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Douglas Bader
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Aviator
    (February 10, 1910-September 5, 1982)
    Joined RAF (1928)
    Crashed his Bristol Bulldog costing him both legs and his career with the RAF (December 14, 1931)
    Re-enlisted as a fighter pilot through WW II (1939-1946)
    Commanded a squadron of Spitfires during the Battle of Britain (July 10, 1940-October 31, 1940)
    Shot down and sent to a POW camp (August 1941)
    Awarded a CBE (1956)
    Recieved Knighthood (1976)
    Portrayed in the film 'Reach for the Sky' by Kenneth More
    His biography 'Reach for the Sky' was written by Paul Brickhill
    He lost his legs performing unauthorized low flying acrobatics on a dare.
    Bader filled his metal legs with ping-pong balls so if shot down over the ocean he could float until rescued. Unfortunately when his squadron reached a certain altitude, the balls began to pop, making him think that his aircraft was taking hits and nearly caused him to bail out.
    Due to his prosthetics he had an odd walk and often stood funny.
    He served his nation in WW II.
    He suffered great indignity and frustration learning to use prosthetic legs (made of wood in those days).
    He shot down 23 German planes during WW II, the 5th most prolific record in the RAF.
    His squadron downed 63 enemy planes, while losing only three of their own.
    He escaped from several POW camps, causing him to be sent to the fortress Colditz castle and to turn his legs over to the Germans at night.
    He earned a Distinguished Service Cross for WW II.
    He earned a George Cross.
    Post WW II he worked as spokesman for an airline and for several disability charities.
    He loved motorbikes.

Credit: Fandango


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