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Captain Arthur Donaldson's damaged flying helmet.
The amazing resilience of an indestructible Spitfire ace who lost his fingers can be revealed after his bravery medals sold for over £18,000.
Group Captain Arthur Donaldson, of 263 Squadron, a hero of the defence of Malta, withstood being hit by flak which blew off his helmet.
The airman also had two digits on his left hand severed during a dogfight which landed on his lap.
But he still somehow brought his aircraft home despite his gruesome injury as blood gushed all over the cockpit.
He later survived a plane crash off Gibraltar that resulted in 17 deaths, and a bout of malaria during a stint in the Far East.