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Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader
21 February 1910(1910-02-21) – 5 September 1982 (aged 72)
Douglas Bader.jpg
Sir Douglas Bader
Nickname Dogsbody
Place of birth St John's Wood, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1928–1933, 1939–1946
Rank Group Captain
Battles/wars Second World War:
Awards Knight Bachelor
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
Mention in Despatches

Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader CBE,[1] DSO & Bar,[2][3] DFC & Bar,[4][5] FRAeS, DL (21 February 1910 – 5 September 1982)[6] was a Royal Air Force fighter ace during the Second World War.

In 1928, Bader joined the RAF, but, on 14 December 1931 at Woodley airfield near Reading, lost both his legs in an aircraft crash attempting a slow roll at very low level following jibes about his not wanting to perform aerobatics that day. Bader recovered, undertook refresher training, passed his check flights, and attempted to stay in the RAF but was retired for medical reasons on 30 April 1933.[7] After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he re-entered the armed forces and requested that he be assigned to the RAF. Posted to a fighter squadron in 1940 Bader scored his first kills during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk.

During the Battle of Britain Bader became a friend and supporter of Trafford Leigh-Mallory and his "Big Wing" experiments, which led him into conflict with Air Vice Marshal Keith Park. In 1941 Bader participated in fighter sweeps over Europe as the RAF adopted a more offensive stance, but in August 1941 he was forced to bail out over German-occupied France, was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. While a POW, Bader made as much trouble as possible, escaping in August 1942, only to be recaptured and sent to Colditz Castle, the camp for POWs who made repeated escape attempts. He also met and befriended Adolf Galland, a prominent German Ace, during his imprisonment. Liberated in April 1945, he requested a return to action but that request was denied. Douglas Bader ended the conflict with 22 aerial victories scored in the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and left the RAF for good in February 1946.

Bader was considered to be an inspirational British hero of the era. His brutally forthright, dogmatic and often highly opinionated views (especially against authority) coupled with his boundless energy and enthusiasm inspired adoration and frustration in equal measures with both his subordinates and peers.


Early years

Bader was born on 21 February 1910 in St.John's Wood, London, the second son of Major Frederick Roberts Bader of the Royal Engineers and his wife Jessie. His first two years were spent with relatives in the Isle of Man as his father—accompanied by Bader's mother and older brother Frederick (Derick)—returned to his posting in India after the birth of his son. At the age of two, Douglas joined his parents in India for a year before the family moved back to London. His father, Frederick Bader, saw action in the First World War as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, was wounded in action in 1917, and died in 1922 of complications from those wounds in a hospital in Saint-Omer, ironically the same area where Douglas would bail out and be captured in 1941.[8] His mother re-married shortly thereafter, to Reverend Ernest William Hobbs. Bader was subsequently brought up in the rectory of the village of Sprotborough, near Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire now South Yorkshire.

Douglas attended Temple Grove Prep School, in Eastbourne, and then St Edward's School, Oxford, which was also attended by Guy Gibson and Adrian Warburton.[9] He was offered a place at Oxford University, but turned it down as he preferred Cambridge University.[10] Very sports minded, Bader played both cricket and rugby football during his educational years, taking less of an interest in education itself. Having lost his father in the war, Bader received guidance from the headmaster ("Warden") of St. Edward's, the Reverend Henry E. Kendall and, with Kendall's encouragement, he excelled and qualified as a Cadet at RAF Cranwell.[11]

Joining the RAF

In 1928, Bader joined the RAF as an officer cadet at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in rural Lincolnshire. On 13 September 1928, Bader took his first flight with his instructor Flying Officer W. J. "Pissy" Pearson in an Avro 504.[12] After just 11 hours and 15 minutes of flight time, he flew his first solo, on 19 February 1929, watched by his flight commander Flight Lieutenant (Later Air Marshal Sir) Douglas MacFayden.[13] Pearson died of tuberculosis on 22 January 1943.[14]

