The tale of fighter pilot Ken Trott - part two
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 June 2017
Fighter pilot Ken Trott had completed his basic flight training in Canada and wanted to join the coastal command and fly a flying boat.
Instead, after attending the funeral of a fellow pilot, he had found himself assigned to fighter command and cast into the maelstrom of the Second World War.
On July 8, 1944, Ken flew from Dorset to land in Normandy.
He flew on a number of short range attacks to destroy ground targets, before a planned return home on the evening of the 13th.
His Wing Commander decided to go on a reconnaissance mission.
As they approached their aircraft Ken commented that he was glad it was a Thursday for if it was Friday the 13th they would be in trouble.
Once airborne they headed towards Caen.
He climbed to 4,000 feet and saw a number of 109s in and out of clouds.
Ken made one attack then spotted another hostile and was turning to attack when he collided with it.
His aircraft disintegrated and he was thrown out, hitting his head on the canopy on his way out of the cockpit.
He found he was floating without helmet, mask or goggles, then passed out.
When he came to he was hanging from a tree about a foot from the ground, surrounded by a large number of German soldiers, one of whom was trying to open his parachute harness, but neglected to revolve the safety box first.
With an effort Ken reached up and unlocked it and fell to the ground. He lay there trying to recover his strength.
A soldier helped him to his feet and Ken was taken by car to a farmhouse, where he was searched and handed over to an officer.
Ken started to cough up blood and he was taken to hospital where he received a thorough examination.
They found his left arm injured and his back and arm badly grazed and bruised from hitting the tree.
Ken spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft 3 and suffered with a bad arm for the remainder of his life.