44 Crazy Badasses You Never Knew About – Part 3

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26Charles Nungesser

During World War 1, French flying ace Charles Nungesser managed to score 45 victories. A German plane once challenged him to single combat on the next day. When he arrived the next day, he was met with six German fighter planes. He managed to shoot down two of them before he returned back home. By the end of the war, he suffered skull fracture, brain concussion, fractured upper and lower jaw, a piece of shrapnel in the right arm, dislocated knees, clavicle, wrist and ankle, a bullet wound in mouth and ear, atrophied tendon in left leg and calf, teeth loss and numerous contusions.

27. A Chandragupta Maurya was an orphan born in the slums of in Eastern India (4th Century BC), who went on to forge one of the most expansive empires in India. He commanded 9000 war elephants, 50 million people and an army of 36,000. His personal bodyguard unit was made up of more than 500 Greek and Indian warrior women. To destroy the Nanda Empire; he simply grabbed a bronze sword and singlehandedly stormed the palace. He was captured and jailed but escaped. Eventually, he went on to destroy the ruling dynasty and put into place the long-lasting Maurya dynasty.

28. During the Vietnam War, Michael Fitzmaurice absorbed the blast of a grenade with his flak vest to protect his comrades. After his rifle was damaged by a second grenade blast, he proceeded to acquire another rifle from an enemy soldier after killing him with his bare hands. Though seriously wounded and partially blinded, he continued to fight refusing medical evacuation. He survived and was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor.

29. In 1968, big wave surfer Eddie Aikau was selected to be the first lifeguard at Waimea beach in Oahu. Not a single person died during his time as a lifeguard and he rescued over 500 people, often braving waves that reached 30 feet (9.1 m) high or more.

30. When Private 1st Class Edward H. Ahrens in WW2 was found clutching a sword surrounded by 13 dead Japanese soldiers, his final words were, “I guess they didn’t know I was a marine.”

31Kip Keino

During the 1968 Olympics, Kip “Keino” was late for the 1500m final, because he was stuck in traffic. He ran 2 miles to make it to the event on time, and still won the gold. He was also suffering from Gallstones at that time.

32. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, British sniper Matt Hughes managed to kill an enemy with a half-mile sniper shot, during which the bullet curved 56 feet (17 meters) in the air before hitting the target. He aimed the shot 56 feet to the left and 38 feet high from the target.

33. Jason Lewis became the first person to circumnavigate the Earth without using motors or sails. He walked, cycled and inline skated five continents, kayaked, swam, rowed, and pedaled a boat across the rivers, seas, and oceans. It took him 13 years to complete the 46,505-mile journey.

34. Ben L. Salomon was drafted as an army dentist during WW2. He eventually became a regimental surgeon. While serving in the Pacific theater, four Japanese soldiers stormed his tank and killed the soldier he was treating. In a rage, Salomon shot two of them, kicked a knife out of another’s hands, and headbutted the last. He took up a machine gun and started mowing down enemies. Next day he was found dead after being shot 70 times with nearly 100 enemy troops dead in front of him.

35. During the Battle of Arnhem, when the Germans started crossing the bridge with tanks, Major Digby Tatham-Warter led a bayonet charge against them wearing a bowler hat. He disabled the armored car with his umbrella, incapacitating the driver by shoving the umbrella through the car’s observational slit. He then noticed a Padre pinned down by the enemy fire. He got to him and said, “don’t worry about the bullets, I've got an umbrella!” He then escorted the padre across the street under his umbrella.

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36Bear Grylls

In 1996, Bear Grylls broke his back after falling 16,000 feet when his parachute ripped. Two years later he climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest. Also, Grylls has consumed raw frozen yak eyeballs, camel intestine juice, raw goat testicles, a live snake, maggots as big as a hand, pulsating with yellow pus, and a giant live spider as part of his show.

37. Russian fighter pilot Alexey Maresyev's plane was shot down by Germans in 1942 and he crash-landed in enemy territory. Both his legs were severely mangled, but he managed to get himself to friendly turf by crawling for 18 days in the snow. His legs had to be amputated below the knee. He got himself on crutches and prosthetics and within a year danced in front of a judge to prove that he was battle ready. He then went on to fly 86 combat missions and took out 11 enemy warplanes.

38. Joseph Medicine Crow became the last Plains Indian war chief ever after completing all four required tasks while fighting in Europe during World War II. The tasks included touching an enemy soldier, stealing his weapon, leading a successful war party, and stealing an enemy's horse.

39. Tommy Prince was a Native American who served during World War 2. He was so quiet because of his pair of moccasins that sometimes instead of killing Germans, he would steal something like a pair of shoes right off their feet. Other times, he’d slit their throats and not make a sound. Germans would freak out when they would wake up and find someone dead in the midst of them. Germans thought he was a ghost or a devil.

40. In 1805, French had trouble capturing a bridge, which the Austrians had orders to blow up if they attacked. French marshals Lannes and Murat casually strolled up to the bridge guards laughing off any attempts to stop them telling them the fighting was over. When an Austrian sergeant tried to blow the bridge, Lannes threatened to arrest him for trying to destroy public property. He then sat on the barrel of cannon to stop them from firing it. When someone insisted that this was a trick, Murat demanded to know if the officers were going to let him talk to them like that, at which point the officers ordered that the man be imprisoned. They seized the bridge successfully.

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41Special Operations Executive

During WW2 Winston Churchill formed Special Operations Executive. This secret military unit was stationed at Baker Street and it consisted of Christopher Lee, James Bond-creator, Ian Fleming as well as members who became his inspirations for M, Q, Miss Moneypenny, and Vesper Lynd. If there was a bridge that needed to be destroyed or an Axis officer who needed seducing, they were on it. They also prevented Nazis from building an atomic bomb.

42. Thomas Alfred “Todger” Jones served in the British army during WW2. After capturing a French village, while building trenches, his unit came under Sniper fire that killed a soldier. Enraged by this, he left his trench and crossed no man’s land without cover fire. Although one bullet went through his helmet and another through his coat, he returned the sniper's fire and killed him. He then saw two Germans firing on him while simultaneously displaying a white flag. Jones shot them both. He reached enemy trench and singlehandedly disarmed 102 Germans.

43. During the Korean War, American soldier Eduardo C. Gomez took out an enemy tank by crawling across an open rice field, got up on top of the tank, then pried open the hatch and dropped a live grenade into the tank, killing the tank's crew. Even though he was wounded during his retreat from the tank, Gomez refused medical attention, instead manning his post and firing up on the enemy until his company formed a defensive perimeter.

44. World War II veteran Lieutenant Benjamin E Wilson enlisted as a private during the Korean War and quickly rose through the ranks to become a sergeant. He was in charge of protecting “Hell Hill” and he was already wounded in his leg. When the Chinese attacked, he singlehandedly killed seven and wounded two enemy soldiers. He was wounded and was loaded on a stretcher, but when he became conscious, he rose from his-stretcher and in a rage charged the enemy ranks with his rifle and killed three more enemy soldiers. After his rifle was wrestled from his hands, he proceeded to kill four more men with his shovel. Next day after medics patched him up, he killed 33 more enemy soldiers in another one-man assault.


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