On 7 July 1941, after an attack on Münster, Germany, the Wellington (AA-R No.75 NZ Squadron) in which Sergeant James Ward was second pilot was attacked by a German Bf 110 night fighter. The attack opened a fuel tank in the starboard wing and caused a fire at the rear of the starboard engine.
With no fucks to spare, at 13000 ft, Ward crawled out of the fuselage via the upper plane dome, climbed down to the wing and armed with an axe, made foot and hand holes on the wing itself and crawled behind the engine to smother the fire with a canvas blanket, therefore preventing the fire from spreading to the wing and rest of the aircraft. He then crawled back like it was no big deal.
The picture on the right shows the holes he made to reach the engine while in flight.
James Ward was killed in action on 15 September 1941, when his Wellington bomber was hit by flak over Hamburg, caught fire and crashed. Only two of the five crew survived. It was Ward's 11th sortie, and his fifth as crew captain.
He was posthumously awarded the VC in 1942.
We remember him and many like him on this Anzac Day. #stayzero #zerofoxtrot #anzacday #nz #lestweforget #badass