As Bader reached the end of his two-year course, he found himself in a two-horse race for the Sword of Honour with Patric Coote but lost. He was commissioned into No. 23 Squadron RAF on 26 July 1930. Patric Coote was to go on to become the Wing Commander of Western Wing, British Air Forces Greece and was killed on 13 April 1941 while flying as an observer in No. 211 Squadron Bristol Blenheim, L4819 flown by Flying Officer R. V. Herbert when six of the Squadron's aircraft were shot down over Greece. Coote's aircraft was the first of 29 kills of the Luftwaffe ace Unteroffizier, (later Leutnant) Fritz Gromotka.[15][16][17][18]

Bader was an above-average pilot and an outstanding sportsman; he played rugby union for Harlequins at fly-half, coming close to national team selection.[19] He played one first-class cricket match playing for the RAF cricket team against the Army cricket team at The Oval in July 1931; his batting scores were 65 and 1.[20] Commissioned as a pilot officer in 1930, Bader was posted to Kenley, Surrey, flying Gloster Gamecocks and soon after, Bristol Bulldogs.

On 14 December 1931, while visiting Reading Aero Club, he attempted some low-flying aerobatics at Woodley airfield in a Bulldog Mk. IIA, K1676, of 23 Squadron,[21] apparently on a dare. His aircraft crashed when the tip of the left wing touched the ground. Bader was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where, in the hands of the prominent surgeon J. Leonard Joyce (1882-1939), both his legs were amputated – one above and one below the knee. Bader made the following laconic entry in his logbook after the crash:

Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show.
— Douglas Bader, [22][23]

In 1932, after a long convalescence throughout which he needed morphine for pain relief, Bader was transferred to the hospital at RAF Uxbridge and fought hard to regain his former abilities now that he had a new pair of artificial legs. In time, his agonizing and determined efforts paid off and he was able to drive a specially modified car, play golf and even dance. During his convalescence there, he met and fell in love with Thelma Edwards who was working as a waitress at a pub called the Pantiles.[24]

Bader got his chance to prove that he could still fly when, in June 1932, Air Under-Secretary Philip Sassoon arranged for him to take up an Avro 504 which he piloted competently. A subsequent medical examination proved him fit for active service. However, in April the following year, he received notification that the RAF had decided to reverse the decision on the grounds that this situation was not covered by the King's Regulations. In May, Bader was invalided out of the RAF, took an office job with the Asiatic Petroleum Company (now Shell) and, on 5 October 1933, married Thelma Edwards.[25]

Second World War

When war broke out in 1939, Bader used his RAF Cranwell connections to rejoin the RAF as a Flying Officer, the rank he had held on his May 1933 retirement. Despite reluctance on the part of the establishment to allow him to apply for an A.1.B. (full flying category status), his persistent efforts paid off.[26] He regained a medical categorisation for operational flying at the end of November 1939 and was posted to the Central Flying School, Upavon, for a refresher course on modern types of aircraft. On 27 November, eight years after his accident, Bader flew solo again in an Avro Tutor; however, once airborne he could not resist the temptation to turn the biplane upside down at 600 feet inside the circuit area.[24] Bader subsequently progressed through the Fairey Battle and Miles Master (the last training stage before experiencing Spitfires and Hurricanes).[27]

In February 1940, Bader was posted to No. 19 Squadron based at RAF Duxford near Cambridge, where, at 29, he was considerably older than his fellow pilots. Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson, a close friend from his Cranwell days, was the Commanding Officer, and it was here that he got his first glimpse of a Spitfire. It was thought that Bader's success as a fighter pilot was partly due to having no legs; pilots pulling high "G" in combat turns often "blacked out" as the flow of blood from the brain drained to other parts of the body; usually the legs. As Bader had no legs he could remain conscious that much longer and thus had an advantage over more able-bodied opponents.[28]


Battle of Britain

The following April, he left 19 Squadron to become a Flight Commander with No. 222 Squadron, also based at Duxford, commanded by another old friend of his, Squadron Leader "Tubby" Mermagen, and it was during this phase of Bader's flying career that he had his first taste of combat. While patrolling the coast near Dunkirk in his Spitfire at around 3,000 ft (910 m), he came across a Bf 109 in front of him, flying in the same direction and at approximately the same speed. Bader believed that the German must have been a novice, taking no evasive action even though it took more than one burst of gunfire to shoot him down.[29] His second encounter was with a Dornier Do 17 a day or two later, in which he narrowly avoided a collision while silencing the aircraft's rear gunner during a high-speed pass.[30] Shortly after Bader joined 222 Squadron, it relocated to RAF Kirton in Lindsey, just south of the Humber.

