Ace Pilot Scored 22 Aerial Victories – And He Didn’t Have Any Legs

Ace Pilot Scored 22 Aerial Victories – And He Didn’t Have Any Legs | Frontline Videos

Imperial War Museum


Leg Up.

Douglas Bader always had a passion for flying and did whatever he could go be in the skies. After pulling off a way too daring stunt he crashed suffered injuries and as a result, had his legs amputated. With a war with Germany on the horizon, Bader knew his place was in the sky and joined the Royal Air Force despite not having legs.

During WWII, Douglas Bader found himself as an incredibly daring and effective pilot in combat against the German Luftwaffe. He was able to pull off acrobatic moves never before possible, this was due to his lack of legs giving him the ability to withstand higher G-force without passing out. In his time as a pilot, he managed to score 22 victories over German aircraft.

He played a pivot role in some of the most monumental RAF conflicts including the Battle of Britain and providing fighter support for the troops at Dunkirk. Eventually, his Spitfire was shot down and causing him eject over German territory where he was captured. Although he was prisoner he was treated with great respect by the Germans for his courage. Luftwaffe Leader Adolf Galland even arranged a deal to provide Bader with a prosthetic leg to replace the one lost in his crash.

Douglas Bader manager to escape German prisons several times despite his handicap but was always captured. His frequent escapes got him transferred to Colditz Castle under high higher security, where he was eventually freed by American soldiers in 1945. Douglas Bader’s heroism was a great example demonstrating that you don’t need legs to kick Hitler’s ass.


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