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Jack Churchill
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Military Personnel
    (September 16, 1906-March 8, 1996)
    Born in Surrey, England, United Kingdom
    Served with the Manchester Regiment in Burma (1926-36)
    Joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France (1940)
    Volunteered for the Commandos (1941-45)
    Captured by Germans during a joint Commando-partisan raid on the Adriatic island of Brac (1944)
    Appeared (as an archer) in the films 'A Yank at Oxford' (1938), 'The Thief of Baghdad' (1940) and 'Ivanhoe' (1948)
    Nicknamed 'FIghting Jack' and 'Mad Jack'
    While serving in Burma, he crashed his motorcycle into a water buffalo.
    He played the bagpipes -- including while leading nighttime raids, when one might have thought it prudent not to reveal one's location with a hideous wail.
    After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war, he complained, 'If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.'
    He would startle train passengers by throwing his briefcase out of the window. (His house was located alongside the tracks, so his case landed in the backyard, saving him the trouble of carrying it from the station.)
    He represented Britain at the World Archery Championships (1939).
    While serving in the BEF, he killed a German sergeant with a barbed arrow, becoming the last British soldier known to have killed an enemy combatant with a longbow.
    While fighting during the Dunkirk evacuation, he was shot in the shoulder and the bullet was never removed.
    As a commanding officer in the Commandos, he would hit the beach with a drawn broadsword and playing the bagpipes to inspire his men with the idea that nothing was impossible.
    During the Battle of Salerno in Sicily, he and a corporal captured a German observation post and took 42 prisoners (1943).
    He escaped from a German prisoner camp in the Tyrol when the floodlights failed, and walked 90 miles through the Alps into Italy, where he met an American reconnaissance column (April, 1945).
    After the war, while serving as a military instructor in Australia, he took up surfing and designed his own boards.

Credit: C. Fishel


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