Memories flooded back for a Waipukurau man on Saturday afternoon when he took a ride on the same sort of plane that airlifted him out of Germany as a prisoner of war.

Walter Malcolm, 96, took a scenic flight around Napier in a 1945 Douglas DC3 plane at Hawke's Bay Airport as part of the Tremains Art Deco Festival.

Mr Malcolm, who was in the 25th Battalion, went in the air with his son after being gifted the trip by members of his family.

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His last flight in a DC3 was in 1945, taking him from Germany where he had been a prisoner of war for about two years.

Mr Malcolm said Saturday's flight meant a lot to him because of his experiences in World War II and his thoughts were with other prisoners of war who did not make it home.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the flight. When I went on the plane my thoughts were with the comrades that I knew that lost their lives while they were prisoners of war.

"I was extremely lucky in my case that I got away."

Instead of wearing his own medals he wore one on his hat that he was given, so that the experience was not about himself but about honouring all servicemen and prisoners of war.

Being on the same plane type that he took when he was finally free brought back memories of the first flight as well as his time as a prisoner.

"There were no seats in the DC3 last time, we were all sitting on the floor."

During the flight they could see smoke coming out from near the wing and they were worried they would not make it out of Germany, he said.

"We were very fortunate to get home."

He had been captured in Italy a couple of years before and taken by cattle truck for five days with no food and water to Munich where the city was covered in three feet (1m) of snow.

When Mr Malcolm returned to Hawke's Bay he worked on his brother's orchard in Poukawa before becoming a dairy farmer in Otane.