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Twenty-three year old Hurricane pilot Flight Lieutenant James B. "Nick" Nicolson of 249 Squadron won the only Victoria Cross awarded to a pilot during the famous Battle of Britain, and he was the only Royal Air Force fighter pilot to receive the award during World War II. The "VC" is the highest military honor awarded for bravery in action to a British or Commonwealth service member. It is equivalent to the US Medal of Honor.
During a patrol above Southampton on 16th August 1940, Nicolson's Hurricane was fired on by a Messerschmitt Bf 110, injuring him in one eye and one foot. His engine was also damaged and a fuel tank set on fire. As he struggled to leave the blazing machine he saw a Bf 109 not too far away, and managing to get back into the bucket seat, pressed the firing button and continued firing until the enemy plane was destroyed. Not until then did he bail out, and he was able to open his parachute in time to land in a field.
January 17th, 2013
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