Yvette Hamel takes in some entertainment with the men of the 371st Fighter Group at an airfield in France. This photograph was published on page 45 of the November 27, 1944, issue of LIFE Magazine. The caption for this photo was: “LEGLESS YVETTE HAMEL, DRESSED IN A FLYING JACKET AND BLOUSE MADE OF PARACHUTE SILK, WATCHED A GI SHOW WITH MEN OF THE FIGHTER GROUP WHICH ADOPTED HER.” The short article beneath LIFE’s photo included the following details of Yvette’s remarkable story: AIRMEN’S WARD U.S. fliers in France adopt girl who lost both legs in Normandy Last July 16-year old Yvette Hamel was milking a cow in a field near the Norman town of La Haye du Puits. A German shell landed in the field, wounding her so badly that both of her legs had to be amputated. A few days later, Colonel Bingham Kleine, commanding officer of a 9th AF fighter group, met her in a near-by hospital. Colonel Kleine saw that she was moved to a better hospital, finally arranged to have her treated in his group dispensary. When the group moved, Yvette moved with it, cared for by several hundred men and two French Red Cross volunteers. The men of Colonel Kleine’s group are taking fine care of Yvette. Among themselves they have raised more than $2,000 for new hospital bills and have spared no trouble to keep her comfortable. In the midst of all this attention Yvette is cheerful, although she cries a little when she thinks no one is around. She doesn’t speak much English but is learning the curious GI brand as quickly as anyone. (LIFE Magazine)
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