After flying operations over Dunkirk, he was posted to command No. 242 squadron as Squadron Leader at the end of June 1940; a Hurricane unit based at Coltishall, mainly made up of Canadians who had suffered high losses in the Battle of France and had low morale. Despite initial resistance to their new commanding officer, the pilots were soon won over by Bader's strong personality and perseverance, especially in cutting through red tape to make the squadron operational again. Upon the formation of No. 12 Group RAF, No. 242 squadron was assigned to the Group while based at RAF Duxford.

On 11 July 1940 Bader scored his first kill with his new squadron. The weather was bad, the cloud base was down to just 600 feet while drizzle and mist covered most of the sky. Forward visibility was down to just 2,000 yards. Bader was alone on patrol, and was soon directed toward an enemy aircraft flying north up the Nolfolk coast.[31] Spotting the aircraft at 600 yards through the mist, Bader recognised it as a Dornier Do 17. As he closed on the Dornier its rear-gunner opened fire at 250 yards. Bader continued his attack and fired a three-second burst into the bomber which then made a steeply banked 180-degree turn to the left. He followed the bomber round until it straightened up and started a shallow climb, at which point he fired a second burst before it vanished into cloud.[32] The Dornier, which crashed into the sea off Cromer, was later confirmed by a coastal observer. On 21 August a similar engagement took place. This time a Dornier went into the sea off Great Yarmouth and the Royal Observer Corps confirmed the kill again. There were no survivors.[33]

Later in the month Bader scored a further two victories over Messerschmitt Bf 110s.[34] On 7 September Bader claimed two Messerschmitt Bf 109s shot down followed by a Junkers Ju 88 and a Dornier Do 17 on 18 September.[35]

As a friend and supporter of his 12 Group commander Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Bader joined him as an active exponent of the controversial "Big Wing" theory.[36] Bader was an outspoken critic of the careful "husbanding" tactics being used by Air Vice-Marshall Keith Park, the commander of 11 Group. Park was supported by Fighter Command Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, the overall commander. Bader vociferously campaigned for an aggressive policy of assembling large formations of defensive fighters north of London ready to inflict maximum damage on the massed German bomber formations as they flew over southeast England. As the Battle progressed, Bader often found himself at the head of a composite wing of fighters consisting of up to five squadrons. Achievements of the Big Wing were hard to quantify, as the large formations often took too long to form up, overclaimed kills, and too often did not provide timely support of the overtasked 11 Group.[citation needed] The episode probably contributed to the departure of both Dowding, and Park who was replaced with Leigh-Mallory in November 1940.[37]

During the Battle of Britain Bader used only three Hawker Hurricanes. The first was P3061, in which he scored six kills. The second aircraft was unknown, but Bader did score one kill and two damaged in it on 9 September. The third was V7467, in which he destroyed four more and added one probable and two damaged by the end of September. The machine was lost on 1 September 1941 while on a training exercise.[38]

Wing Leader

In 1941, Bader was promoted to Wing Commander and became one of the first "Wing Leaders." Stationed at Tangmere with 616 squadron, Bader led his wing of Spitfires on sweeps and "circus operations" (medium bomber escort) over northwestern Europe throughout the summer campaign. These were missions combining bombers and fighters designed to lure out and tie down German Luftwaffe fighter units that might otherwise serve on the Russian front. One of the Wing Leader's "perks" was permission to have his initials marked on his aircraft as personal identification, thus "D-B" was painted on the side of Bader's Spitfire. These letters gave rise to his radio call sign "Dogsbody".

During 1941 his wing was re-equipped with Spitfire VBs, which had two Hispano 20 mm cannon and four .303 machine guns. However, Bader flew a Mk. VA equipped with eight .303 machine guns, as he insisted that these guns were more effective against fighter opposition. His tactics required a close-in approach in which he felt the lower calibre weapons had a more devastating effect. At the time, RAF trials with wing-mounted cannons had also revealed a number of shortcomings that precluded a widespread acceptance of the armament.[39]

By August 1941, Bader had claimed 22-and-a-half German aircraft shot down[24] – the half being from a kill that he agreed to split with a friend. This was the fifth highest total of kills in the RAF.

