Many Real Life Soldiers who make Rambo look like a p*ssy

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FlashyG
6/22/11 12:07:18AM
This is an old post from Cracked but it was in their flashback feature recently. I thought it was a cool read and theres a lot of guys here I thought might also enjoy it.

Simo Hayha


Simo Hayha had a fairly boring life in Finland. He served his one mandatory year in the military, and then became a farmer. But when the Soviet Union invaded his homeland in 1939, he decided he wanted to help his country.
Since the majority of fighting took place in the forest, he figured the best way to stop the invasion was to grab his trusty rifle, a couple of cans of food and hide in a tree all day shooting Russians. In six feet of snow. And 20-40 degrees below zero.

Of course when the Russians heard that dozens of their men were going down and that it was all one dude with a rifle, they got ******* scared. He became known as "The White Death" because of his white camouflage outfit, and they actually mounted whole missions just to kill that one guy.
They started by sending out a task force to find Hayha and take him out. He killed them all.
Then they tried getting together a team of counter-snipers (which are basically snipers that kill snipers) and sent them in to eliminate Hayha. He killed all of them, too.

Over the course of 100 days, Hayha killed 542 people with his rifle. He took out another 150 or so with his SMG, sending his credited kill-count up to 705.
Since everyone they had was either too dead or too scared to go anywhere near him, the Russians just carpet-bombed everywhere they thought he might be. Supposedly, they had the location right, and he actually got hit by a cloud of shrapnel that tore his coat up, but didn't actually hurt him, because he's the ******* White Death, damn it.
Finally on March 6th, 1940, some lucky bastard shot Hayha in the head with an exploding bullet. When some other soldiers found him and brought him back to base, he "had half his head missing." The White Death had finally been stopped...

...for about a week. In spite of having come down with a nasty case of shot-in-the-face syndrome, he was still very much alive, and regained consciousness on March 13, the very day the war ended.

His Rifle -

Yogendra Singh Yadav


Yogendra Singh Yadav was a member of an Indian grenadier battalion during a conflict with Pakistan in 1999. Their mission was to climb "Tiger Hill" (actually a big-ass mountain), and neutralize the three enemy bunkers at the top. Unfortunately, this meant climbing up a sheer hundred-foot cliff-face of solid ice. Since they didn't want to all climb up one at a time with ice-axes, they decided they'd send one guy up, and he'd fasten the ropes to the cliff as he went, so everyone else could climb up the sissy way. Yadav, being awesome, volunteered.
Half way up the icy cliff-o'-doom, enemies stationed on an adjacent mountain opened fire, shooting them with an RPG, then spraying assault-rifle fire all over the cliff. Half his squad was killed, including the commander, and the rest were scattered and disorganized. Yadav, in spite of being shot three times, kept climbing.

When he reached the top, one of the target bunkers opened fire on him with machine guns. Yadav ran toward the hail of bullets, pitched a grenade in the window and killed everyone inside. By this point the second bunker had a clear shot and opened fire, so he ran at them, taking bullets while he did, and killed the four heavily-armed men inside with his bare hands.
Meanwhile, the remainder of his squad was standing at the top of the cliff staring at him saying, "dude, holy ****!" They then all went and took the third bunker with little trouble.
For his gallantry and sheer ballsiness, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military award. Unlike the Medal of Honor, the Param Vir Chakra is only given for "rarest of the rare gallantry which is beyond the call of duty and which in normal life is considered impossible to do." That's right, you actually have to break the laws of reality just to be eligible.

It has only been awarded 21 times, and two thirds of the people who earned it died in the process. It was initially reported that Yadav had as well, but it turns out that they just mistook him for someone less badass. Or they just figured no real human being could survive a broken leg, shattered arm and 10-15 fresh bullet holes in one sitting.

Jack Churchill


An allied commander in WWII, and an avid fan of surfing, Captain Jack Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill aka "Fighting Jack Churchill" aka "Mad Jack" was basically the craziest ************ in the whole damn war.
He volunteered for commando duty, not actually knowing what it entailed, but knowing that it sounded dangerous, and therefore fun. He is best known for saying that "any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed" and, in following with this, for carrying a sword into battle. In WWII. And not one of those sissy ceremonial things the Marines have. No, Jack carried a ******* claymore. And he used it, too. He is credited with capturing a total of 42 Germans and a mortar squad in the middle of the night, using only his sword.

Churchill and his team were tasked with capturing a German fortification creatively called "Point 622." Churchill took the lead, charging ahead of the group into the dark through the barbed wire and mines, pitching grenades as he went. Although his unit did their best to catch up, all but six of them were lost to silly things like death. Of those six, half were wounded and all any of them had left were pistols. Then a mortar shell swung in and killed/mortally wounded everyone who wasn't Jack Churchill.
When the Germans found him, he was playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his bagpipes. Oh, we didn't mention that? He carried them right next to his big ******* sword.
After being sent to a concentration camp, he got bored and left. Just walked out. They caught him again, and sent him to a new camp. So he left again. After walking 150 miles with only a rusty can of onions for food, he was picked up by the Americans and sent back to Britain, where he demanded to be sent back into the field, only to find out (with great disappointment) the war had ended while he was on his way there. As he later said to his friends, "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!"

Alvin York


Born to a family of redneck farmers from Tennessee, Alvin York spent much of his youth getting piss drunk in bars and getting into crazy barfights. When his friend got killed in one of the aforementioned barfights, he swore off the liquor, and became a pacifist. When he received his draft notice in 1917, York filed as a "conscientious objector" but was denied. They shipped his ass out to basic training.
About a year later, he was one of 17 men designated to sneak around and take out a fortified machine-gun encampment guarding a German railroad. As they were approaching, the gunners spotted them and opened fire, tearing nine of the men to pieces.

The few survivors that didn't have enormous balls of steel ran away, leaving York standing there taking fire from 32 heavy machine gunners. As he said in his diary,
"I didn't have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush, I didn't even have time to kneel or lie down. I had no time no how to do nothing but watch them-there German machine gunners and give them the best I had. Every time I seed a German I just touched him off. At first I was shooting from a prone position; that is lying down; just like we often shoot at the targets in the shooting matches in the mountains of Tennessee; and it was just about the same distance. But the targets here were bigger. I just couldn't miss a German's head or body at that distance. And I didn't."
After he killed the first 20 men or so, a German lieutenant got five guys together to try to take this guy from the side. York pulled out his Colt .45 (which only had eight bullets) and killed all of them with it, a practice he likened to "shoot[ing] wild turkeys back home."

At this point lieutenant Paul Jurgen Vollmer yelled out over the noise asking if York was English. See, in WWI, no one really took the Americans very seriously, and everyone thought of them as the rookies. Vollmer figured this crazy/awesome/ballsy soldier must be some kind of English superman who was showing these sissy Americans how it was done. When York said he was American, Vollmer replied "Good Lord! If you won't shoot any more I will make them give up."
Ten minutes later, 133 men came walking towards the remains of York's battalion. Lieutenant Woods, York's superior at first thought it was a German counter-attack until he saw York, who saluted and said "Corporal York reports with prisoners, sir." When the stunned officer asked how many, York replied "Honest, Lieutenant, I don't know."

