WWII, Two flyers one parachute

Discussion in 'Prayer and Religion' started by clawmute, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. I have placed several stories of divine interventions during WWII below. This is but a few of hundreds if not thousands of instances of God saying "not now" when men came face to face with their own mortality. This is a bit long but you know I never tire of bragging on Jesus.

    WWII Miracles: Two Airmen SAVED By One Parachute

    Heziel Pitogo



    Do you believe in miracles? The true-to-life and documented story of WWIIAustralian pilot Joseph B. Hermanmight make a believer out of you

    Night of Miracles

    Flight Lieutenant Joseph B. Herman was part of the Number 466 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War.

    The night of November 4, 1944, he was piloting a Handley Page Halifax B.III bomber over the Ruhr Valley in Germany on a nighttime assignment when the plane got hit by an antiaircraft fire. The Germans were known to possess cannons that had a maximum range of 39,000 feet and flying at 18,000, Herman’s plane was an easy target. These cannons had shells that were timed to detonate at a certain height, the shells spewed out jagged shrapnel in all directions when exploding.

    The bomber Herman was piloting caught fire so he ordered his crew to bail out. Unfortunately for him, he had taken off his parachute earlier as it was uncomfortable and when he was crawling towards it the plane exploded.

    Never losing consciousness, the Australian pilot found himself floating midair surrounded by the bomber’s wreckage. And although it was dark all around, he saw that his parachute was not among the parts surrounding and falling all around him. So, he resigned himself to dying. He was left without a choice but to wait. At first, he screamed and kicked but realizing that his actions were all just a waste of his energy and wouldn’t change the state he was in, he stopped, relaxed and dropped for over 12,000 feet all the while gazing at the rivers and lakes that reflected the moon’s light down.

    But as he reached the height of 6,000 feet midair, something unbelievable – akin to miraculous – happened

    Herman felt something crush into him with great force and when, by instinct, he grabbed on to it, he realized that “it” was a pair of legs.

    Those legs belonged to Flying Officer John Vivash, Herman’s mid-upper gunner.

    “Hello, is someone there?” Vivash asked.

    “Just me, Joe,” said Herman.


    After that short exchange of words, the two airmen fell silent. Both hit the ground with Vivash landing feet first on Herman’s chest breaking two of the latter’s ribs in the process. But miraculously, both survived.

    Vivash and Herman went on to bury their lone parachute and avoided capture for four days. However, the Germans were able to catch up with them and they were rounded up. After delivering their story – one of WWII’s miracles – the Germans were at first doubtful about its authenticity. But the two airmen took their captors to the spot where they buried the single parachute that saved both their lives and their captors were forced to admit that indeed, one man fell out of an exploding bomber, was able to grab the legs of one of his crew members and both survived the long fall from the air using only a SINGLE PARACHUTE.
    What Made Herman’s Story one of WWII’s Miracles

    The story of the two WWII airmen was a lot more amazing than it appeared to be.

    For one, Vivash and Herman had to be dropping at the exact vertical line from each other. meaning, if Herman had been a foot away from either side, he would have missed colliding with and grabbing Vivash’s legs.

    Secondly, Vivash had just opened his parachute when he collided with Herman causing the latter to grab on to him. Both had achieved terminal velocity and astoundingly, were travelling at the same speed when their encounter in the air happened. Had Herman collided with the crew member just a fraction of a second earlier or later, the impact would have killed them both or hindered the Australian pilot from grabbing his comrade’s legs.

    Lastly, had Vivash hung vertically under his chute, Herman would have just whooshed past him unable to grab his legs. Opportunely, Vivash was in the process of swinging horizontally when he collided with the pilot allowing the latter to grab on to his limbs.

    Joseph Herman on the left side
    Meanwhile, three of the bomber’s crew members were murdered just after they were captured while Joseph Herman went on to spend the rest of World War Two as a POW in a German prison camp.

    After the war he became a commercial as well as a crop duster pilot

    The number of persons surviving free falls from great heights is pretty amazing. From WWII there is story after story of survivors walking away from what should have killed them. What the world calls luck is God's hand reaching out to save men and women.

    Nicholas Alkemade: the World War II tail gunner who survived a fall of 18,000 feet (5500) after his plane was shut down
    On March 24, 1944, 21 year old Flight Sergeant Nicholas Stephen Alkemade was a member of No. 115 Squadron RAF and was flying to the east of Schmallenberg, Germany, when his plane was attacked by enemies, caught fire, and began to spiral out of control. Because his parachute was destroyed by the fire, Alkemade opted to jump from the aircraft without one, preferring his death to be quick, rather than being burnt to death. He fell 18,000 feet (5500 m) to the ground below. His fall was broken by pine trees and a soft snow cover on the ground. He was able to move his arms and legs and suffered only a sprained leg. When he came to his senses and saw stars overhead, he lit a cigarette.

    He was subsequently captured and interviewed by the Gestapo. The orderly Germans were so impressed that Alkemade had bailed out without a parachute and lived, that they gave him a certificate testifying to the fact.

