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This Spitfire has been painted in the same colours as the one flown by Bobby Gibbes.

This Spitfire has been painted in the same colours as the one flown by WWII hero Bobby Gibbes. (Temora Aviation Museum/Philip Makanna)

WWII veteran Bobby Gibbes farewelled by Spitfire

The funeral for World War II fighter pilot Bobby Gibbes has been held in North Sydney.

The 90-year-old died in a Sydney hospital last week after a stroke.

Mr Gibbes was farewelled by hundreds of people at a ceremony at St Thomas' Anglican Church this afternoon.

He fought for Australia in 1941 on the Syrian campaign, taking part in an attack against the Vichy French Air Force Base at Rayak.

After the North African campaign he progressed to Wing Commander and in 1945 he led 79 Squadron to Morotai in the Halmahra Islands.

Mr Gibbes was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross with bar.

Speaking at the funeral service, Mr Gibbes' daughter, Robyn, recalled the years of adventure growing up in New Guinea.

"My own personal tour guide, my dad. He raised our family in the wilds of New Guinea," she said.

"I was the first white baby to be born in the highlands, but as we were a bit remote, he did it in his aeroplane."

Mr Gibbes loved aviation and was known as an "Aussie larrikin".

He was farewelled by a rare fly-past by a Spitfire VIII bearing his personal markings, sent from the Temora Aviation Museum in southern NSW.

Four F-18 Hornets also flew over the church, bidding one final goodbye to the veteran.

Bobby Gibbes is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean.




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Scenes from the funeral for WWII veteran Bobby Gibbes and excerpts from a tribute video played during the service.

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