"For valorous and gallant conduct above and beyond the call of duty as a
member of an Assault Engineer Platoon of the 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, tactically attached to the Second Marines, Second Marine Division, in action against the Japanese-held Atoll of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands
on November 20, 1943. Landing in the assault waves under withering
enemy fire which killed all but four of the men in his tractor, Staff
Sergeant Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally put
two pill boxes out of action. Hit by enemy machine gun fire just as a
charge exploded in his hand while assaulting a third position, he
courageously remained in action and, although out of demolition,
provided himself with a rifle and furnished fire coverage for a group of
men scaling the seawall.
Disregarding his own serious condition, he unhesitatingly went to the
aid of one of his demolition men, wounded and calling for help in the
water, rescuing this man and another who had been hit by enemy fire
while attempting to make the rescue. Still refusing first aid for
himself, he again made up demolition charges and single-handedly
assaulted a fourth Japanese machine gun
position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire
from the enemy. Staff Sergeant Bordelon's great personal valor during a
critical phase of securing the limited beachhead was a contributing
factor in the ultimate occupation of the island and his heroic
determination reflects the highest credit upon the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
"During the operations in Malaya from the 18th to 22nd January, 1942,
Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson, in command of a small Force, was sent to
restore a vital position and to assist a Brigade. His Force destroyed
ten enemy tanks. When later cut off, he defeated persistent attacks on
his position from air and ground forces, and forced his way through the
enemy lines to a depth of fifteen miles. He was again surrounded and
subjected to very heavy and frequent attacks resulting in severe
casualties to his Force. He personally led an attack with great
gallantry on the enemy who were holding a bridge, and succeeded in
destroying four guns. Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson, throughout all this
fighting, protected his wounded and refused to leave them. He obtained news by wireless of the enemy position and
attempted to fight his way back through eight miles of enemy occupied
country. This proved to be impossible and the enemy were holding too
strong a position for any attempt to be made to relieve him. On the 19th January, Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson was
ordered to destroy his equipment and make his way back as best he could
round the enemy position. Throughout the fighting, which lasted for four days, he
set a magnificent example of brave leadership, determination and
outstanding courage. He not only showed fighting qualities of a very
high order but throughout exposed himself to danger without any regard
to his own personal safety."
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and
beyond the call of duty in action. On 9 April 1943 in the vicinity of
Fondouk, Tunisia, Pvt. Booker, while engaged in action against the
enemy, carried a light machinegun and a box of ammunition over 200 yards
of open ground. He continued to advance despite the fact that two enemy
machineguns and several mortars were using him as an individual target. Although enemy artillery
also began to register on him, upon reaching his objective he
immediately commenced firing. After being wounded he silenced an enemy
machinegun and was beginning to fire at the other when he received a
second mortal wound. With his last remaining strength he encouraged the
members of his squad and directed their fire. Pvt. Booker acted without
regard for his own safety. His initiative and courage against
insurmountable odds are an example of the highest standard of
self-sacrifice and fidelity to duty."
On June 30 1940, the victorious Hitler visits the City of Light to boast of his and his force's recent victories. As the French nation reels from the horror of their defeat and the beginning of the Nazi occupation, the French Resistance gives ol' Uncle Adolf and the rest of the worshipers of the crooked cross a nice surprise. The Eiffel Tower's elevator cables have been cut so if any goose steppers wanna look out over the grandiose city, they are going to have to hoof it up there. A small feat and a fantastic snub to France's would be conquerors.
A hearty "FUCK YOU!" from the defenders of France! Vive la France!!!!
On January 3 1943, Magee's B-17 was hit by enemy fire and began to spin down to earth. Wounded and discovering his parachute was damaged, Magee decided to jump anyway to his fate and once he left the aircraft he passed out due to the altitude. Magee would then fall 22000' and crash through the class roof of the St. Nazaire railroad station which in turn broke his fall. Magee suffered 28 shrapnel wounds, several broken bones, severe damage to his nose and eye, lung and kidney damage and his right arm was nearly severed but he survived and was taken a POW for the remainder of the war. Once liberated, he returned home and got his pilot's license and would work in the airline industry for the rest of his life. On 3 January 1993, St. Nazaire honored Magee and the crew
of his bomber by erecting a memorial to them and his incredible survival story.
A section of Magee's aircraft at a museum in St. Nazaire, France.
In January of 1942, Chisov's Il-4 bomber was hit by enemy fire. Jumping from his crippled aircraft, Chisov waited to open his cute to clear the dog fighting above so that a vengeful German fighter wouldn't attack him on the decent down but lost consciousnesses before he had a chance to pull the ripcord. Chisov would then fall 23000' and land in a snowy ravine that broke his fall. Luckily for Chisov, a Russian cavalry unit witnessed his fall and rescued him. Chisov would suffer spinal injuries and a broken pelvis but was cleared for flying three months later. Chisov would survive the rest of the war as an instructor and become a propagandist for the Central House of the Soviet Army.