Audie Murphy


When Audie Murphy applied to the Marines in 1942 at the tender age of 16, he was 5'5" and weighed 110 pounds. They laughed in his face. So he applied to the Air Force, and they also laughed in his face. Then he applied for the Army, and they figured they could always use another grunt to absorb gunfire, so they let him in. He wasn't particularly good at it, and they actually tried to get him transferred to be a cook after he passed out halfway through training. He insisted that he wanted to fight though, so they sent him into the maelstrom.
During the invasion of Italy he was promoted to corporal for his awesome shooting skills, and at the same time contracted malaria, which he had for almost the entire war. Try to remember that.

He was sent into southern France in 1944. He encountered a German machine gun crew who pretended they were surrendering, then shot his best buddy. Murphy completely hulked out, killed everyone in the gun nest, then used their weaponry to kill every baddie in a 100-yard radius, including two more machine gun nests and a bunch of snipers. They gave him a Distiguished Service Cross, and made him platoon commander while everyone apologized profusely for calling him "Shorty."
About half a year later, his company was given the job of defending the Colmar Pocket, a critical region in France, even though all they had left was 19 guys (out of the original 128) and a couple of M-10 Tank Destroyers.

The Germans showed up with a shitload of guys and half a dozen tanks. Since reinforcements weren't coming for a while, Murphy and his men hid in a trench and sent the M-10s to go do the heavy lifting. They got ripped to shreds.
Then, this five-and-a-half-foot-tall kid with malaria ran up to one of the crippled M-10s, hopped in behind the .50 cal machine gun, and started killing everything in sight. Understand that the M-10 was on fire, had a full tank of gas and was basically a death-trap.

He kept going for almost an hour until he was out of bullets, then walked back to his bewildered men as the M-10 exploded in the background Mad Max style. They gave him literally every medal they could (33 in all, although he had doubles of a few, plus five from France and one from Belgium), including the Medal of Honor.
After the war, he came down with Shell-Shock, and was prescribed the antidepressant placidyl. When he became addicted to the drug, rather than enter a program like some kind of sissy, he went cold-turkey, locked himself in a motel room for a week and got over it. He wrote an autobiography entitled To Hell and Back, and later became an actor.

Leo Major


A lowly private in the Canadian Military, Leo Majors became not just the only Canuck to receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal (the second-highest award for bravery offered by the Royal government) twice, but the only person from any Commonwealth country to win it for actions in two separate wars.

Major kicked things off by landing on Normandy along with the rest of the Canadian military, and I'd wager that anybody who's ever played any of the ten billion World War II-themed video games on the market today can tell you that running across a beach while Nazis shoot machine guns at your face is no picnic. Well not only did Majors miraculously manage to somehow not die nose-down in the surf, but on his first day in the lovely French countryside he went out and single-handedly captured one of these bad boys:
Obviously the one he captured wasn't plastic.

Leo Major, a scout and sniper by trade, charged out in broad daylight, popped an entire squad of Nazis, stole their ride, and then impressed all his superiors when they discovered that the jacked truck was loaded up with communications gear that would prove invaluable in terms of intercepting and deciphering German messages during the Normandy Campaign. For those of you out there who aren't experts in military tactics and strategy, being able to know what your enemy is going to do before he does it is kind of a good thing if you enjoy not losing wars, and that's a benefit that the Allies had in no small part to Leo Major's raging iron ballsack.

Helping out the intel cause one bullet at a time was great and all, so about a week later Major went out and pissed off a squad of battle-hardened badass SS soldiers. Sure, the SS were the most elite force the Nazis could field, but Major still smoked all eight of them. Unfortunately right as the last guy was getting ready to eat it he chucked a phosphorous grenade that blew up in Leo's face, covering him with a very unpleasant coating of burning-hot liquid. Major lost all vision in his right eye, but when the Allied docs told him to pack up and head home, this German-smiting asskicker demanded to stay on the front. He argued, in true badass fashion, that as long as he had one eye to look into the scope of his rifle he was still capable of serving his country. From that point on, Leo Major went into battle with an eyepatch on his right eye, which is a detail that is so awesome I think I may have just crapped. Oh, and just in case Nazi-killing pirate snipers still aren't tough enough for you somehow, Major also refused evacuation a few years later when his APC drove over a landmine and he broke his back in a couple places. Even something as ridiculous as a fractured spine didn't stop this maniac from finishing out the war, going out to fight in another one, and winning bravery medals in both.

Major's first larger-than-life action came during the Battle of the Scheldt in the Netherlands in late 1944. Major and his best friend (a lumberjack named Willy, because when you're a hardcore Canadian you're more or less obligated to be best friends with a lumberjack commando) went out to scout a town and figure out what the hell happened to a company of Canadian infantry that had failed to return from a reconnaissance mission. Major went into the town, discovered that the company had been captured, and then single-handedly captured the entire enemy garrison by running up and down guard posts jamming his rifle in peoples' faces and screaming at them. He returned to the Allied camp with 93 German prisoners in tow. Because this was so insane, the British high command offered him a Distinguished Conduct Medal, but Leo told them to get bent and shove the medal up their asses. In Major's opinion, Allied High Command General Bernard Montgomery was such an incompetent dickbrain that he wasn't qualified to be giving medals out to anyone, and any award issued by him was about as worthless as he was. Try to keep in mind, now, that this is a Private talking about the most senior officer in his army. Say what you'd like about maintaining respect for the chain of command, but this takes some giant balls.

Luckily for Democracy, the Canadian high command didn't see fit to reprimand this guy for his not so subtle diss of Monty, and their decision ended up paying off in one of the most balls-out one-man battles ever fought – the single-handed capture of the Dutch town of Zwolle by Private Leo Major and his implacable rage.

One quiet night in 1945 Major and his buddy were sent out to do some recon in the Nazi-occupied town of Zwolle, report back on enemy numbers, and maybe establish contact with the Dutch resistance. Sadly, not long into the mission, Willy the Lumberjack was cheap-shotted and killed by a German machine gun. This set off one of the most epic blood rages ever recorded. Leo Major completely flipped his ****, strapped three machine guns onto his back, grabbed a huge sack of hand grenades, and charged into the quiet town with his guns and weapons blazing. Leo ran around like a berserker madman, creating such a clusterfuck of explosions, fires, and dead bodies that the German garrison was convinced that they were fighting a vastly superior force. During his mad rampage of Nazi destruction, this one-eyed juggernaut kicked in the door of an SS officer's club, kiled four high-ranking enemy commanders in a firefight, and then went and ran out and burned down the local headquarters of the Gestapo. By the time the sun rose on Zwolle the next morning, the entire German garrison had evacuated and the town was returned to Dutch control. To this day Leo Major is still remembered as the sole savior of Zwolle, an honor that kind of blows my mind a little.

