World War Two Spitfire pilot celebrates 100th birthday after his life was spared by two German fighter pilots

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Wales Online World War Two Spitfire Pilot

John Hamilton Nicholls, who is recorded in the Aces High book for his attacks on enemy aircraft, said he owes his life to two German pilots who allowed him to escape after shooting down his Spitfire.

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John Hamilton Nicholls (who is known as Jack) during his flying days

A Welsh World War II Spitfire pilot has put reaching his 100th birthday down to his life being spared by two German fighter pilots who admired his bravery…..he owes his life to two Messerschmidt pilots who allowed him to escape after shooting down his Spitfire.

Spitfire Mark VB, R6923 ‘QJ-S’, of No 92 Squadron RAF based at Biggin Hill, Kent, banking towards the photographing aircraft.  It was shot down over the sea by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 22 June 1941.(Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum. Posted by author Charles McCain).
Spitfire Mark VB, R6923 ‘QJ-S’, of No 92 Squadron RAF based at Biggin Hill, Kent, banking towards the photographing aircraft. It was shot down over the sea by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 22 June 1941.(Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

 

“….his Spitfire was chased and sprayed with cannon fire by the two Meserschmitts off the coast of North Africa. I was caught across one wing and the fuselage and one cannon shell exploded in the back of my seat.

“Fortunately I had a radio back pack on which cushioned the explosion but I momentarily lost consciousness and the spiralled out of control from 36,000ft.

“The Messerschmitts followed me down. “I regained consciousness and recovered control of a badly damaged aircraft at about 2,000ft.

“The enemy aircraft flew alongside me, saluted and peeled away to leave me to my fate. “I managed to limp home. But that experience taught me something about the honour of battle I have never forgotten.”

You can read the entire article here:

Wales Online World War Two Spitfire Pilot

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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