On the night of 24 March 1944, Alkemade's Lancaster bomber was hit by enemy fire where it then caught fire and began to spiral out of control. Alkemade realized his parachute was destroyed so he jumped from the aircraft without one preferring to die by impact rather than to burn to death. He fell 18000' to the ground below where his fall was broken by some pine trees and snow cover on the ground where he only suffered a sprained leg in the fall. He was then captured and would be a celebrated POW for the remainder of the war. After the war he returned home and worked in the chemical industry until his death.
On the night of November 4 1944, Herman's Halifax bomber was hit by enemy fire and began to burn. The order to bail out was given but before Herman was able to retrieve his chute, the aircraft exploded throwing him clear into the wild blue yonder. Falling 12000' while conscious he felt an incredible impact against him which he instinctively grabbed onto whatever it was! To his surprise it was one of his fellow crewman, Flying Officer John Vivash. The two men spoke,
“Hello, is someone there?” Vivash asked.
“Just me, Joe,” said Herman.
“Oh.” Vivash replied.
And with that, the two men floated down to the ground below with Vivash's parachute. Upon landing, Herman would suffer several broken rips where his comrade accidentally landed on his chest when they hit the ground but other then that the two survived that incredible feat! The two would then become POWs. At war's end, Herman would return home and become a crop duster until his death. Unfortunately, John Vavash was executed later that night while a prisoner, along with two other survivors of the aircraft, proving yet again how lucky Herman really was that night in 1944.
Well there ya go folks, some crazy ass real life stories of lucky bastards in the combat of WWII!
After the occupation of his homeland by the Nazis in 1939, Josef joined the Czech and Slovak Legion exiled in Poland so that he could continue his fight against the Germans. During the invasion of Poland by the Germans, he would find himself fighting alongside the Poles against the Nazis in and around Tarnopol. When the Russians invaded Poland under agreement with the Germans, Buršík was captured by Soviet forces and would find himself a POW of the Red Army. In 1942 Buršík joined the Soviet organized First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion and would fight in the Battle of Sokolovo and in the Battle of Kiev. It is in this battle that he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union for being one of the first units to reach the center of the city. After the war he would command a tank brigade based in Ostrava until he left the Czech army. He was then arrested for anti-communist ideals and was imprisoned and stripped of all his awards except the Gold Medal. He was later able to escape to the West where he would continue his fight against the Soviets. He would renounce his Golden Medal in 1968 wen the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. In the latter part of his life, his homeland would acknowledged him as a hero of the nation and all his awards and ranks were restored. He was also awarded the Order of the White Lion and the Milan Rastislav Stefanik Order before his death in 2002.
A man who would do anything to fight against the enemies of his nation,
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of the 2d Battalion
Shore Party, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, during the assault against
enemy Japanese-held Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, 20–22 November 1943.
Acting on his own initiative when assault troops were pinned down at
the far end of Betio Pier by the overwhelming fire of Japanese shore
batteries, 1st Lt. Bonnyman repeatedly defied the blasting fury of the
enemy bombardment to organize and lead the besieged men over the long,
open pier to the beach and then, voluntarily obtaining flame throwers
and demolitions, organized his pioneer shore party into assault
demolitionists and directed the blowing of several hostile installations
before the close of D-Day. Determined to effect an opening in the
enemy's strongly organized defense line the following day, he
voluntarily crawled approximately 40 yards forward of our lines and
placed demolitions in the entrance of a large Japanese emplacement as
the initial move in his planned attack against the heavily garrisoned,
bombproof installation which was stubbornly resisting despite the
destruction early in the action of a large number of Japanese who had
been inflicting heavy casualties on our forces and holding up our
advance. Withdrawing only to replenish his ammunition, he led his men in
a renewed assault, fearlessly exposing himself to the merciless slash
of hostile fire as he stormed the formidable bastion, directed the
placement of demolition charges in both entrances and seized the top of
the bombproof position, flushing more than 100 of the enemy who were
instantly cut down, and effecting the annihilation of approximately 150
troops inside the emplacement. Assailed by additional Japanese after he
had gained his objective, he made a heroic stand on the edge of the
structure, defending his strategic position with indomitable
determination in the face of the desperate charge and killing 3 of the
enemy before he fell, mortally wounded. By his dauntless fighting
spirit, unrelenting aggressiveness and forceful leadership throughout 3
days of unremitting, violent battle, 1st Lt. Bonnyman had inspired his
men to heroic effort, enabling them to beat off the counterattack and
break the back of hostile resistance in that sector for an immediate
gain of 400 yards with no further casualties to our forces in this zone.
He gallantly gave his life for his country."
From 1st Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman Jr.'s Medal of Honor citation, awarded in 1947.
Thank you for your service and may you be at peace,