Bio / Text:
Alfred Henry Wynne BALL DSO DFC
1 PRU 'A' and 'E' Flight pilot
542 Squadron pilot
From the 1 PRU Line Book
Sortie T756 & Freddy's Folly
Stupendous - Gigantic - Colossal - Terrific - The Super Special Story of the Year
Date: 5th Oct '41
Pilot: F/O Freddy Caterpillar Ball
Down: 1355 1400
In Air!: .30
Job: Hanover etc. This column does not enter into the story.
Read All About It ->
We were just about to pack up after lunch, when word came through there was a gap over Hanover - off I went in '33.
Climbed up through bad visibility to cloud which was at 8000 ft approx. Continued climbing in cloud on course for Clacton.
Everything was lovely and at 20000' I came out of a layer, but there was another above & I continued icing(?)
as the windscreen was iced up and finally entered upper layer. It was very bumpy in this cloud and at about 23000 ft I got a hell of a bump which sent everything haywire. Tried to keep on, but the speed went up and I started to lose height.
Eased the stick back, but that only increased the speed, so I reckoned I'd had it. The speed went up, up, up and I went down, down, down.
Thought it was a spin, so pushed the stick forward. Things started to happen as there was a certain amount of 'G' flying about. First of all I blacked out, then my straps broke, I dived through the perspex and the aircraft fell to pieces.
Unable to understand why I was in the open air and not in the a/c I remained in a sitting position with my feet and hands on imaginary controls, thinking.
Eventually decided it would a good thing to pull ripcord which was duly done and I descended more gently to mother earth.
As I was dropping I suddenly noticed that my socks, shoes my right trouser leg and left sleeve were missing.
This was rather embarrassing for I could see crowds of people of both sexes converging on my landing spot, however undaunted I pulled my shirt down into place and landed in a ploughed field. Shortly afterwards I was taken to Haymeads Hospital where I spent a very pleasant six days before returning to Benson.