Major would deservedly receive his first DCM for the insanity at Zwolle, but the second one would come a decade later and halfway around the world, during the fighting in the Korean conflict. Major, who by this time had graciously been promoted to Corporal, was sent to infiltrate a key hill that had just been captured from the Americans by a huge force of nearly forty thousand Chinese soldiers. Major snuck in with 19 other French Canadian hardasses, set up fortifications, and – for whatever reason – decided to open fire on the Chinese. In a massive battle that lasted for three days and nights, Leo Major and his 20-man platoon somehow captured the hill and held off desperate counterattacks by two full divisions of the Chinese army. Major was right in the middle of the whole thing, pumping up his men and calling mortar fire down mere feet from his position to ensure maximum detonation of his enemies. That's some stone-cold **** right there, but at this point we know it to be par for the course for this guy.

Leo Major died in 2008, but nowadays he is fondly remembered as a hero to Canadians, Dutch, and pretty much anybody who's a fan of guys in eyepatches that kick their enemies in the groin as hard as possible whenever the opportunity presents itself. His old unit now offers a yearly award in his name to the toughest company in the regiment, and the people of Zwolle continue to teach him in their public school curriculum. There's also a constellation named after him, but there's a slight chance that may have been around first.



"I fought the war with only one eye, and I did pretty good" Leo Major

Links - Cracked article for the first 5
Leo Major Story
bojangalz
6/22/11 1:29:25AM
As soon as I saw the title I figured there would be an Audie Murphy reference. That dude was simply badass. I hadn't heard of the others though... I'll have to look into them a bit more. Great read tough.
Chael_Sonnen
6/22/11 1:48:37AM
The definition of true bad asses!
Aether
6/22/11 1:55:53AM
yeah I read this a while back, pretty cool.

That Jack Churchill guy absolutely cracked me up. Dude was fighting in WWII with a ******* claymore and a set of bagpipes. Like... wtf dude, lol? He literally brought a knife to a gunfight.
papercut
6/22/11 2:43:48AM
as a fan of history I enjoyed reading every bit of this.
UFC_Fanatic
6/22/11 3:43:16AM
I thought this was an interesting read. I had only heard of Simo Hayha. I am surprised though that Carlos Hathcock wasn't on the list though. Dude was a badass.
Malaussie
6/22/11 3:52:16AM
Fantastic read! Really enjoyed this. In honour of all these men
emfleek
6/22/11 8:12:20AM
Holy Crap. Rambo's a friggin' nancy boy!



Great read!
FlashyG
6/22/11 10:15:34AM

Posted by UFC_Fanatic

I thought this was an interesting read. I had only heard of Simo Hayha. I am surprised though that Carlos Hathcock wasn't on the list though. Dude was a badass.



Carlos Hathcock

This is from his Wiki.

Before deploying to Vietnam, Hathcock had won many shooting championships, including matches at Camp Perry and the Wimbledon Cup. In 1966 Hathcock started his deployment in Vietnam as an MP and later became a sniper after Captain Edward J. Land Jr. pushed the Marines into raising snipers in every platoon. Land later recruited Marines who had set their own records in sharpshooting; he quickly found Hathcock, who had won the Wimbledon Cup, the most prestigious prize for long-range shooting, at Camp Perry in 1965.
During the Vietnam War Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills of North Vietnamese Army and Viet-Cong personnel.[2] (During the Vietnam War, kills had to be confirmed by an acting third party, who had to be an officer, besides the sniper's spotter; snipers often did not have an acting third party present, making confirmation difficult, especially if the target was behind enemy lines, as was usually the case.) He is ranked fourth, behind U.S. Marine Corps snipers Eric R. England and Chuck Mawhinney and United States Army sniper Adelbert Waldron, on the list of most confirmed kills for an American sniper.[3]
The North Vietnamese Army put a bounty of $30,000 on Hathcock's life for killing so many of their men. Rewards put on U.S. snipers by the N.V.A. typically ranged from $8 to $2,000. Hathcock held the record for highest bounty and killed every Vietnamese marksman who sought it.[4] The Viet Cong and N.V.A. called Hathcock Lông Tr?ng, translated as "White Feather," because of the white feather he kept in a band on his bush hat.[5] After a platoon of trained Vietnamese snipers were sent to hunt down "White Feather," many Marines in the same area donned white feathers to deceive the enemy. These Marines were aware of the impact Hathcock's death would have and took it upon themselves to make themselves targets in order to confuse the counter-snipers.[6]
One of Hathcock's most famous accomplishments was shooting an enemy sniper through the enemy's own scope, hitting him in the eye and killing him.[7] Hathcock and John Roland Burke, his spotter, were stalking the enemy sniper in the jungle near Hill 55, the firebase from which Hathcock was operating. The sniper had already killed several Marines and was believed to have been sent specifically to kill Hathcock.[6] When Hathcock saw a flash of light (light reflecting off the enemy sniper's scope) in the bushes,[7] he fired at it, shooting through the scope and killing the sniper.[7] Surveying the situation, Hathcock concluded that the only feasible way he could have put the bullet straight down the enemy's scope and through his eye would have been if both snipers were zeroing in on each other at the same time and Hathcock fired first, which gave him only a few seconds to act.[6] Given the flight time of rounds at long ranges, both snipers could easily have killed one another.[7]
Hathcock only once removed the white feather from his bush hat while deployed in Vietnam.[8] During a volunteer mission days before the end of his first deployment, he crawled over 1,500 yards of field to shoot an NVA commanding general.[5][8][9] He wasn't informed of the details of the mission until he accepted it.[10] This effort took four days and three nights, without sleep, of constant inch-by-inch crawling.[5][8][9] Hathcock said he was almost stepped on as he lay camouflaged with grass and vegetation in a meadow shortly after sunset.[1] At one point he was nearly bitten by a bamboo viper but had the presence of mind to avoid moving and giving up his position.[9] As the general exited his tent, Hathcock fired a single shot that struck the general in the chest, killing him.[5][8][9] He had to crawl back instead of run when soldiers started searching, and later regretted taking the mission, for in the aftermath of the assassination the NVA doubled their attacks in the area, apparently in retaliation for their general being killed and leading to an increase in American casualties.[5][8][9]
After the arduous mission of killing the general, Hathcock returned to the United States in 1967.[5][8][9][10] However, he missed the Marine Corps and returned to Vietnam in 1969, where he took command of a platoon of snipers.[6]
Hathcock generally used the standard sniper rifle: the Winchester Model 70 .30-06 caliber rifle with the standard 8-power Unertl scope. On some occasions, however, he used a different weapon: the M-14 service rifle on which he mounted a 10X Unertl scope, using a bracket of his own design.[5] Hathcock made a number of kills with this weapon in excess of 1,000 yards, including his record for the longest confirmed kill at 2,500 yards.[5][11]
Hathcock's career as a sniper came to a sudden end along Route 1, north of LZ Baldy in September 1969, when an amtrack he was riding on struck an anti-tank mine. Hathcock pulled seven Marines off the flame-engulfed vehicle and was severely burned before jumping to safety. Nearly 30 years later, he would receive the Silver Star for this action.[6] All eight injured marines were medevaced to the USS Repose (AH-16), then to a Naval Hospital in Tokyo, and ultimately to the burn center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
scoozna
6/22/11 11:42:35AM
Awesome. Inspiring. Heroic.

