Gritted teeth and tightly closed eyes didn’t reduce the pain in my legs. I was losing blood and consciousness. The aircraft was losing altitude.
With no idea of my location, I reached for the lever. Five seconds later I floated earthward under my parachute, thinking the desert looked much larger now. I landed in a crumpled heap then cut large pieces of parachute to bandage my perforated legs.
At first I heard, but couldn’t see the approaching helicopter, so, pistol drawn, I prepared to die fighting as I tried to focus. When I saw the British insignia my tears flowed freely.