Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader, Legless Ace of the Battle of Britain
(Paul Brickhill )
Douglas Bader was in the peacetime RAF but lost both legs in a crash. After a miserable few years on civvie street, the war came along and he volunteered. Not only was he accepted, with two prosthetic legs and several years older than most of "the Few", but the RAF returned him to fighter-plane duty. He became a leading ace until he was shot down, and then he became such a pain to the Germans that they had to take his legs away from him to stop him from escaping.
You may remember Brickhill as the author of The Great Escape. This is another spellbinding yarn. Note however that it is more of an inspirational story than a serious biography. In the days when youngsters were more literate than they are today, it would have been called a "boy's book."
My son-in-law (who is English) gave an earlier version of this book to me for a Christmas present. He had to search all the used-book websites to find it. I'm delighted (and so is he) that it's available again. Bluejacket Books are distributed in the U.S. by Naval Institute Press, so I'm sure that this is an excellent production and not a cheap reprint.
Give it to the "boy" on your list, whether he's eight or eighty.