rob Bond, of 207 Squadron, said it was an enormous honour to meet Mr Schludecker.

He said: "To hear of the things he did and the problems aircrew on both sides faced during the war is very humbling."

Even at the age of 87, Mr Schludecker still flies regularly and last weekend he competed at the Goodwood Air Festival, in West Sussex.

He first returned to York in April this year, when he visited the sites where his bombs fell. He said then he wanted to come back to say sorry to the people of York for the 1942 raid, which killed 92 people and injured hundreds more.