Three RAF Hercules pilots from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire dropped into Devizes last week on their way to an amazing fundraising target.

Flight Lieutenants Rob Platt, Graeme Hunt and Tom Mountney are running 448 miles in 17 days, the equivalent of a marathon a day, taking in RAF stations all over the South West of England.

Flt Lt Platt said: “We are running a mile for each member of the British Forces who gave their lives in Afghanistan.

“When we first planned it there were 444 casualties but four more have died since.”

The first leg on Monday last week covered 32.5 miles and brought them from Brize Norton to Lyneham, where many casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were repatriated. The next day they arrived in Devizes shortly after 2pm, a distance of 25 miles.

Flt Lt Hunt said: “The hill between Calne and Bishop Cannings nearly did for us but we’re here and ready for more.”

The trio hopes to raise £10,000 to be shared among Armed Forces charities such as BLESMA, Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, the Royal Air Forces Association and the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation, set up in memory of a friend of Flt Lt Mountney, a Royal Marine who died in 2008.

Flt Lt Mountney said: “We flew a lot of missions to Afghanistan and Iraq and knew personally some of the people who died there.

“We can’t do much for those who died, but we can help those left behind.”

They are due to return to Brize Norton on May 8. So far they have raised £4,284 in sponsorship and donations can be made at