Not exactly the same topic, but an intersting book I read was "No Surrender - My Thirty Year War" about a Japanese soldier that continued to hide out in the Phillipine jungle believing WWII was still being fought.
FlashyG
6/22/11 12:35:16PM
Here's a few more,

Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon


Randy Shughart was born on August 13, 1958 in Lincoln, Nebraska into an Air Force family. His father, Herbert Shughart, was stationed nearby. The Shugharts moved to Newville, Pennsylvania after Herb left the Air Force, living on and tending a dairy farm. Randy joined the Army while attending Big Spring High School in Newville, entering upon graduation. After basic training, he successfully completed AIT (advanced individual training), Airborne School, and afterwards was assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry (Airborne), at Fort Lewis, Washington. Several months later he completed a pre-ranger course (currently known as RIP, or Ranger Indoctrination Program), was granted a slot to attend Ranger School, graduated, and therefore earned the Ranger Tab. After leaving the service, then again reenlisting into the Rangers, Shughart was later assigned to "Delta Force" and was transferred to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[1]
Shughart was deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia with other Delta members in the summer of 1993 as part of Task Force Ranger. On October 3, 1993 Shughart was Sniper Team Leader during Operation Gothic Serpent, a joint-force assault mission to apprehend key advisers to Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. During the assault, Super Six One, one of the Army's Black Hawk helicopters providing insertion and air support to the assault team was shot down and had crashed in the city. A Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) team was dispatched to the first crash site to secure it. Shortly thereafter, Super Six Four was shot down as well. Ranger forces on the ground were not able to assist the downed helicopter crew of the second crash site as they were already engaged in heavy combat with Aidid's militia and making their way to the first crash site.[1]
Shughart and his Delta sniper teammates Gary Gordon and Sergeant First Class Brad Hallings had been providing sniper cover from the air. Gary Gordon requested to be inserted on the ground in order to secure the crash site and protect survivors, despite the fact that large numbers of armed, hostile Somalis were converging on the area.[1]
Mission commanders denied Gordon's request twice,[1] saying that the situation was already too dangerous for the three Delta snipers to effectively protect the Blackhawk crew from the ground.[1] Command's position was that the snipers could be of more assistance by continuing to provide air cover. Gordon, however, concluded that there was no way the Black Hawk crew could survive on their own, and repeated his request twice until he finally received permission. Sergeant First Class Brad Hallings, who had assumed control of a minigun after a crew chief was injured, remained on the helicopter to provide cover from the air.[1]
Gordon and Shughart were inserted approximately 100m from the crash site, armed with only their sniper rifles and sidearms, and made their way to the location of the downed Blackhawk. Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant was already engaged in defending the downed aircraft with an MP5 but was unable to move from his pilot chair due to a crushed vertebra in his back and a compound fracture of his left femur. When Gordon and Shughart reached Super Six Four, they extracted Durant and the other crew members from the aircraft and established defensive positions around the crash.[1]
It is believed that Gordon was first to be shot by the mob, which had surrounded the crash site. His teammate Shughart retrieved Gordon's CAR-15 assault rifle and gave it to Durant to use. Shortly after, Shughart was killed, the site was overrun and Durant was beaten by the mob before being taken hostage.[1] Immediately after the firefight, the Somalis counted 24 of their own men dead with many more severely wounded who may have died later of their wounds.[1]
There was some confusion in the aftermath of the action as to who had been killed first. The official citation states that it was Shughart, but author Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, the best-selling book about the October 1993 events, relates an account by Sergeant Paul Howe, another Delta operator participating in the battle. Howe said that he heard Shughart call for help on the radio and that the weapon handed to Durant was not the distinctive M14 rifle used by Shughart. Furthermore, Howe said that Shughart would never have given his own weapon to another soldier to use while he was still able to fight.[1]
In Durant's book, In the Company of Heroes, he states that Gordon was on the left side of the Blackhawk, after both he and Shughart moved Durant to a safer location, and only heard Gordon say, "Damn, I'm hit." Afterwards Shughart came from the left side of the Blackhawk with the CAR-15.[1]
Shughart is buried in Westminster Cemetery, Carlisle, PA.[2]
Gordon is buried in Lincoln Cemetery, Penobscot County, Maine.

Both were portrayed in the movie Blackhawk Down.
FlashyG
6/22/11 12:37:05PM
Salvatore Giunta


Shortly after nightfall on October 25, 2007, rifle team leader Giunta and the rest of the seven troops of 1st Platoon had just finished a day-long overwatch of 2nd and 3rd Platoon in the valley below. Although dark, there was sufficient moonlight that night vision equipment was not needed. They were returning to Combat Outpost Vimoto and Korengal Outpost. They walked about 10 to 15 feet (3.0–4.6 m) apart through the thin holly forest, along the Gatigal Spur of Honcho Hill at about 2,438 metres (7,999 ft) elevation.[11]
Within 50 to 100 metres (160–330 ft) of leaving their position, 10 to 15 insurgents ambushed the main body of the squad from cover and concealment only about 10 metres (33 ft) away,[11] so near that the Apaches overhead could not provide close air support.[12] The ambushing force was armed with AK-47 assault rifles, 10 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers and three belt-fed PKM machine guns.[13] They fired an unusually high proportion of tracer rounds. Giunta described it later:
“ There were more bullets in the air than stars in the sky. A wall of bullets at every one at the same time with one crack and then a million other cracks afterwards. They’re above you, in front of you, behind you, below you. They’re hitting in the dirt early. They’re going over your head. Just all over the place. They were close—as close as I’ve ever seen.[8] ”
Ambush on October 25