Prisoner of War

On 9 August 1941, Bader was flying a Spifire Mk VA serial W3185 "D-B" on an offensive patrol over the French coast, looking for Messerschmitt Bf 109s from Abbeville or Wissant.[40][41] This turned out to be the last time he flew in combat.

Just after Bader's section of four aircraft crossed the coast, 12 Bf 109s were spotted flying in formation approximately 2–3,000 feet below them travelling in the same direction. Bader dived on them too fast and too steeply to be able to aim and fire his guns, and barely avoided colliding with one of them while continuing his dive. He levelled out at 24,000 ft, pulled himself together, and on taking a look around discovered he was now alone in the sky. Separated from his section, he was considering whether to return home when he noticed three pairs of Bf 109s a couple of miles in front of him.[42] Bader dropped down below them and closed up before dispatching one of them with a short burst of fire from close range. He was just opening fire on a second Bf 109 when he noticed the two on his left turning towards him. At this point he decided it would be better to return home and made the fatal mistake of banking away from them, and towards the two on his right that were continuing straight ahead. In the following moments Bader lost the tail of his Spitfire, and was forced to bail out over Le Touquet in German-occupied France where he was taken prisoner.[43]

Although Douglas believed for years that he had collided in midair with a Bf 109, two other possibilities have later been put forward: that he was shot down by a German Bf 109, or alternatively that he may have been a victim of friendly fire.

Recent research shows no Bf 109 was lost to a collision that day. Feldwebel Max Meyer of II./Jagdgeschwader 26 flying a Bf 109 had claimed him shot down that morning;[44] and according to Luftwaffe records a Leutnant Kosse of 5./JG 26 and Meyer, of 6./JG 26 were the only German pilots to claim a victory that day. Furthermore Meyer mentioned that he had followed the downed Spitfire and watched the pilot bail out, something which matches this passage in Bader's memoirs:

I was floating in the sunshine above broken, white cloud.... I heard an aeroplane just after I passed through. A Bf 109 flew past.[45]

Bader met Max Meyer in Sydney in 1981 during the Schofield Air Show.

More recently, in 2003 air historian Andy Saunders wrote a book Bader's Last Flight,[46] following up with a Channel 4 documentary Who Downed Douglas Bader?, which first aired on 28 August 2006. Saunders' research now suggests that Bader may have been a victim of friendly fire, shot down by one of his fellow RAF pilots after becoming detached from his own squadron.[47] RAF combat records indicate Bader may have been shot down by F/L "Buck" Casson of No. 616 Squadron RAF, who claimed a "Bf 109 whose tail came off and the pilot bailed out." Bader was flying at the rear of the German fighter formation, alone, and his squadron were the opposite side of the Germans. "Buck" had only a few seconds in which he saw Bader and mistook his Spitfire for a Bf 109. Ironically, Casson was also shot down and made prisoner that same day. Whether Bader devised the collision story to cover for a fellow pilot is left unresolved.[47]

German forces treated Bader with great respect. When he bailed out Bader's right prosthetic leg became trapped in the aircraft, and he escaped only when the leg's retaining straps snapped after he pulled the ripcord on his parachute.[48] General Adolf Galland, a German flying ace, notified the British of his damaged leg and offered them safe passage to drop off a replacement. The British responded on 19 August 1941 with the 'Leg Operation'—an RAF bomber was allowed to drop a new prosthetic leg by parachute to St Omer, a Luftwaffe base in occupied France, as part of Circus 81 involving six Blenheim bombers and a sizeable fighter escort. The Germans were less impressed when, task done, the bombers proceeded on to their bombing mission to Gosnay power station near Bethune, although bad weather prevented the target being attacked.

