Fighter Pilot Shot Down

Richard Hillary was a young man with a talent for writing and an interest in self-analysis. In this unusually reflective account he recalls the dogfight that was his undoing and gives a dispassionate account of his injuries and thoughts about death as he floated in the North Sea for three hours until he was rescued from the water.

The injuries to Richard Hillary's face and hands were extensive and required major surgical repairs. He went on to write an account of his experiences, The Last Enemy, which was a resounding success. He campaigned strenuously to be allowed to fly again and eventually rejoined Fighter Command, but was killed on a training flight in 1943.

Originally broadcast 14 July 1941.

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