Unforgettable Legends: 30 Badasses Who Made a Difference

11Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper

After losing power and automatic control of his Mercury capsule, astronaut Gordon Cooper was forced to use his knowledge of constellations, wristwatch, and math estimations to manually land his spacecraft. He ended up splashing just 4 miles from his recovery ship, the most accurate landing up to that point in 1963.

12Roy R Benavidez

Roy R Benavidez

When faced with over 1,000 North Vietnamese Army troops, Roy R Benavidez flew into a gunfight to save 12 Special Forces soldiers with only a knife. He was shot multiple times and was believed to be dead until he spit in the face of the medic trying to put him in a body bag. He survived 37 separate bayonet, bullet, and shrapnel wounds over the course of the six-hour fight.

13Jack Churchill

Jack Churchill

Jack Churchill is the only man with a confirmed Longbow kill in World War 2. He carried a longbow, broadsword, and bagpipes. He played the pipes before battles, and survived the war. He is known for the motto “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.”

14Neerja Bhanot

Neerja Bhanot

An Indian flight attendant named Neerja Bhanot was aboard the Pan Am Flight 73, which was hijacked by terrorists during a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan in 1986. She hid the passports of American passengers on board the flight to save them from the hijackers. She died while shielding three children from a hail of bullets.

15John R. Fox

John R. Fox

During World War II, American soldier John R. Fox died when he deliberately called an artillery strike on himself. Realizing that German troops were overrunning his party's position, the strike delayed the enemy long enough for other American units to organize a counterattack.



During World War 2, a Newfoundland dog named Gander fended off two Japanese ambushes. When they came back again, with a grenade this time, Gander picked it up and charged back at them, killing more Japanese, saving his wounded team, going out in a blaze of glory and earning a posthumous medal.

17Daniel M'Mburugu

Daniel M'Mburugu

In 2005, a 73-year-old man named Daniel M'Mburugu in Nairobi, Kenya killed a leopard which had attacked him, with his bare hands by shoving his fist into its mouth and ripping out its tongue. He dropped the machete he was carrying while he was being attacked and instead chose to fight with his bare hands.

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18Susan Kuhnhausen

Susan Kuhnhausen

In 2006, a man in Portland, Oregon hired a hitman to kill his 51-year-old wife. When his wife Susan Kuhnhausen, an overweight ER nurse, was confronted in her house by a crab-hammer wielding hitman, she struggled with him, got her hands on his neck and asked him “Tell me who sent you here and I will call you a fu*king ambulance!", before choking him to death.

19Cliff Young

Cliff Young

In 1983, when a 61-year-old Australian potato farmer named Cliff Young took part in a 544-mile ultramarathon race, he won and broke the record by almost 2 days. He had no formal training and beat sponsored, young athletes because unlike them he didn't stop to sleep. He remarked that the race “wasn’t easy.”

20Leonard A. Funk

Leonard A. Funk

During World War 2, when Sergeant Leonard A. Funk was confronted by 90 German soldiers that had captured his squad, he began to laugh hysterically at the situation. Many of the enemy soldiers began to laugh along with him, until Funk wiped out his machine gun, gunning down 21 and capturing the rest.

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