My history hero: David Cameron chooses Douglas Bader (1910–82)

Former prime minister David Cameron nominates Second World War flying ace Sir Douglas Bader as his history hero...

Douglas Bader in October 1940. “He was competitive, unruly, foolhardy – but also brilliant, brave and hugely talented,” says David Cameron. (Photo by Fg Off S A Devon/IWM via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the August 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine

Sir Douglas Bader was the best-known RAF flying ace of the Second World War. Both of his legs were amputated following a crash in 1931, yet after the outbreak of war he talked his way back into the RAF and was promoted to squadron leader, then group captain. He was credited with 22 solo aerial victories, a further four shared victories and several ‘probables’.

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