Shot Down

First Parachute Jump

"One was to get killed or do it."

“So everybody got out and then I got out. This was my first parachute jump. I went out through the navigator’s hatch below and I said ‘Lord, help me get through this.’ I knew I only had two things. One was to get killed or do it. There was no decision to make, no question, no debate about it. You know, you did it. So we did. We went out and my chute got in a tree. I hit the ground and my feet didn’t even sting. I said ‘Lord, thank you.’” 

Editor’s Note: In this quote, Hicks describes German fire successfully shooting down his plane. As a result of the aircraft damage, Hicks and his fellow crew members had to use their parachutes to vacate the plane before it crashed. On the ground, a French policeman captured Hicks and turned him over to German forces. After German military personnel interrogated Hicks, he was sent to the prisoner of war camp, Stalag Luft III.