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Posts Tagged ‘Battle of Britain’

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Winner: Droppin’

Droppin’ led all the way tonight, followed closely by The Driver and Pluto. This was Mistress Daphne’s last game for quite a while. Surprisingly, she is taking a pair of long cruises on the high seas, headed back and forth across the ocean. She must think there are frequent flier miles for all that sailing. All the players will be sad to see her go.  Ah, who am I kidding. We can’t wait until she is gone and we can play this game with wild abandon – anything goes (and no penalty box).

She has offered to arrange for her sister – Conn. Connie – to stand in for her one week, and ask the questions. That would be a nice change of pace. Looks like we will have to bring Darin in off injured reserve to handle those duties, just as soon as she is able. I understand she has been busy taking biker ed classes, so she can get a reduced insurance policy for her next bike trip.

Tonight’s controversy involved the name of Dennis the Menace’s dog, of all things. Turns out he had 2 dogs – first Gnasher, and then Ruff. Initially the “Ruffians” were quite upset that their answer didn’t get credit, but after much weeping and “gnashing” of teeth, all was made well.

Good Question!: Name the legless fighter pilot of WWII ?

Choices:  a.Jonathan Willis   b.Douglas Bader   c.Floyd Bennett   d.Daniel Griffiss

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Answer: b.Douglas Bader

It’s a heck of a story, which not too many Americans know.

Douglas Bader, the son of a soldier who died as a result of the wounds suffered in WWi was born in London in 1910. An excellent sportsman, Bader won a place to the RAF College in Cranwell where he captained the Rugby team and was a champion boxer. Bader was commissioned as an officer in the RAF in 1930 but after only 18 months he crashed his aeroplane and as a result of the accident had to have both legs amputated.

On the outbreak of WWII he was allowed to rejoin the RAF. A member of 222 Squadron, Bader took part in the operation over Dunkirk and showed his ability by bringing down two planes.

Bader was now promoted and was given command of 242 Squadron, which had suffered 50 per cent casualties in just a couple of weeks. Determined to raise morale, Bader made dramatic changes to the organization.

The squadron’s first sortie during the Battle of Britain on 30th August, 1940, resulted in the shooting down of 12 German aircraft over the Channel in just over an hour. Bader himself was responsible for downing two Messerschmitt 110.

During the summer of 1941 he obtained 12 kills. His 23 victories made him the fifth highest ace in the RAF. However, on 9th August 1941, he suffered a mid-air collision near Le Touquet, France. He parachuted to the ground but both his artificial legs were badly damaged.

Bader was taken to a hospital and with the help of a French nurse managed to escape. He reached the home of a local farmer but was soon arrested and sent to a prison camp. After several attempts to escape he was sent to Colditz.

Bader was freed at the end of WWII and when he returned to Britain he was promoted to group captain. He left the Royal Air Force in 1946 and became managing director of Shell Aircraft until 1969 when he left to become a member of the Civil Aviation Authority Board.

Paul Brickhill’s book, Reach for the Sky, was published in 1954 and was later made into a movie. Bader’s autobiography appeared in 1973. Douglas Bader, who was knighted in 1976, died in 1982.

Here is a wonderful, long (5 minute) trailer that captures the bravery of the RAF in the Battle of Britain:

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