Re: Mail: "Bravery Beyond Belief: Stories Behind The VC And
Lord Ashcroftâ€™s eyes light up as he recounts the story of Sergeant Norman Jackson who, in 1944, was flight engineer in a Lancaster bomber when it was attacked by a fighter over Germany and the starboard wing caught fire.
Though injured, Jackson volunteered to climb out of a top hatch at 200mph with a hand-held fire extinguisher wedged into his lifejacket.
On the way out, his parachute fell open and spilled back inside the aircraft. He pressed on undeterred. In the end, however, the extinguisher fell from his hands, he lost his grip and was swept through the flames and out into thin air followed by his tangled parachute, now on fire.
Miraculously, it still managed to slow his fall and he was captured with a broken ankle, one eye burned shut and numerous injuries before spending the rest of the war in captivity. He died in 1994