Air Force crew receives medals for ‘legendary airmanship’ in 9-hour firefight against ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan
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This is sort of a fusion of the Bad-Ass files and World War Two Profiles in Courage.
This guy’s story And There Was Light, which went on to inspire the New York Times Bestseller All the Light We Cannot See is an amazing tale of courage and sacrifice. In the end, I was moved by it and even though I don’t think very highly of the French personally, this story is definitely the exception to the rule that Frenchmen are arrogant cowards.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!
Heroism — especially in times of war — tends to produce gendered associations. We think of men fighting (and dying) valiantly, while women wait passively at home for their spouses to return.
The historical record produces a different picture, however. Among the many heroes of World War II are these bad-ass women. Spies, snipers, surgeons, and more, they helped bring down the Germans with their own talents and specialties.
Imagine a Soviet sniper so deadly that the Germans addressed her over a loudspeaker, urging her to defect and join their ranks as an officer. That was Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
A former student of Kiev University, at the age of 14 Pavlichenko worked at a munitions factory as a metal grinder, and took up shooting soon after. When the war began, Pavlichenko wanted to fight for her country.
The army initially refused to enlist her to any position other than a nurse, even after she showed them her marksman certificate and a sharpshooter badge. They finally handed her a rifle and gave her an “audition,” which she passed with flying colors.
Pavlichenko had 309 confirmed kills during WWII – 36 of which were highly decorated German snipers. This figure makes her one of the top military snipers of all time.
Countless injures and shell shock didn’t stop her; in fact, she was only removed from active duty after taking mortar shell shrapnel to the face. The Soviets then decided they should remove Pavlichenko from danger and use her to train other snipers.
In spite of her obvious achievements, she still faced sexism from the press. While visiting the United States in 1942, women reporters continually asked her about the lack of style in her uniform, as well as her hair and makeup habits.
She put them in their place. “I wear my uniform with honor,” Pavlichenko said. “It has the Order of Lenin on it. It has been covered with blood in battle. It is plain to see that with American women what is important is whether they wear silk underwear under their uniforms. What the uniform stands for, they have yet to learn.”
Back home in Russia, she was decorated with many awards, including the Gold Star Medal (the highest distinction the country can give) and the title ‘Hero of the Soviet Union,’ and promoted to major. Later, she finished her college education at Kiev University and became a historian.
You can watch the 2015 Russian Made Movie Battle at Sevastopol which chronicles part of her life HERE.
I will warn you though, the subtitle translations are horrible, but other than that it is a pretty good WW2 movie.
Read About the Remaining 7 Other Bad-Ass Women at All That Is Interesting
19th century badass gunslinging Texas Ranger John Coffee Hays is the ultimate rea-life asskicker whose story bizarrely ties together the more well-known tales of Sam Houston, Andrew Jackson, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Zachary Taylor, Wyatt Earp, and the dude with the shotgun who smokes all those fucking buffalo when you go hunting in The Oregon Trail. In a gunfire-filled life that makes even the most tobacco-soaked gritty dime-novel adventure story look like the Letter from the Editor in a Victoria’s Secret catalog, this hard-ridin’ Texas Ranger busted skulls from Tennessee to California, survived hundreds of battles against ridiculous Punisher-style odds, and now goes down in history as one of the most famous and important members of the United States’ most well-known state police force.
Born in Cedar Lick, Tennessee in 1817, John Coffee Hays was the nephew of American badass and future presidentAndrew Jackson. Hays’ dad was a high ranking American officer who had fought alongside Andy Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, but both Hays’ dad and mom died of yellow fever when Jack was just 15 years old… leaving Jack and his six siblings parentless. The kids were sent to Mississippi to live with their relatives, and Hays started working as a land surveyor… which was a hell of a lot more dangerous job in 1832 than it is these days.
Basically, back in the 1830s, there was a ton of Louisiana Purchase territory that hadn’t been mapped, surveyed, or charted effectively yet, and land surveyors in these days basically went out into the unknown fucking wilderness with a rifle, some food, and a few nerdy math tools and tried to survive by camping out in the middle of nowhere while they took measurements and drew maps. Wild animals, Indian attacks, cold, starvation, and exposure to the elements were constant threats to these small surveying teams, but Hays was more than up to the task of Bear Gryllsing his way through the backwoods in pursuit of the noble cause of geography. Described as a quiet, well-spoken, fairly skinny dude, he really shined in situations where he got to pull his gun and start kicking ass: According to his buddies, he was basically a completely different person – a “monster” – when his life was on the line.
Hays did the land surveying gig for a while, but when shit started going down with Goliad and the Alamo in Texas he decided he wanted to get in on the action. He rode for Texas in 1840, introduced himself to Sam Houston as the nephew of Andrew Jackson, and was immediately given an officer’s position in a relatively-new organization charged with providing order on the sprawling frontier – the Texas Rangers.
Read the Remainder at Bad-Ass Of The Week