Epic Heroes: 45 Badasses Who Made Their Mark – Part 2

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1Jacklyn Lucas

Jacklyn Lucas

Years after illegally joining the Marines at the age of 14, Jacklyn Lucas snuck onto a ship bound for Iwo Jima, stormed the beach without a rifle, and threw himself on top of two grenades to protect his team. He survived and earned the Medal of Honor at the age of 17. He also served as a paratrooper from 1961-65 to conquer his fear of heights. He once even survived a training jump where both of his parachutes did not open. He fell 3,500 feet and was unscathed.


2. Erwin Rommel was a highly decorated German officer who during World War 2 humanely treated captured soldiers, ignored orders to kill Jews, civilians and even conspired to assassinate Hitler. He found himself several times behind Allied lines. On one occasion, he stumbled across an allied field hospital. They were low on supplies and he promised to bring medical supplies, after which he drove off unhindered. Later he returned with the promised medical supplies. After Rommel’s death, soldiers on both sides paid respect to his grave and he is the only member of The Third Reich to have a museum dedicated to him.


3. Pirates kidnapped Julius Caesar when he was 22 years old. His charisma led the pirates to treat him as a friend. He insisted they double his ransom, which they did. He said he would crucify them when free, and it was laughed off as a playful joke. Upon release, he raised a fleet, returned and crucified them.


4. During World War 2, Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Baker ordered his squad to leave him propped against a tree with a pistol and eight bullets when he was wounded. Later, American forces found the now-deceased Baker in the same spot, holding an empty pistol, with eight dead Japanese soldiers lying around him.


5. A man named Chesty Puller joined the U.S. Marines as a private, got promoted to Sergeant and then became an officer as a Lieutenant, then got discharged, enlisted as a Private again, then became an officer again, and ended up being a Lieutenant General. He is the only Marine to be awarded five Navy Crosses. During the Korean War, when facing a difficult situation he said, “They’re on our right, they’re on our left, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us; they can’t get away from us this time.” He and his men survived this ordeal.


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6Charles Davis Lucas

Charles Davis Lucas

The first recipient of Victoria Cross was a 20-year-old ship's mate named Charles Davis Lucas who during the Battle of Bomarsund in 1854 picked up a live shell that landed on the deck and threw it overboard. It exploded with a tremendous roar before it hit the water. Thanks to Lucas's action no one on board was killed or seriously wounded by the shell. He was promoted on the spot, rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and married the Captain's daughter.


7. In 2000, a Mexican woman named Ines Ramirez Perez successfully performed a C-section on herself after 12 hours of continual pain. Despite having no medical training, she used a kitchen knife and three glasses of hard liquor, while her husband was drinking at a bar. After operating on herself for an hour, she reached inside her uterus and pulled out her baby boy. She then severed the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors and became unconscious. She used clothes to bandage her wound after regaining consciousness and sent one of her older sons to find help. She was eventually taken to a clinic and she and her baby boy, both survived.


8. In the 1960s, a Soviet doctor named Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov had to remove his own appendix after it burst because he was the only doctor stationed in a remote Antarctic facility with no option for evacuation. The operation lasted one hour and 45 minutes and he lived to tell the tale.


9. A former Cambodian Khmer Rouge conscripted child soldier named Aki Ra has dedicated his life to removing landmines in Cambodia after the Cambodian Civil War. He has removed and cleared over 50,000 landmines all by himself with little more than stick and a knife over the course of 20 years.


10. In 2011, when three robbers broke into the house of Lance Corporal Wayne O'Mahoney, he woke up and wrestled with two robbers who later fled. The soldier then stopped the third knife-wielding robber from stealing his new car by smashing his car window with a metal crowbar. The terrified robber fled the car from the passenger door. This was when Wayne O'Mahoney realized he had no clothes on.


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11Roy Sullivan

Roy Sullivan

US Park Ranger Roy Sullivan holds the record for most survived lightning strikes. He was struck 7 times by lightning during his lifetime. He was struck once while operating a truck, once inside a ranger station, on two separate occasions after running/driving away from the storm, and immediately after the seventh strike he had to fight off a trout-stealing bear with a tree branch. He claimed that this was the 22nd time he had hit a bear with a stick in his lifetime.


12. In 1959, pilot Lt. Colonel William Rankin ejected from his plane directly into a violent thundercloud. The storm winds kept him aloft for 40 minutes, pelting him with hailstones and so much rain that at times he had to hold his breath to keep from drowning in mid-air.


