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By John Oliver, President, Historical Society

Submitted photo
Bill Rickman is shown here on his return visit to Belgium, alongside one of the families that witnessed his dramatic plane crash during World War II.

Last week we read Bill Rickman’s firsthand account of his exploits in World War II, which included his plane being shot down by German guns! This week, we finish his harrowing tale:

“As I bailed, I counted to one, not ten, and pulled the ripcord. I didn’t want any part of counting all the way to ten. For some reason, I had chosen to wear a harness with a clip-on chute that had only a 22-foot canopy. That meant I had more freedom to maneuver in the air but less time to do it before hitting the ground.

My parachute harness wasn’t cinched up tight enough and when I bailed out my crouch got hung up… it was a long ride down with that discomfort!

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!