A WARTIME Spitfire emblazoned with "Thank U NHS" flew over Essex as part of a special tribute to all our amazing NHS heroes.

The flight started at 10am when the aircraft took off from Duxford Airfield near Cambridge and it was spotted flying over Basildon Hospital at about 10.20am today.

Explaining the motivation behind the flight, a spokesman for the Aircraft Restoration Company, which is behind the flypast, said: "It began with an idea - 'Why don’t we fly our beloved blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’ around the villages for the Clap for Carers this evening? We can prepare the aeroplane as a household and it could really lift the community spirit."

Bill Roach, 75, of Laindon who saw the place said: "It was a wonderful sight and I think it's such a great way to thank our NHS.

"There will never be enough thanks for all the health service heroes."