    Alan Magee: the World War II American airman who survived a 22,000 foot fall after his plane was hit during an attack
    Alan Magee was blown from his B-17 on a 1943 mission over France. The New Jersey airman, more recently the subject of a MythBusters episode, fell 20,000 feet (6,700 m - over four miles) before crashing through the glass roof of the St. Nazaire railroad station. Somehow the glass roof mitigated Magee's impact and rescuers found him still alive on the station's floor. He was subsequently captured by German troops, who were astonished at his survival. He had 28 shrapnel wounds in addition to the damage from the fall. He had several broken bones, severe damage to his nose and eye, and lung and kidney damage, his right arm was severely injured as well.

    Though it wasn't war, in 2013 I was T-boned as I turned left off hwy 70 near Lonsdale by a car doing 60mph or so. Late that night the Lord showed me a vision of a huge hand coming between my car and the one the devil tried to kill me with. He told me "I kept you from the death angel".

    My totaled new car being extracted from the woods on the south side of the hwy. I was turning in north, to the left when hit. The impact spun me 180 degrees and I was only a stunned observer as I rolled down the embankment and ricocheted off different oak trees before centering a very big one. $16k damage to a 6 month old car. I cannot say how thankful to God I was to be able to hold see my family once more. The saddest thing was not the car loss or getting concussed but that the other driver made no inquiry as to my state. I was 70 he was 25. Jesus cared though and that counted for everything.

    It was labor day, the fall of 1979 and we were coming home from my in laws. The only place to safely pass on hwy 5 is called the whiteway stretch between Riverside grocery and hwy 9 jct. An old restored 50 Chevy drove slowly in front of me and I pulled out to pass. Instead of passing though I just pulled back in behind the car. We crossed the Alum Fork bridge and when we reached Bailey cut off on the right, which is a short cut to hwy 9, a pick up came tearing out and hit the Chevy in the passenger door. The men in the truck sped away and the hit car pulled over. A young father, mother and new baby were occupants. They were shaken up but OK. Had I passed on it would have been my wife and I taking the hit. Later we found that my wife was pregnant after 14 years. We'd been waiting on a promise from God of a son and it had come to pass. There is an enemy that wants to kill, steal from and destroy us. The hand of Jesus again saved us from tragedy.

    How many times have each of us been saved by God? We can't know. We just know that He has. We can thank Him for the things we know about and those that we are ignorant of.
    Rookieshot, Allenn and reflex1 like this.
  2. bearpaw

    bearpaw Well-Known Member

    i believe without any doubt that my mother's prayer's spared my life several times when i was young.on my tenth b-day we were clearing land burning brush piles the dozer had pushed up, when my left leg caught on fire, i took off running and screaming....i had never heard of stop drop n roll,,,,,my oldest brother chased me down and tackled me and beat the fire out with his hands, was on crutches for about a year and wore a bandage for a year and a half. when i got a little older i was real bad to drink and party. once at a strip joint in little rock i got really drunk and pinched one of the dancers on the butt. her husband and a couple of other guys threw me out the door and onto the hood of a parked car. then they worked me over a little bit. then when i got into my truck to leave the husband ran over to me and stuck a pistol to the side of my head,,,he screamed that he was gonna blow my f,,,,, head off. there was snow on the ground and he was sweating real bad. i was so drunk i laughed in his face while my buddy in the truck with me was begging me to shut up.the husband's friends were begging him to not shoot me. finally they let us go. there were several other times when i was driving i should have been killed. in 1994 i wrecked a truck,,hit a tree head on,,,drunk of course,,,, totaled the truck. but i got away uninjured except for being really sore and bruised and a bloody nose. shortly after that i felt like God was telling me. [ im about tired of messing with you.] i surrendered my life to God in 1994 and have never once regretted it. in about 1999 0r 2000 i was heading to springfield mo. [ i drive a truck for a living.] it was night time and when i got close to conway some kids threw something big and white off and overpass. it hit the grill of the truck and exploded. if they had thrown it a fraction of a second later it would have come through the windshield. yes i believe in miracles. i also believe in the power of a praying mother or father. and by the way i am a bloody christian. there are other stories i could tell about god sparing me. i wonder how many times he spared me that i don't even know about ?
    Out on a limb and Allenn like this.

  3. We'll never know. A wreck two years ago I was hit on hwy 70 turning north on Narrows road. A black guy doing 60 tboned me. God saved me. I was shot at twice, once with a pistol and another time with a load of buckshot. West 12th st. Little Rock In the 50's 60's was rough. My own mother's prayers were heard I know. Had friends killed in gun fights. My friend Dale Stone 15, was killed in a family feud. That was Nearly 6o years ago and I'm still moved to tears. Leslie Gann worked for my dad and was shot to death. 3 hits with a .38. It was just very wild. A miracle. Many friends died on alcohol and drugs. Cops stopped a bunch of us one night and I was the only one that hadn't been to prison. My mother for sure. Jesus has been more than merciful to me. Several friends went to Cummins. Lots of the Stone family. Bootleggers, gambling places, prostitutes. One guy was killed robbing a liquor store on 12th street. Several died in bad car accidents. Driving with some guys and I got out and a few minutes later they turned the car over. On and on. Took me a long time to learn. God is merciful to us stupid humans.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Allenn likes this.