The WW2 Pilot Who Survived an 18,000 Feet Freefall Without a Parachute

In March of 1944, Royal Air Force tail gunner Nicholas Alkemade was flying his Avro Lancaster heavy bomber when he was hit by German flak. His parachute then caught fire, and there seemed to be no chance of surviving a burning aircraft spiraling out of control. As the flames increased and the turret fluids ignited, Alkemade’s clothes caught fire too. He would later reflect: (QUOTE) “I had no doubts at all that this was the end of the line. The question was whether to stay in the plane and fry or jump to my death. I decided to jump and make a quick, clean end of things. I backed out of the turret and somersaulted away.” Hours later, the soldier opened his eyes and incredulously stared at the horizon. He then lit a cigarette and basked in his moment of glory… – As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas. –

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