The ambush was initiated with intense RPG and PKM fire

Giunta's squad used grenades to suppress enemy fire
Sergeant Joshua Brennan, leader of alpha team and one of Giunta's best friends, was walking point.[14] He was followed by SPC Frank Eckrode, squad leader Erick Gallardo, and then Giunta, who was then a specialist. PFC Kaleb Casey and Garret Clary followed Giunta. A 13-man Headquarters (HQ) unit led by Lt. Brad Winn, including a five-man gun team from weapons squad,[15] along with a nurse who volunteered for the mission, followed immediately behind them. When the Taliban opened fire, Brennan was struck by eight rounds and Eckrode was hit by four rounds.[14] Gallardo attempted to sprint forward, but RPGs exploding among the thin trees and 18 inches (46 cm)-high bushes around him along with machine gun and small arms fire stopped him.[16] Unable to advance, he fell back to join Giunta's bravo team. While backpedaling and firing at the same time, he fell and was in the same moment struck in the helmet by an AK-47 round.[10] An RPG round struck very near Giunta, who was returning fire and directing bravo team from a small defilade. Giunta was puzzled that the lip of the small depression he lay in was not protecting him from rounds cracking by his head, that they appeared to be coming from the north as well as the west.[12]
Giunta saw Gallardo take the bullet to his head and fall. Assuming Gallardo had been shot, Giunta rose and ran through the intense wall of fire to his side.[13] As he helped the uninjured sergeant find cover, the ceramic plate in the front of Giunta's protective vest was struck by a bullet. Another round struck the SMAW-D weapon slung over his back.[17][18][19] Giunta recognized that the extremely heavy tracer fire was coming not just from his west but from the north as well, a classic L-shaped ambush that threatened to roll over the squad. He ordered Casey and Clary to pull back a few steps to prevent the Taliban from flanking them.[12] Casey was firing his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon cyclic and Clary was firing his M203 grenade launcher as well.
The platoon leader in the HQ unit, Lieutenant Brad Winn, radioed Captain Kearney to advise him that their unit had five wounded men. The squad's medic, Specialist Hugo Mendoza, was among them. He had been shot through the femoral artery at the beginning of the ambush and died. Kearney ordered Second Platoon to assist Winn's platoon, but Second Platoon was in the valley below, some distance away, and had to first cross a river to reach them.[9]
Giunta and Gallardo gathered Casey and Clary. They were pinned down by the concentrated small arms and cyclic machine gun fire from a number of Taliban positions at close range. Less than 15 seconds into the ambush,[16] Giunta and his men acted to disrupt the attack. They alternated throwing volleys of fragmentation grenades towards the Taliban about 15 metres (49 ft) to their west and moving north.[8] Firing Pfc. Casey’s M249, Clarey's M203, and their other weapons, they advanced until they reached Eckrode. Shot twice in one leg and with two other wounds, Eckrode was attempting to unjam his M249 SAW.[10] Gallardo, who later received a Silver Star for his actions, dressed Eckrode's wounds and called for MEDEVAC.
Giunta, seeing that Eckrode was tended to, continued with Pfc. Clary to advance over the exposed, open ground of the ridge in the dark, looking for Brennan. When they could not locate him where they expected to find him, they ran after the retreating Taliban. The anti-coalition militia covered their rear with effective small arms fire but the Americans ran after them. Giunta saw three individuals and then recognized that two of them were Afghans dragging Sgt. Brennan, one by the legs and one by his arms.[10] Giunta pursued them, firing his M4 carbine as he ran, killing one (later identified as Mohammad Tali, considered a high-value target).[20][21] The second Afghan dropped Brennan and fled.[12] A Spectre AC130 gunship shortly afterward spotted someone carrying Brennan's rucksack and killed him. Giunta said, "I ran through fire to see what was going on with [Brennan] and maybe we could hide behind the same rock and shoot together ... He was still conscious. He was breathing. He was asking for morphine. I said, 'You'll get out and tell your hero stories,' and he was like, 'I will, I will.'"[22]
After reaching Brennan, Giunta pulled him back towards the rest of the squad and cover, comforted him, and examined him for wounds in the dark. Brennan was grievously hurt.[16] The 2nd and 3rd Platoons arrived to reinforce their squad and render aid. Giunta continued to assist the medic and adjust security while they waited for evacuation.[8][12]
The ambush had lasted three minutes.[10] Later the next day, Brennan died while in surgery.[23] Gallardo told Giunta later on, "You don't understand . . . but what you did was pretty crazy. We were outnumbered. You stopped the fight. You stopped them from taking a soldier."[24] Eckrode said of Giunta. "For all intents and purposes, with the amount of fire that was going on in the conflict at the time, he shouldn't be alive."[14]
[edit]Medal of Honor award
Giunta learned two days later from Captain Kearney that the captain was going to recommend him for the Medal of Honor. He was uncomfortable about being singled out and labeled a hero. "If I’m a hero, every man that stands around me, every woman in the military, everyone who goes into the unknown is a hero,” he says. “So if you think that’s a hero—as long as you include everyone with me.”[25] Giunta insists that his actions were those of any man in his unit. “In this job, I am only mediocre. I’m average."[25] "I did what I did because in the scheme of painting the picture of that ambush, that was just my brush stroke. That’s not above and beyond. I didn’t take the biggest brush stroke, and it wasn’t the most important brush stroke. Hearing the Medal of Honor is like a slap in the face.[8]"


Giunta receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on November 16, 2010
On September 10, 2010, the White House announced that Giunta would be awarded the United States' highest military decoration, the first awarded to a living recipient since the Vietnam War.[26][27]
He received the medal from President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House on November 16, 2010.[28] All of his surviving squad members also attended the ceremony.
Addressing the attention he has received due to the medal, he said:
“ "I'm not at peace with that at all," Giunta said. "And coming and talking about it and people wanting to shake my hand because of it, it hurts me, because it's not what I want. And to be with so many people doing so much stuff and then to be singled out—and put forward. I mean, everyone did something."[29]
FlashyG
6/22/11 2:04:54PM

Posted by scoozna

Awesome. Inspiring. Heroic.

Not exactly the same topic, but an intersting book I read was "No Surrender - My Thirty Year War" about a Japanese soldier that continued to hide out in the Phillipine jungle believing WWII was still being fought.



Lt. Hiroo Onoda


In 1944, Lt. Hiroo Onoda was sent by the Japanese army to the remote Philippine island of Lubang. His mission was to conduct guerrilla warfare during World War II. Unfortunately, he was never officially told the war had ended; so for 29 years, Onoda continued to live in the jungle, ready for when his country would again need his services and information. Eating coconuts and bananas and deftly evading searching parties he believed were enemy scouts, Onoda hid in the jungle until he finally emerged from the dark recesses of the island on March 19, 1972.

Called to Duty

Hiroo Onoda was 20 years-old when he was called up to join the army. At the time, he was far from home working at a branch of the Tajima Yoko trading company in Hankow (now Wuhan), China. After passing his physical, Onoda quit his job and returned to his home in Wakayama, Japan in August of 1942 to get into top physical condition.

In the Japanese army, Onoda was trained as an officer and was then chosen to be trained at an Imperial Army intelligence school. At this school, Onoda was taught how to gather intelligence and how to conduct guerrilla warfare.

