Wednesday 18 April 2018

Have you heard of: Nicolas Alkemade

Here we are at Wednesday and Wednesday means it is aqua class and have you heard of day, this week I am asking have you heard of: Nicholas Alkemade? No me either.

During World War11 Nicolas was a pilot who's plane was shot down in an air raid over Germany, forcing him to bail out from more than three miles up, without a parachute...........

As he fell his speed accelerated to an estimated 120 miles per hour, he landed in a snow covered pine forest and was completely injured. Bloody hell............

He was born on the 10th December 1922 and died on the 22nd June 1987 , his rank was Flight Sergeant , he was a rear gunner in the Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.

On the night of 24 March 1944, 21-year-old Nicolas was one of seven crew members in Avro Lancaster he was returning from a 300 bomber raid on Berlin, when attacked by a German night fighter.

Because his parachute had gone up in flames and thus was unserviceable, he jumped from the aircraft without one, preferring to die by impact rather than burn to death.

His fall was broken by pine trees and a soft snow over the ground. He was able to move his arms and legs and suffered only a sprained leg. The Lancaster crashed in flames, killing pilot Jack Newman and three other members of the crew. They are buried in the CWGC'S Hanover War Cemetery.

He was subsequently captured and interviewed by the Gestapo, who were initially suspicious of his claim to have fallen without a parachute until the wreckage of the aircraft was examined. (Reportedly, the Germans gave him a certificate testifying to the fact.).

He was a celebrated prisoner of War, before being repatriated in May 1945.


  1. Well he was sure lucky when he fell to only have hurt his ankle.

  2. Dear Jo-Anne, thanks for sharing this story. I'm a WWII buff and I'm always interested/intrigued by stories from that time. He was so fortunate to land as he did. I wonder what he did with the rest of his life. Peace.

    1. I am too. I have a lot of artifacts from WWII as well.

    2. I also really like stories about WW11

  3. Hard to believe the Gestapo were that nice... learn something new every day!

    1. I know, when one thinks Gestapo we think really evil men

  4. Never heard of him. His wikipedia page lists a number of fall survivors. Interesting but an experience I'm glad to skip. Oh, I just browsed over here from the Empty Nest blog.


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