General Galland stated in an interview that the aircraft dropped the leg after bombing his (Galland's) airfield.[49]

Bader tried to escape from the hospital where he was recovering, and over the next few years proved as big a thorn in the side of the Germans as he had been to the RAF establishment. He made so many attempts at escape that the Germans threatened to take away his legs. In August 1942 Bader escaped with Johnny Palmer and three others from the camp at Stalag Luft III in Sagan. Unfortunately a Luftwaffe officer of Jagdgeschwader 26 was in the area. Keen to meet the Tangmere wing leader he dropped by to see Bader. When he knocked on Bader's door there was no answer. Soon the alarm was raised, and a few days later Bader was recaptured. During the search the Germans produced a poster of Bader and Palmer asking for information. It described Bader's disability, but said "walks well without stick". Twenty years later Bader was sent a copy of it by a Belgian civilian prisoner, who worked in a Gestapo office in Leipzig. Bader found this amusing, as he had never used a stick.[50] He was finally dispatched to the "escape-proof" Colditz Castle Oflag IV-C on 18 August 1942, where he remained until the 15 April 1945 when it was liberated by the 1st US Army.[51] When Bader subsequently arrived in Paris, true to form, he requested a Spitfire so that he could rejoin the fighting before the war was over, only to be refused.


After his return to England, Bader was given the honour of leading a victory flypast of 300 aircraft over London in June 1945 and was later promoted to Group Captain.[52] He remained in the RAF until February 1946, when he left to take a job at Royal Dutch/Shell.

Never a person to hide his opinions, Bader also became controversial for his political interventions. A staunch conservative with traditional Victorian values, his trenchantly-expressed views on such subjects as juvenile delinquency, apartheid and Rhodesia's defiance of the Commonwealth (he was a staunch supporter of Ian Smith's white minority regime) attracted much criticism.[53]

Following the death of his first wife, Thelma, Bader married Joan Murray on 3 January 1973.[54]

In 1976 Bader was knighted for his services to disabled people.[55]

On 4 June 1979 Bader flew for the last time as a pilot. He had recorded 5,744 hours and 25 minutes flying time. Adolf Galland followed Bader into retirement.[56]

His workload was exhausting for a legless man with a worsening heart condition, and, after a London Guildhall dinner honouring the 90th birthday of the Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, Bader died of a heart attack on 5 September 1982 at the age of 72. Bader had previously suffered a "minor heart attack" three weeks earlier after a golf tournament in Ayrshire.


A biography about Douglas Bader by Paul Brickhill, Reach for the Sky, was published in 1954 and became a best seller. A feature film of the same title was released in 1956, starring Kenneth More as Bader.

Douglas Bader House in Fairford is now the headquarters for the RAF Charitable Trust

On the 60th anniversary of Bader's last combat mission, his widow Joan unveiled a statue at Goodwood, formerly RAF Westhampnett, the aerodrome from which he took off. The 6 ft (1.8 m) bronze sculpture, the first such tribute, was created by Kenneth Potts from Worcestershire, and was commissioned by the Earl of March, who runs the Goodwood estate on behalf of his father, the Duke of Richmond.[57]

On many RAF Stations, including RAF Coltishall and RAF Coningsby there is a junior ranks' barrack block named after Douglas Bader.

A number of roads are named after Bader, including: Bader Way in Mungo Park, Essex a few minutes walk away from the old RAF base in Hornchurch, Bader Road in Canford Heath, Poole, Dorset, Bader Close in Kenley, Surrey near the former RAF Kenley, Bader Walk near the Sentinel statue in Castle Vale, Birmingham, Bader Crescent in Saskatoon, and Bader Way in the town of Kirton in Lindsey.

The Bader Way in Woodley, Reading is on the site of the airfield where he had his famous crash and lost his legs.

A school, now owned and run by Norfolk County Council, called the Douglas Bader Centre on the former Coltishall RAF base. The area of former RAF housing on the site of Coltishall air base, and now privately owned, is to be called Badersfield.

Northbrook College Sussex at Shoreham-by-Sea Airport has a building named after him in which aeronautical engineering and automotive engineering are taught.

Bader Primary School is situated on Bader Avenue in Thornaby-On-Tees, UK, and was opened by Sir Douglas in November 1971. In New Zealand Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School is located on Bader Drive, near Auckland International Airport, in South Auckland and Bader is a suburb of Hamilton.

In Canada there is a Sir Douglas Bader Seniors' Apartment building in Edmonton, Alberta.

Two pubs have been named in Bader's honour. The first, the Douglas Bader, is located in the village of Martlesham Heath on the site of Martlesham Heath Airfield where Bader was briefly stationed in 1940. The second, the Bader Arms, is situated in the village of Tangmere, West Sussex near RAF Tangmere, where Bader was stationed in 1941.

