An identity thief named Ferdinand Demara once stole the identity of a surgeon and while aboard a Navy destroyer was tasked with performing several life-saving surgeries. He proceeded to memorize a medical textbook just beforehand and all his patients survived.
Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old female pitcher, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a single exhibition game, and subsequently had her contract voided.
An attempt to kill Philadelphia mobster John Veasey failed when the two .22 caliber bullets to his head left him unfazed, and he asked his would-be assassin, “What the f**k are you doing, Frank?” He wrestled the gun and a knife away from his attackers and managed to run and survived.
In 2007, a dog named Toby saved his owner from choking. After an apple became lodged in the woman’s throat and a self-applied Heimlich maneuver failed, the dog jumped up and pushed her to the ground, repeatedly jumping on her chest until the apple was freed.
35George S. Patton
General George S. Patton received orders to bypass the German city of Trier as it was estimated that 4 divisions would be needed for a successful assault, but he had already taken Trier by the time the message arrived. He responded, ‘Have taken Trier with 2 divisions, do you want me to give it back?’
As a Navy teletype, Richard “Demo Dick” Marcinko had to punch an officer to get into elite Special Forces after his requests were denied. While serving as a Navy SEAL, Vietcong offered a reward of 50,000 piasters to kill him. He once body-surfed behind a military patrol boat while under enemy fire. He even headed Red Cell with the job of infiltrating U.S. bases around the world to test their security. He once managed to kidnap a high-ranking officer, his family and “mildly tortured” them to get nuclear codes. Out of embarrassment, the Government spent $60 million to find something to pin on him and convicted him on trumped-up charges, sentencing him to a year in a minimum-security prison, during which time he wrote Rogue Warrior, which embarrassed the military again. He is now forbidden by law from writing anything about the military, so he writes popular “fiction” about the adventures of an elite badass who is “totally not him.”
Belgian flying ace Willy Coppens was known for his skills as a balloon buster; with 34 kills to his credit. During WW1, Germany deployed observers in hot air balloons to radio back on enemy action. Each balloon was guarded by anti-aircraft batteries and squadrons of fighters. They were also booby-trapped with silk covered kites. He once landed on a balloon and took off before destroying it. To kill him, Germans hatched a plan to fill a balloon full of explosives, so that when he destroyed it, the explosion and the fireball would kill him. In spite of knowing this plan, he destroyed the balloon and escaped, but the fireball and explosion killed a dozen German officers who were observing from below.
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Airey Neave was a British soldier during WW2 who was captured by Germans and managed to escape POW camps twice and was sent to Oflag IV-C Castle for problematic prisoners. He once tried to escape by painting his uniform to look like a German uniform and managed to walk out the front door but was captured again. Five months later, he wore a fake German uniform made out of cardboard and cloth and pretended to be a German officer and managed to escape the castle. He then made it to Switzerland pretending to be a Dutch worker with papers and finally managed to get back to Britain.
39Tom R. Bennett
In 1960, a Russian terrorist armed with a bomb tried to hijack Trans Australia flight 408. Co-pilot Tom R. Bennett punched him in the face and ripped the wires off the bomb saving 49 lives.
On Scott’s doomed Antarctic expedition, Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life when his ill health began to compromise his companion’s chances of survival. Walking into a blizzard he said, “I am going outside and maybe some time.” Scot said it was the “act of a brave man and an English gentleman.”