14th December 1931
Douglas Bader - Bristol Bulldog incident
On this date in aviation history, PO Douglas R. S. Bader, Royal Air Force, was involved in an incident with his Bristol Bulldog Mk. IIA, K-1676, and crashed at Woodley Aerodrome. Bader suffered major injuries requiring amputation of both legs. He was fitted with prosthetic legs and soon he was able to walk without assistance, and he was medically retired from air force duties.
In 1939, once WWII began, Bader wrote to the Air Ministry and he was reinstated after medical and evaluation tests. He was sent to refresher training where he was evaluated as exceptional, a very rare qualification.
By war end Douglas Bader was a legendary pilot, credited with more than 20 aerial victories while flying Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire fighters.
He is subject of Reach For The Sky, a biography by Paul Brickhill and a movie based on the book which starred Kenneth More.