Tony Foulds, 82, was just eight when he witnessed an American B-17 Flying Fortress, nicknamed Mi Amigo, crash into Sheffield’s Endcliffe Park on the afternoon of 22 February 1944.
Ever since, Mr Foulds has tended to the memorial to the ten US airmen that died, laying wreaths and planting flowers.
He was in the park with some friends when the badly damaged aircraft circled overhead with its crew waving at them to get out of the way. The aircraft had been critically damaged during a bombing run on German positions in Denmark.
He believed the crew’s decision to not land on the park saved his life, but cost them theirs, as they attempted to find another place to land.
His commitment to the men he describes as “family” came to light after BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker came across him tending the memorial in January and publicised it on social media.
Walker then began a campaign to recognise Mr Foulds and grant his wish for a fly past, which was finally granted on Tuesday morning.
US Air Force Colonel Will Marshall told him: “Good morning Tony. On behalf of my teammates at the RAF, the three fifty-second special operations wing, the hundredth air refuelling wing and the forty-eight fighter wing, it gives me great pleasure to say, look to the skies on 22 February for a very special fly by.”