In the Philippines

On December 17, 1944, Lt. Hiroo Onoda left for the Philippines to join the Sugi Brigade (the Eighth Division from Hirosaki). Here, Onoda was given orders by Major Yoshimi Taniguchi and Major Takahashi. Onoda was ordered to lead the Lubang Garrison in guerrilla warfare. As Onoda and his comrades were getting ready to leave on their separate missions, they stopped by to report to the division commander. The division commander ordered:

You are absolutely forbidden to die by your own hand. It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens, we'll come back for you. Until then, so long as you have one soldier, you are to continue to lead him. You may have to live on coconuts. If that's the case, live on coconuts! Under no circumstances are you [to] give up your life voluntarily.1
Onoda took these words more literally and seriously than the division commander could ever have meant them.
On Lubang

Once on the island of Lubang, Onoda was supposed to blow up the pier at the harbor and destroy the Lubang airfield. Unfortunately, the garrison commanders, who were worried about other matters, decided not to help Onoda on his mission and soon the island was overrun by the Allies. The remaining Japanese soldiers, Onoda included, retreated into the inner regions of the island and split up into groups. As these groups dwindled in size after several attacks, the remaining soldiers split into cells of 3 and 4 people. There were four people in Onoda's cell: Corporal Shoichi Shimada (age 30), Private Kinshichi Kozuka (age 24), Private Yuichi Akatsu (age 22), and Lt. Hiroo Onoda (now age 23).

They lived very close together, with very limited supplies: the clothes they were wearing, a small amount of rice, and each had a gun with limited ammunition. Rationing the rice was difficult and caused fights, but they supplemented it with coconuts and bananas. Every once in a while, they were able to kill a civilian's cow for food.

The cells would save up their energy and use guerrilla tactics to fight in skirmishes. Other cells were captured or were killed while Onoda's continued to fight from the interior.

The War is Over...Come Out!

Onoda first saw a leaflet that claimed the war was over in October 1945. When another cell had killed a cow, they found a leaflet left behind by the islanders which read: "The war ended on August 15. Come down from the mountains!"2 But as they sat in the jungle, the leaflet just didn't seem to make sense, for another cell had just been fired upon a few days ago. If the war were over, why would they still be under attack? No, they decided, the leaflet must be a clever ruse by the Allied propagandists.

Again, the outside world tried to contact the survivors living on the island by dropping leaflets out of a Boeing B-17 near the end of 1945. Printed on these leaflets was the surrender order from General Yamashita of the Fourteenth Area Army. Having already hidden on the island for a year and with the only proof of the end of the war being this leaflet, Onoda and the others scrutinized every letter and every word on this piece of paper. One sentence in particular seemed suspicious, it said that those who surrendered would receive "hygienic succor" and be "hauled" to Japan. Again, they believed this must be an Allied hoax.

Leaflet after leaflet was dropped. Newspapers were left. Photographs and letters from relatives were dropped. Friends and relatives spoke out over loudspeakers. There was always something suspicious, so they never believed that the war had really ended.

Year after year, the four men huddled together in the rain, searched for food, and sometimes attacked villagers. They fired on the villagers because, "We considered people dressed as islanders to be enemy troops in disguise or enemy spies. The proof that they were was that whenever we fired on one of them, a search party arrived shortly afterward."3 It had become a cycle of disbelief. Isolated from the rest of the world, everyone appeared to be the enemy.

In 1949, Akatsu wanted to surrender. He didn't tell any of the others; he just walked away. In September 1949 he successfully got away from the others and after six months on his own in the jungle, Akatsu surrendered. To Onoda's cell, this seemed like a security leak and they became even more careful of their position.

In June 1953, Shimada was wounded during a skirmish. Though his leg wound slowly got better (without any medicines or bandages), he became gloomy. On May 7, 1954, Shimada was killed in a skirmish on the beach at Gontin.

For nearly 20 years after Shimad's death, Kozuka and Onoda continued to live in the jungle together, awaiting the time when they would again be needed by the Japanese army. Per the division commanders instructions, they believed it was their job to remain behind enemy lines, reconnoiter and gather intelligence to be able to train Japanese troops in guerrilla warfare in order to regain the Philippine islands.

Surrender

In October 1972, at the age of 51 and after 27 years of hiding, Kozuka was killed during a clash with a Filipino patrol. Though Onoda had been officially declared dead in December 1959 Kozuka's body proved the likelihood that Onoda was still living. Search parties were sent out to find Onoda, but none succeeded.

Onoda was now on his own. Remembering the division commander's order, he could not kill himself yet he no longer had a single soldier to command. Onoda continued to hide.

In 1974, a college dropout named Norio Suzuki decided to travel to the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Nepal, and perhaps a few other countries on his way. He told his friends that he was going to search for Lt. Onoda, a panda, and the Abominable Snowman.4 Where so many others had failed, Suzuki succeeded. He found Lt. Onoda and tried to convince him that the war was over. Onoda explained that he would only surrender if his commander ordered him to do so.

Suzuki traveled back to Japan and found Onoda's former commander, Major Taniguchi, who had become a bookseller. On March 9, 1974, Suzuki and Taniguchi met Onoda at a preappointed place and Major Taniguchi read the orders that stated all combat activity was to be ceased. Onoda was shocked and, at first, disbelieving. It took some time for the news to sink in.

We really lost the war! How could they have been so sloppy?
Suddenly everything went black. A storm raged inside me. I felt like a fool for having been so tense and cautious on the way here. Worse than that, what had I been doing for all these years?

Gradually the storm subsided, and for the first time I really understood: my thirty years as a guerrilla fighter for the Japanese army were abruptly finished. This was the end.

I pulled back the bolt on my rifle and unloaded the bullets. . . .

I eased off the pack that I always carried with me and laid the gun on top of it. Would I really have no more use for this rifle that I had polished and cared for like a baby all these years? Or Kozuka's rifle, which I had hidden in a crevice in the rocks? Had the war really ended thirty years ago? If it had, what had Shimada and Kozuka died for? If what was happening was true, wouldn't it have been better if I had died with them?5

During the 30 years that Onoda had remain hidden on Lubang island, he and his men had killed at least 30 Filipinos and had wounded approximately 100 others. After formally surrendering to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos pardoned Onoda for his crimes while in hiding.
When Onoda reached Japan, he was hailed a hero. Life in Japan was much different than when he had left it in 1944. Onoda bought a ranch and moved to Brazil. In May 1996, he returned to the Philippines to see once again the island on which he had hidden for 30 years.

FlashyG
6/22/11 5:31:27PM
This one has a playground connection

Charles Clinton Fleek

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Fleek distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader in Company C, during an ambush operation. Sgt. Fleek's unit was deployed in ambush locations when a large enemy force approached the position. Suddenly, the leading enemy element, sensing the ambush, halted and started to withdraw. Reacting instantly, Sgt. Fleek opened fire and directed the effective fire of his men upon the numerically superior enemy force. During the fierce battle that followed, an enemy soldier threw a grenade into the squad position. Realizing that his men had not seen the grenade, Sgt. Fleek, although in a position to seek cover, shouted a warning to his comrades and threw himself onto the grenade, absorbing its blast. His gallant action undoubtedly saved the lives or prevented the injury of at least 8 of his fellow soldiers. Sgt. Fleek's gallantry and willing self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
FlashyG
6/22/11 6:19:13PM
Robert Cain


At one point during the Battle of Arnhem, Major Robert Cain decided that his days of being pounded into retreat by German tanks had come to an end. Instead, he apparently resolved to deal with any future tanks personally.
At one point, two German tanks came in his direction. Cain found a spot near a house to lie in wait, while his friend went upstairs so he could tell the Major where to fire. Naturally, one of the tanks blasted the house, killing the friend instantly and dumping a stack of rocks on the waiting Major, who didn't flinch. Just like in the movies.

