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Famous Military Heroes

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Simo Häyhä - Finnish Army

Simo served as a sniper in the Finnish army during the Winter War (WWII) versus the Soviet Red Army. Being the creative genius he was, he wore white camo to blend into the snow. He also choose to only use his iron sights since a scope would fog up in the -40 °F weather and would provide a larger profile for the Russians to see.

Simo Häyhä - Finnish Army

Using just his bolt action Mosin Nagant rifle (pictured top) and a 9mm Suomi submachine gun (pictured bottom), Simo killed over 500 Russians in under 100 days!! This killing spree gained him the nickname, "The White Death".

Simo Häyhä - Finnish Army

Simo was shot by a counter sniper in March 1940. This injury put him in a coma for 11 days but didn't do him in. He died at a ripe old age of 96 in 2002!!!

Jack Churchill - British Army

This military legend was also a champion of longevity, living to be 89! When you think of WW2, the common imagery consists of a large volume of semi-automatic fire, tanks, and artillery. Jack Churchill's view of WW2 was more along the lines of a scene from Braveheart. Not letting his Scottish heritage down, Jack carried a bow and arrow, claymore (Scottish sword), and his trusty bagpipes into battle!!

Jack Churchill - British Army

Here you can see Jack fearlessly storming ahead of his troops onto a beach with his sword already drawn. When leading an attack on a German patrol, Churchill decided it would be a good idea to signal the attack to his crew by taking out a German officer with his bow. So he did...and in doing so became the only person in WW2 to kill someone with a bow and arrow. This type of behavior coined him the nickname, "Mad Jack".

Jack Churchill - British Army

"Mad Jack" lead an attack on a German island in 1944, and his Commandos took heavy losses. Churchill was the only non-wounded Brit remaining at the objective while the Germans advanced on his position. He must not have had enough arrows because he started playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his bagpipes until he was knocked out by a German grenade and taken prisoner.

Carlos Hathcock - United States Marine Corps

Carlos is one of the most prolific snipers of all-time racking up 93 confirmed kills and an additional 250-350 unconfirmed kills during the Vietnam War. He was feared so much by the NVA that they put a $30,000 bounty on his head. Having some wartime swagger similar to "Mad Jack", Carlos wore a white feather in his hat to taunt the NVA. The NVA famously called him "White Feather" because of this. The only time Carlos didn't wear his white feather was when he took on a mission to go deep behind enemy lines to kill a highly ranked Vietcong officer. After crawling 1,500 yards over the course of 4 days, Carlos successfully carried out the mission and escaped undetected.

Carlos Hathcock - United States Marine Corps

Carlos is most famous for a kill shot he made through an ememy counter-snipers scope. This would have meant the other sniper was looking directly at Carlos and could have been milliseconds away from pulling his trigger!!! Hathcock loved his Winchester Model 70 rifle (pictured above w/night-vision scope) but he needed a longer range weapon. So, he made a scope mount for a M2 Browning .50 cal machine gun. Using the modified M2, he shot a Vietcong guerrilla at 2,500 yards! This held the record for longest kill shot until it was broken by Canadian sniper Rob Furlong in 2002.

Carlos Hathcock - United States Marine Corps

Unfortunately, Carlos had his sniping days cut short when a vehicle he was riding in drove over a mine. Carlos was injured severely in the blast but managed to recover and help establish the US Marine Scout Sniper School. Hathcock will forever be known as one of the greatest snipers of all-time!

Alvin York - US Army

If York's story was depicted in a movie, it would not be believable. York and seven of his men were pinned down by 32 German machine-guns!!! Somehow, York was able to start picking Germans off with his M1917 Enfield rifle. Once a group of Germans realized what York was doing, six of them charged him with their bayonets. York went ahead and took them out with his Colt 1911 pistol.

Alvin York - US Army

Needless to say, the Germans were shaking in their boots after seeing one guy take out a large contingent of their fellow soldiers. Using this fear, Alvin convinced the 132 Germans to surrender to his heavily outnumbered group of 7!!!

Alvin York - US Army

For his courageous actions, York was awarded the Medal of Honor and was a national celebrity upon his return. Not bad for a guy born in a Log Cabin!

Matt Urban - US Army

Matt "The Ghost' Urban was born in upstate New York just as World War 1 was ending. He was a very smart and athletic young man and attended Cornell University. This would serve him well in the future. Barely a year after graduating he was storming the beaches of North Africa in 1942. During "Operation Torch" he received a Purple Heart and Silver Star. But his heroism did not just end in Africa...

Matt Urban - US Army

While in France Urban's Company was pinned down by the Germans. He grabbed a bazooka and tried to sneak around some hedgerows to get a shot on an enemy tank. With enemy fire flying all around him he managed to take out two German tanks with the bazooka and get back to safety. This lead to his team overtaking the Germans. The next day he was badly wounded by a tanks gun but continued to lead his troops in battle until suffering two very serious wounds the following day.

Matt Urban - US Army

After partially recovering from his wounds in England, he went back to the front lines to command his division. At one point he ran through enemy fire (yes again) and took command of a tank that wasn't moving. Shouting orders to the crew below, Urban stayed exposed manning the tanks mounted machine-gun. This act of courage galvanized the whole battalion and lead to an American victory yet again. Urban was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions!