Douglas Bader's RAF logbook flies to $37,300 at Dominic Winter

The name of Douglas Bader is one synonymous with British heroism. An (RAF) fighter ace during the Second World War, he was credited with 20 aerial victories and four shared victories, with several other probables. But it was a miracle he was flying at all.

Bader joined the RAF in 1928, and was commissioned in 1930, but in 1931 he had a near-fatal crash in which he lost both his legs. He recorded this in his log book: "Crashed slow rolling near ground. Bad show."

Nevertheless, he trained himself to walk again on artificial legs, and offered to fly once more. The RAF refused, and he was 'retired', despite being still in his early twenties. But in 1939, his skills as a pilot couldn't be ignored, and he was called up.

Douglas Bader logbook
Not a bad show - Douglas Bader's logbook

In 1941, Bader was forced to bail out over Nazi-occupied France - possibly as the result of 'friendly fire'. Again, not wishing to allow his disability to limit him he made a series of escape attempts until he was locked away in Colditz with other incorrigible types.

Bader did not himself escape from Colditz, but played a crucial role in signalling to the rest. (We mentioned the details when Ronnie Littledale's medals were sold.)

Yesterday, at Dominic Winter, Bader's flight log book went under the hammer, selling for £23,500 ($37,300).

Memorabilia from great British war heroes will always be coveted and meaningful. We've been excited to have in our possession the autograph of 'dam buster' hero Guy Gibson. Click to find out more.


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