Cain fired on the tank with a PIAT (like an old timey bazooka) and eventually destroyed it, but only after being wounded by machine gun fire. His attempts to take out the second tank were squashed by a defective round. And by "defective," we mean "it exploded in his face leaving him blinded and with chunks of metal in his grill."

About a half hour later, Cain's sight came back, thus beginning a long, slow, painful road to recovery that would see him out of action for well over four years. Ha! Just joking! He got right the **** up and went tank hunting.

Throughout the night Cain roamed the field, taking on any German tanks he found one by one... using only his hands. Well, and a big ass anti-tank gun. By the next day, he had fired the PIAT so many times that his eardrums had burst, thus setting up false ending number two. Rather than seek treatment for his ****** up ears, Cain stuffed them with bandages and continued hunting for three damn days. This guy really ******* hated tanks.
By the end of the battle, he'd overcome at least six German tanks and an untold number of self-propelled guns, which look a lot like tanks. Easy mistake.


Lachhiman Garung


A member of the British-Indian Army, during WWII.
Two hundred Japanese soldiers attacked the trench Lachhiman Garung was defending and, for their opening act, tossed in a few grenades. Seeing the grenades rolling in, one by one, Lachhiman had the bright idea of throwing them back before they exploded--an incredible idea provided you have three hands to throw with.

Garung, unfortunately, only had two hands, so that third grenade did what grenades do in those situations and exploded while he was holding it. His fingers were obliterated, his arm peeled like a banana, and his right leg, face and body in general were all badly injured.
The two soldiers with him at the time were also hit and killed. Lachhiman was alone, one armed and bleeding profusely, and there were still 200 Japanese out there, getting ready to resume the attack. Awkward!

Realizing he wasn't quite dead yet, Lachhiman drew his gurkha knife and stuck it in the ground in front of him. "No one will pass here today!" he called out before loading his rifle. The enemy soldiers approached, and Lachhiman calmly dealt with the majority of oncoming enemies at point blank range, just waiting for them to arrive.
He did this for four ******* hours. With only his left arm.

That's pretty amazing and all, but Christ, did none his foes have a gun? How about approaching two at a time? Dude only had one arm, somebody would have to be able to get a decent shot off, right?
Nevertheless, attack after attack was mounted by the Japanese in an attempt to advance, but none were successful. How Lacchiman managed to endure and survive his wounds is anyone's guess, but by the end of the day, when someone finally came to check and see how he was doing, 31 Japanese soldiers lay dead in front of his trench. He is said to have complained then about the flies bothering his stump. That's right. Flies. Not the fact that he had a brand new stump. Flies.

Alexey Maresyev


In 1942, while flying his Polikarpov I-16 over Staraya, which was rife with Nazis at the time, Alexey was shot down. The blast and crash fell short of killing the Russian ace, but he was severely wounded and still in enemy territory. His legs in particular had been badly mangled, which all but eliminated the possibility of a Hollywood-like slow motion walk away from the impending explosions and danger.

You know that story grandpa used to tell you about how he would four miles through two-feet of snow everyday just so he could get to school? Well, your grandpa was a worthless ***** compared to Alexey Maresyev. After being shot down, Maresyev crawled through snow, with little food and Nazis around every corner... for 18 ******* days and nights.
Crawled! Suck it, grandpa! The pain was so severe that Alexey frequently passed out, only to awaken, grab death by the throat and shake it while laughing maniacally, and start crawling again.

Eventually, he made it back to friendly turf, only to have doctors chop off his legs below the knees. The wounds had festered during his 18-day crawl and had to come off to save his life. We're assuming that, if he had known this in advance, he probably would have just torn them off himself using nothing more than his bare hands.
At this point, anyone would've called it a day, confident that two limbs is just about enough to give in service to their country. Alexey, on the other hand, was having no part of this girlish suggestion.
After recovering somewhat, he got to work figuring how to get around on crutches and fake legs with the intent of getting back into a plane. In order to prove he was capable, among other things, Alexey even danced for the certification commission sent to judge whether or not he was fit to return to battle.

Realizing that he was both capable of flying a plane and almost certainly insane, they let him fly again and he was back in the air by 1943. In August of the same year, he shot down three German fighters in a dogfight. He went on to fly 86 combat missions and, by the end of his Nazi killing days, had taken out no less than 11 enemy warplanes. For his trouble, Alexey received the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest and longest named award that any Russian person could ever hope to get.

Naturally, Maresyev's exploits made him a national hero in his native Russia, but far be it from him to accept the acclaim. "There is nothing extraordinary in what I did. The fact that I've been turned into a legend irritates me," he once said. To drive this sentiment home, he made it a point to die just moments before a national celebration commemorating his 85th birthday.

pmoney
6/22/11 7:02:20PM
This is the baddest ass thread ever. I never thought I would regret not fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.....

Thanks to all the patriots who sacked up for their respective countries. We owe you
Aether
6/22/11 9:09:39PM
I have to say that Onoda guy was completely retarded. The stories of people doing crazy things in a seemingly impossible situation are awesome, but this guy basically just sat in a jungle shooting innocent villagers for several decades after being clearly told that the war was done dozens of times.

To me that is a moron and a murderer.
FlashyG
6/22/11 10:02:13PM
I kind of agree in some ways Aether, but when you consider what we know about PTSD and its effects on soldiers, I can only imagine how messed up his head was after 30 years of constant combat and living off the land.

Certainly not as heroic as some of the others on this list but I thought his story was impressive enough to be heard.
Aether
6/22/11 10:12:09PM
it is definitely a crazy and interesting story whatever anyone thinks about his choices.

I guess it's hard to really judge when you're put into a situation where your life is at risk what the right decision is.
FlashyG
6/22/11 10:17:36PM
Hans-Ulrich Rudel


Rudel, the son of Lutheran minister Johannes, was born in Konradswaldau (Silesia), Germany (it became part of Poland after 1945). He was raised in a number of different Silesian parishes. As a boy he was a poor scholar but a very keen sportsman. In August 1936, after his Abitur (University-preparatory high school diploma), he joined the Luftwaffe as an officer cadet, and began basic training at the "School of Air Warfare" at Wildpark-Werder.
In June 1938 he joined I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 168 in Graz as an officer senior cadet. Rudel had difficulty learning the new techniques and was considered unsuitable for combat flying, so on 1 January 1939, he was transferred to the Reconnaissance Flying School at Hildesheim for training in operational reconnaissance. He was promoted to Leutnant (Second Lieutenant) on that date.[2] After completing training he was posted to the Fernaufklärungsgruppe 121 (Long-Range Reconnaissance Group) at Prenzlau.
Rudel was a teetotaler and non-smoker. His fellow pilots coined the phrase Hans-Ulrich Rudel, er trinkt nur Sprudel (Hans-Ulrich Rudel, he drinks only mineral water).