13. In 2013, when an 80-year-old Russian villager named Yusuf Alchagirov came face to face with a bear, he chose to fight it. He head-butted the bear in the face and then kicked it in the balls a lot. Then, when the furious bear threw him over a cliff, he plummeted dozens of feet, slammed into the rock below, and fell unconscious, but survived to tell the tale.


14. New Zealand rugby player ‘Buck Shelford’ had 4 of his teeth punched out and took a cleat to the testicles during a game in 1986. This ripped open his scrotum leaving his testicles hanging. He got them stitched up on the bench and continued through the game and won the match.


15. In 1981, NFL running back Joe Delaney, who could not swim, died attempting to save three children from drowning. Delaney told a bystander there: “I’ve got to save those kids. If I don’t come up, get somebody,” before rushing into the water.


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16Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner

Italian adventurer Reinhold Messner has climbed Mount Everest without oxygen. He also climbed Nanga Parbat (8000+ meters) three times. The first time he lost his brother and 7 toes in the process. He then climbed it again to become the first person to solo climb it and climbed it the third time to retrieve his brother’s remains.


17. In 2012, Anthony Omari took a machete to the face while defending an under-resourced Kenyan orphanage his family runs from attacking robbers. He saved 37 orphans that day. The attack was in revenge to the previously foiled robbery when Anthony threw a hammer at one of the thieves.


18. In 2001, when a Florida man named Vance Flosenzier noticed that a 7-feet long shark had his 8-year-old nephew Jesse Arbogast by the arm, he grabbed onto the shark and wrestled the animal barehanded out of the water, while others freed Jesse to shore. He wrestled the shark for more than 10 minutes to keep it away from other children. Then they killed the shark and pried it open to retrieve Jesse's severed arm, which the surgeons were able to reattach.


19. During World War 2, Polish poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec was imprisoned in a German concentration camp from which he made several attempts to escape. He received a death sentence for his second attempt to escape but managed to successfully escape in 1943 after killing his guard with a shovel when taken to dig his own grave. He escaped in the guard’s uniform.


20. On September 11, 2001, Officer John Perry of the NYPD went to headquarters to file his retirement paperwork. When he heard the explosion at the World Trade Center, he immediately responded and was later killed when one of the towers collapsed. He was the only off-duty officer to be killed on 9/11.


21Dick Bong

Dick Bong

Major Dick Bong is USA’s highest air ace, having shot down at least 40 planes during World War 2. He actually collided with one plane, claiming a “probable” victory. In 1945, he became a Lockheed test pilot and died in a P-80 fighter jet crash on the same day that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.


22. Fazal Din was a 24-year-old Indian allied sergeant during World War 2 who was fighting against the Japanese in Burma when his team was attacked by a team of six sword-wielding Japanese soldiers. One of them impaled his sword through Fazal’s chest and out through this back. When he withdrew his sword thinking that he died, Fazal Din, seized the sword from the Japanese officer and killed him with it. He then killed two more Japanese soldiers with it. He then stumbled back to Allied lines, dutifully filed an after-action report with his superior officer and then promptly collapsed and died.


23. In 1823, American fur trapper Hugh Glass was attacked by a grizzly bear during his exploration of the Upper Missouri River. After being thrown to the ground by the bear, he got up and repeatedly stabbed the bear with his knife until it died. He was left for dead 200 miles from the nearest settlement. He had a broken leg, cuts exposing his bare ribs, and festering wounds. He regained consciousness, set his leg, used maggots to eat his dead flesh, and crawled his way back to civilization over 6 weeks. He survived on roots, berries, and even chased wolves away from a bison carcass. When he returned home, he got his rifle back and continued his work as a trapper.


24. A 24-year-old New Zealander named James Grant was spearfishing with his friends in 2014 when he was attacked by what he believed was a sevengill shark. He fought off the shark by stabbing it multiple times with his knife. When he reached the shore, he saw bites up to 5 cm long. He stitched himself up using a first aid kit, before enjoying a pint of beer at a nearby pub with his friends.


25. Don Ritchie was an Australian who lived across the street from the most famous suicide spot in Australia. He officially rescued 160 people from suicide as of 2009 over a 45-year period, although his family claims the number is closer to 500. He would strike up a conversation with people contemplating suicide and invited them to his house for tea. He died in 2012 at the age of 85.

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