Inspirational WWII Pilot
My Mum bought me this book when I was about 12 or 13. I still have it on my bookshelves, and the sight of where she cut off the corner of the paper cover, where the price had been, with her pinking shears, brings back fond memories.
As for the book: it is the inspirational true story of WWII RAF fighter pilot, Group Captain Sir Douglas (Dogsbody) Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL.
Despite losing both his legs during peacetime, he signed up again when the Second World War broke out, and flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in the Battles of France and Britain. He was one of “The Few.” Despite being always in trouble with senior officers for his rebellious nature and his forthright challenges to authority, the intrepid pilot became a popular British hero. Deservedly so, in my opinion.
Eventually, he was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. He spent the rest of the war in Prisoner of War camps, and directed his trouble-making at his captors. He escaped, was re-captured, and imprisoned in the infamous Colditz Castle.
This is a fascinating, and truly inspirational story. You cannot fail to be moved by it. I have read this book several times, and it never fails to lift me. What a man he was! If you haven’t already done so, get your hands on a copy as soon as you can.
By the way, a film of this book was made with Kenneth More starring as Bader. It is very rare that I think that a film is as good as the book that it is based upon, but this one makes the mark. You should see it.