Royal Treatment

In 1931, Douglas Bader lost his legs in a flying accident. Fitted with artificial limbs, Bader learned to walk again and resumed playing golf and tennis -- and flying with the British Royal Air Force (RAF). During World War II, he registered twenty-two kills before colliding with another plane and crash-landing in France in 1942. The Germans, having captured Bader, informed the RAF that he was fine -- apart from one small problem. An RAF plane was soon dispatched to fly over a German airfield and drop a parcel (by parachute) addressed to "The German flight commander of the Luftwaffe at St. Omer" (where Bader was being held as a prisoner of war in the hospital). The parcel's contents? One artificial leg, bandages, socks, and straps.

[After Bader's fourth attempt to escape, his German captors deprived him of his artificial limbs at night. He was freed after nearly four years by the American Third Army.]

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