Saturday, 28 January 2017

WWII Suicide Bombers?

What did allied bombing missions do when they ran out of bombs?

Nicholas Alkemade
In 1944, Alkemade's Lancaster was attacked by nightfighters and caught fire, it began to spiral out of control which caused the tail gunner somewhat of of problem. Trapped in the plane, the flames moving towards him, his parachute charred embers, Alkemade had the choice of a deaths, either a Joan of Arc or a 9/11 jumper. He chose the latter and lept from the plane at a height of 5500 metres, fingers crossed this was the less painful death of the two, but instead of becoming a blob of strawberry jam he had the good fortune to hit the canopy of several pine trees that cushioned his fall and landed on a mattress of soft snow. The poor guy though did sprain his leg. The Gestapo made the pretence they were a bit miffed with his story at first when he was captured but in truth were 
probably getting used to it by then........ read on.

                                                                     Watch the video version of this article.

Ivan Chisov
In 1942 in the middle of a raging air and land battle and while his plane was being attacked by several German fighters, the Soviet Pilot decided to take a stroll out the door of his plane at 7000 metres. If you think that was rather eccentric he then decided to not to open his perfectly functioning parachute strapped to his back thinking it may attract machine gun fire and it could kill him, unlike falling 7000 metres. Ivan then lost consciousness by the time he was out of machine gun range, so unable to open his parachute but fortunately still had the good aim to hit the side of a snowy ravine sliding and rolling down the side till he came to a safe halt right at the feet of of a troop of Soviet cavalry who whisked him unharmed from the battlefield to safety.
Not to be outdone the Americans quickly got one of their pilots to throw himself into the skies. Alan Magee was in a Flying Fortress over France in 1943 when a clumsy German pilot shot one of the wings off at 6700 metres. The plane started spiralling toward the ground and the wounded Magee, his parachute shredded had the choice going down with the plane or just beside it, he chose the latter. Losing consciousness after he bailed out he miss the horror movie that follow. In an act of precision bombing he managed to break his fall by crashing through the glass roof of St Nazaire railway station sustaining several broken bones, a partially severed arm, lung, kidney, and face damage. How many train passenger suffered heart attacks from the surprise is unrecorded. Fortunately the Germans had the technology to rebuild him and create the world's first 6 Million Deutschemarks man, and he lived to ripe old age.

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