Bader, Group Captain Sir Douglas, 1910-1983

Bader was a British pilot who became a legend in his own time because he overcame the physical disability of having artificial legs. In December 1931 he lost both legs in a flying accident and was invalided out of the RAF. He argued his way past the RAF Volunteer Reserve Medical Board and in November 1939 was flying again. In June 1940 he was given command of Fighter Squadron 242, which was manned by Canadians. His outstanding leadership qualities were rewarded during the Battle of Britain when he was given five squadrons. However he was often in disagreement with Fighter Command Headquarters and often ignored their orders, especially over his development of the ‘Big Wing’ Formation, which earned him the respect of his German adversaries. In August 1941 he collided with an enemy aircraft over Bethune and was captured. He spent the rest of the war in POW (Prisoner of War) camps.

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