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Barry Douetil's log book.
The remarkable story of how a free-falling RAF pilot was saved when the beam of a searchlight enabled him to locate his parachute has emerged for the first time.
Squadron Leader Barry Douetil plunged out of his blazing Lancaster bomber at 20,000ft and was horrified when he realised his parachute wasn't strapped to his body.
It was only when he hurtled for a split second through the bright beam of the German searchlight that he spotted it was on the end of a strap 10ft above him.
While still falling through the air in the dark, the 21-year-old managed to rein the cord in until he was able to put the parachute on and pull the release cord in the nick of time.
He landed heavily 10 seconds later in a frozen field but escaped the 1944 near-death experience with just a dislocated shoulder.