Intrepid Legless Pilot (video)

October 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 04 October 1941

Intrepid Legless Pilot

Daring Bids for Freedom After two daring attempts to escape, Wing-Commander Douglas Bader (30), double D.S.O., double D.F.C., son of Mrs. Hobbes (wife of the Rector of Sprotborough) is back in enemy hands.

In August, the legless fighter pilot baled out of his plane while flying over France, and on landing damaged one of his artificial limbs. After receiving word from the Germans, through the Red Cross, that Bader needed a new leg, fighter pilots from his station competed for the honour of dropping a new one by parachute.

The new leg arrived. Wing- Commander Bader attended a party to celebrate, and danced, but when the party broke up, where was Bader? The defiant hero was missing! However, his escape was short-lived, for German search parties found him. Subsequently, every night, as a precaution, the Nazi authorities removed one of his artificial legs and returned it to him the next morning.

Later, with both his legs. Bader was taken to a hospital. But not wanting to stay there, one night he knotted his blankets, calmly climbed from a window to the ground, and for the second time, escaped. For four days the Nazis continued their fruitless search, but, on the fifth, Bader’s luck ran out, and he was re-captured 100 miles from the hospital, while making for the French coast. His captors took away both his artificial legs for fear he would again escape. ” They have now been returned to him,” say the Germans.

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