BADER, Douglas Robert Steuart


rank: G/C
status: survived
airforce: RAF    (no: 26151 )
born: London United Kingdom

added by: kurtis

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Douglas Bader is one of the most famous RAF pilots of the Battle of Britain, and WWII. Reach for the Skies movie depicted him. CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL. 20 Victories in the air, double amputee, POW (where new artificial legs where parachuted into his camp at the invitation of the Luftwaffe). Had a post-war career in business, and in politics. He was a voice for the disabled, and, humbly gives credit (see youtube video right) to the work of all those (who may have lost their legs or been disabled) who didn't become as well known as himself.

Proponent of the Big Wing formations to counter large Luftwaffe air attacks, commanded many Canadians and flew both Spitfire (1940) and Hurricane. From the RAF Feature link on the right, regarding his command of 242 Squadron ...

"The Squadron's first major success came on 30 August when they claimed 12 enemy aircraft, of which Bader shot down two. As the Battle of Britain progressed Bader led larger formations, with 242 and other squadrons forming the Duxford Wing. By the end of 1940 Bader's squadron had shot down 67 enemy aircraft, for the loss of only five pilots killed in action."

Regarding 242 Squadron (Wikipedia):

"The Battle of Britain:

In June 1940 it moved to RAF Coltishall in eastern England and then RAF Duxford as part of No. 12 Group RAF and was involved in the Battle of Britain. In 1941 it started offensive sweeps and bomber escorts and convoy patrols.

Upgrade to Spitfires:

On 10 April 1942 the squadron re-formed at RAF Turnhouse, Scotland with the Supermarine Spitfire and was involved in coastal patrols. In October it was deployed to North Africa defending Algiers. It fought into Tunisia then moved on to Malta and was involved in the invasion of Sicily and the Salerno beach-head operations. In 1944 it was moved to Syria for a rest period before moving to Corsica where it was part of the invasion of southern France and attacks on northern Italy. The squadron was disbanded in Italy on 4 November 1944."

We do have a reference number for the operational log book(s) available in the RAF Museum Archives, in London, and the reference numbers include: Log Book accession no. MF10033/13 which is available for viewing upon request.

Author (former policeman) Dilip Sarkar believes he's located the Spitfire that Bader baled out of over France. Dilip indicates the aircraft could have plunged 15 feet underground from a high altitude descent, however, the RAF Museum site provides this quote "His missing right leg was recovered from the wrecked Spitfire, and as soon as it had been repaired, " which seems to indicate the Spitfire was either at the surface, or, closer to the surface.


Squadrons add
RAF 19 1940-06-01
RAF 222 1940-06-01
RAF 242 1940-07-01


W3185 1941-08-01
RK917 1945-09-15


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