Unforgettable Legends: 35 Badasses Who Deserve Recognition – Part 2

1William Rankin

William Rankin

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.

2Yusuf Alchagirov

Yusuf Alchagirov

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.

3Buck Shelford

Buck Shelford

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.

4Joe Delaney

Joe Delaney

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.

5Reinhold 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.

6Anthony Omari

Anthony Omari

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.

7Vance Flosenzier

Vance Flosenzier

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.

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8Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

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.

9John Perry

John Perry

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.

10Dick 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.

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