Bader also opened the pub now called The Pilot, previously called The Fighter Pilot on 12 March 1970. Most of the other roads in South Canford Heath are named after Battle of Britain or Second World War pilots and airfields.

An animated version of Douglas Bader appeared in the Gargoyles television series, voiced by Charles Shaughnessy, in the episode "M.I.A.". As a boy, series creator Greg Weisman met Sir Douglas - and even went to Disneyland with him. Sir Douglas was a personal hero of Greg's father Wally Weisman. These personal associations inspired Sir Douglas' inclusion in "M.I.A.".

The Douglas Bader Memorial Garden in Cupar, Fife was opened by Bader in 1982.[58] After a public campaign, the citizens of Cupar backed a scheme by the new charity: Douglas Bader Community Garden to create a world class garden and community centre in the Fife town. This would replace the original garden, which had been vandalised and was set to be closed by Fife Council, the local authority.[58] However, an attempt to obtain lottery funding failed so the project is not currently going ahead.[59]

The Douglas Bader Foundation was formed in honour of Bader in 1982 by family and friends—many also former RAF pilots who had flown with Bader during the Second World War.[60]

Doncaster College immortalised Douglas Bader on a mural based on the famous people of Doncaster produced by the 2007–2008 First Diploma Art & Design students. The mural has been placed in the Doncaster Interchange (bus station).

The Air Training Corps now uses an electronic office system to undertake many administrative duties named Project Bader. It is said that the name came about when the Army and Sea Cadet Corps who had a rival system named Westminster claimed that "that Air Cadet system doesn't have a leg to stand on".[citation needed]

The Scotland & Northern Ireland Region of the Air Training Corps hold a yearly competition for the Douglas Bader Trophy at RAF Kinloss, where the six wings in the Region compete against each other to become the Best Wing.

Bader's artificial legs are kept by the RAF Museum at their store at Stafford and are not on public display. In January 2008 it was announced that one of Bader's prosthetic legs was to be sold at auction, along with several other items belonging to the RAF ace.[61] An anecdote about these was provided by Peter Townsend in his book Duel in the Dark. He related that on a visit by the King and Queen to review the troops, Bader was called over with his 242 Canadian squadron for the occasion. "With one leg amputated above the knee, the other just below, he was yet one of the greatest of our fighter pilots...Just before the arrival of their Majesties, Douglas (whom I had first known during the day-fighting) confided to me, "Look, old boy (his standard opening gambit), the one thing I can't do is stand properly to attention. So if I overbalance, please come to the rescue." As the royal inspection proceeded I waited nervously for Douglas, tin legs and all, to crash to the ground. Luckily, by parting his feet slightly, he remained upright.

Combat credos

Bader attributed his success to the belief in the three basic rules, shared by the German ace Erich Hartmann:

  • If you had the height, you controlled the battle.
  • If you came out of the sun, the enemy could not see you.
  • If you held your fire until you were very close, you seldom missed.[62]

Quote; “Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

Quote; "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools."[63]

Quote; "I am not one of those who see war as a cricket match where you first give anything to defeat the opponent and then shake hands."