During the Polish Campaign at the start of World War II, he flew (as an observer) on long-range reconnaissance missions over Poland from Breslau. Rudel earned the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 11 October 1939. After a number of requests he was reassigned to dive bombing, joining an Aviation Training Regiment at Crailsheim and then he was assigned to his previous unit, I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 3 (StG 3),[Notes 1] at Caen in May 1940. He spent the Battle of Britain as an Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant) in a non-combat role. Still regarded as a poor pilot, he was sent to a Reserve Flight at Graz for dive bombing training. Assigned to I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (StG 2), based at Molaoi, his poor reputation, by then unjustified, preceded him and he also spent the invasion of Crete in a non-combat role.

Rudel flew his first four combat missions on 23 June 1941, during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. His demonstrated piloting skills earned him the Iron Cross 1st Class on 18 July 1941. On 23 September 1941, he and another Stuka pilot sank the Soviet battleship Marat, during an air attack on Kronstadt harbor in the Leningrad area, with hits to the bow using 1,000 kg bombs.[3] By the end of December, he had flown his 400th mission and in January 1942 received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. On 10 February 1943, he became the first pilot in history to fly 1,000 sorties. Around this time he also started flying anti-tank operations with the 'Kanonenvogel', or G, version of the Ju-87, through the Battle of Kursk, and into the autumn of 1943, claiming 100 tanks destroyed.
By March 1944, he was already Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III./StG 2 (appointed on 19 July 1943) and had reached 1,800 operations. At that time he claimed 202 tanks destroyed.
On 13 March 1944 Rudel may have been involved in aerial combat with the Hero of the Soviet Union, Lev Shestakov. Shestakov failed to return from this mission and was posted as missing in action. From Rudel's memoirs:
Was he shot down by Gadermann [Rudel's rear gunner], or did he go down because of the backwash from my engine during these tight turns? It doesn't matter. My headphones suddenly exploded in confused screams from the Russian radio; the Russians have observed what happened and something special seems to have happened... From the Russian radio-messages, we discover that this was a very famous Soviet fighter pilot, more than once appointed as Hero of the Soviet Union. I should give him credit: he was a good pilot.
In November 1944, he was wounded in the thigh and flew subsequent missions with his leg in a plaster cast.
On 8 February 1945, a 40 mm shell hit his aircraft. He was badly wounded in the right foot and crash landed inside German lines. His life was saved by his observer Ernst Gadermann who stemmed the bleeding, but Rudel's leg was amputated below the knee. He returned to operations on 25 March 1945, claiming 26 more tanks destroyed before the end of the war. Determined not to fall into Soviet hands, he led three Ju 87s and four FW 190s westward from Bohemia in a 2-hour flight and surrendered to U.S. forces on 8 May 1945, after landing at Kitzingen airfield, held by the US 405th Fighter Group. He had his men lock the brakes and collapse the landing gear to make the aircraft useless to the Americans and to render the airfield unusable by filling airstrip.
Eleven months in a hospital followed. Released by the Americans, he moved to Argentina in 1948.

According to official Luftwaffe figures, Rudel flew some 2,530 combat missions (a world record),during which he destroyed almost 2,000 ground targets (among them 519 tanks, 70 assault craft/landing boats, 150 self-propelled guns, 4 armored trains, and 800 other vehicles) as well as 9 planes (2 Il-2's and 7 fighters).[citation needed] He was also responsible for the sinking of the Soviet battleship Marat, two cruisers and a destroyer.[citation needed] He was never shot down by another pilot, only by anti-aircraft artillery. He was shot down or forced to land 32 times, several times behind enemy lines.

On one occasion, after trying a landing to rescue two downed novice Stuka crewmen and then not being able to take off again due to the muddy conditions, he and his three companions, while being chased for 6 km by Soviet soldiers, made their way down a steep cliff by sliding down trees, then swam 600 meters across the icy Dniester river, during which his rear gunner, Knight's Cross holder Hentschel, succumbed to the cold water and drowned. Several miles further towards the German lines, the three survivors were then captured by Soviets, but the irrepressible Rudel again made a run for it, and despite being barefoot and in soaking clothes, getting shot in his shoulder, and being hunted by several hundred pursuers with dog packs, jogged his way back to his own side over semi-frozen earth during the following days.[4] He became infamous among the Soviet Red Falcon pilots who could often be heard receiving orders to "get that Nazi swine in the Stuka with the two bars who keeps shooting up our tanks", the bars being a reference to the Gruppenkommandeur insignia on the Ju 87G. Eventually a 100,000 ruble bounty was placed on his head by Stalin himself.[citation needed]
In total, he was wounded five times and rescued six stranded aircrew from enemy territory, although the two mentioned above were recaptured. The vast majority of his missions were spent piloting the various models of the Junkers Ju 87, though by the end of the war, he often flew the ground-attack variant of the Fw 190.
He went on to become the most decorated serviceman of all the fighting arms of the German armed forces (the only person more highly decorated was Hermann Göring who was awarded the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross), earning by early 1945 the Wound Badge in Gold, the German Cross in Gold, the Pilots and Observer's Badge with Diamonds, and the Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe with 2,000 sorties in Diamonds. He was the only recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (the highest-scoring ace of World War II, Erich Hartmann, also held the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds — but his Oak Leaves were not gold). He was also promoted to Oberst at this time.[5] He was the only foreigner to be honored with Hungary's highest decoration, the Golden Medal for Bravery.

emfleek
6/23/11 8:21:04AM

Posted by FlashyG

This one has a playground connection

Charles Clinton Fleek

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Fleek distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader in Company C, during an ambush operation. Sgt. Fleek's unit was deployed in ambush locations when a large enemy force approached the position. Suddenly, the leading enemy element, sensing the ambush, halted and started to withdraw. Reacting instantly, Sgt. Fleek opened fire and directed the effective fire of his men upon the numerically superior enemy force. During the fierce battle that followed, an enemy soldier threw a grenade into the squad position. Realizing that his men had not seen the grenade, Sgt. Fleek, although in a position to seek cover, shouted a warning to his comrades and threw himself onto the grenade, absorbing its blast. His gallant action undoubtedly saved the lives or prevented the injury of at least 8 of his fellow soldiers. Sgt. Fleek's gallantry and willing self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.



FlashyG
11/11/11 2:16:07PM
Every Remembrace Day/Veterans day I'm reminded of the guys in this thread.
Boo_Radley21
11/11/11 3:15:02PM
Great thread
KungFuMaster
11/11/11 7:50:29PM
Audie Murphy is probably the most well known and decorated of all American Soldiers. There is a reason Murphy was the name chosen for Robo Cop.
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