See also



  1. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40669, p. 10, 30 December 1955. For services to the disabled.
  2. ^ London Gazette: no. 34958, p. 5789, 1 October 1940.
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 35219, p. 4063, 15 July 1941.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 35037, p. 151, 7 January 1941.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 35270, p. 5217, 9 September 1941.
  6. ^ surname pronounced /ˈbɑːdər/
  7. ^ London Gazette: no. 33936, p. 2940, 2 May 1933.
  8. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 24.
  9. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 23.
  10. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 25.
  11. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 25–26.
  12. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 28.
  13. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 29.
  14. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 30.
  15. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 32.
  16. ^ Wing Commander Patric Bernard ’Paddy’ Coote, RAF No. 26155
  17. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe: Fritz Gromotka
  18. ^ Weal 2003, p. 44: Another account of the action
  19. ^ Channel 4 History profile
  20. ^ "Douglas Bader." CricketArchive. Retrieved: 27 May 2007.
  21. ^ Ford 1999, p. 44.
  22. ^ Brookes 1991, p. 36.
  23. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 60.
  24. ^ a b c Bogomolny, Eric. Douglas Bader - "personification of RAF heroism during the Second World War." Retrieved: 14 October 2009.
  25. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 68.
  26. ^ Brickhill 1954, p. 146.
  27. ^ Brickhill 1954, p. 150.
  28. ^ Channel 4: Douglas Bader
  29. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 94.
  30. ^ Bader 2004, p. 15.
  31. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 115.
  32. ^ Bader 2004, pp. 19–20.
  33. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 116.
  34. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 120.
  35. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 138.
  36. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 125–129.
  37. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 154–158.
  38. ^ Holmes 1998, p. 124.
  39. ^ Price 2002, p. 78.
  40. ^ Price 1997, p. 90.
  41. ^ Bader 2004, pp. 30–31
  42. ^ Bader 2004, p. 31.
  43. ^ Bader 2004, pp. 32–33.
  44. ^ Caldwell 1996
  45. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 191.
  46. ^ Bader's Last Flight Retrieved: 29 January 2009.
  47. ^ a b "Douglas Bader" by Steve Platt, Channel 4. Retrieved: 20 August 2007.
  48. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 187.
  49. ^ "Interview with World War II Luftwaffe General and Ace Pilot Adolf Galland."
  50. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 206-207.
  51. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 201.
  52. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 212–213.
  53. ^ Lucas 1981, pp. 261–262.
  54. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 276.
  55. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46919, p. 8015, 4 June 1976.
  56. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 281.
  57. ^ Hunter, Martyn, "Bader In Bronze Graces Goodwood", FlyPast, Stamford, Lincs., UK, October 2001, No. 243, page 22.
  58. ^ a b Douglas Bader Memorial Garden website
  59. ^ "Bader Garden lottery funds appeal." Fife Herald, 11 December 2008. Retrieved: 6 July 2009.
  60. ^ About the DBF, The Douglas Bader Foundation, 2009. Retrieved on 29 October 2009.
  61. ^ Bader Auction
  62. ^ Lucas 1981, p. 95.
  63. ^ Brickhill 1954, p. 44. Note: (also quoted as "...for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.") In Reach for the Sky, this quote is attributed to Harry Day, the Royal Flying Corps First World War fighter ace.


  • Bader, Douglas. Fight for the Sky: The Story of the Spitfire and Hurricane. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK: W.S. Cowell Ltd., 2004. ISBN 0-304-35674-3.
  • Brickhill, Paul. Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader DSO, DFC. London: Odhams Press Ltd., 1954. ISBN 1-55750-222-6.
  • Brookes, Andrew. Crash! Military Aircraft Disasters, Accidents and Incidents. London: Ian Allan Ltd., 1991. ISBN 0-7110-1965-7.
  • Burns, M. Bader: The Man and His Men. London: Cassell Military, 1998. ISBN 0-304-35052-4.
  • Caldwell, Don. JG26 War Diary, Volume 1, 1939–1942. London: Grub Street, 1996. ISBN 1-898697-52-3.
  • Ford, Daniel. "Bulldog Pedigree." FlyPast, Number 215, June 1999.
  • Homles, Tony. Hurricane Aces 1939–1940. London: Osprey Publishing, 1998. ISBN 978-1-85532-597-5.
  • Lucas, Laddie. Flying Colours: The Epic Story of Douglas Bader. London: Hutchinson Publishing Group, 1981. ISBN 0-091-46470-6.
  • Price, Dr. Alfred. Spitfire Mark V Aces 1941–1945. London: Osprey, 1997. ISBN 978-1-85532-635-4.
  • Price, Dr. Alfred. The Spitfire Story: Revised second edition. Enderby, Leicester, UK: Siverdale Books, 2002. ISBN 1-885605-702-X.
  • Register of Births. St Marylebone, sub-district of St John, London. Birth No. 44.
  • Townsend, Peter. Duel in the Dark. London: Harrap Ltd, 1986. ISBN 0-245-54247-7.
  • Vigors, Tim. Life's Too Short to Cry: The Inspirational Memoir of an Ace Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot . London: Grub Street Publishers, 2006. ISBN 1-904943-61-6.
  • Weal, John. Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. London: Osprey Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-841765-38-4.

External links


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