While I’m in the air on my way to Hawaii, I wanted to share this with you. Courage such as this needs to be recalled from time to time, because such men did exist.
“Jumpin’ Joe” Beyrle (right) was an American paratrooper who also served in the Soviet Red Army. He might qualify as one of many ultimate ‘wild men‘ in US military’s history.
After being assigned to OSS and being captured during clandestine missions with the French resistance, he made seven escape attempts and was sent to an Eastern camp, from which he also escaped.
Jumpin’ Joe managed to link up with Captain Aleksandra Samusenko’s 1st Battalion of the 1st Tank Guards (read more about her here), greeting the famous female commander with a pack of Lucky Strikes that he received in the camp as part of his Red Cross Package before his escape.
He was allowed to serve in the battalion as a machine-gunner aboard a T-34 until he was injured in a dive-bombing run and evacuated to Moscow. There, he was awarded medals for heroism by Marshal Georgy Zhukov and discovered that he was listed as KIA by the United States Army.
His uniform had been used by a German infiltration unit months previously, the wearer killed by a landmine and rendered unidentifiable. He returned home in April of 1945, and in 1994 was decorated by both Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin at the 50th D-Day anniversary ceremony.
He passed away in 2004. RIP
An interesting fellow. I'll have to look into his career further.
A profile of Joe Byerle can be found at badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=98898687205
Wow! Definitely an interesting character. Checking up more on him and the Russian commander who I aadmit I've never heard of her. great story.
That's a MAN!
Enjoy the bikinis Dude!
Enjoy the RnR, LL!
Have fun and a safe time in Hawaii!
Interesting story. There were so many interesting people doing extraordinary things during WWII. I admire their bravery and accomplishments… on both sides. Enjoy the Wahine's.
Wonder if any US pilots flew with the Red Air Force as advisers?
That's why I come here. To learn more than I did.
enjoy your trip as much as you can.
Remarkable. Have fun in Hawaii, try and avoid the Obamas.
Now that would certainly ruin a vacation…
He STILL looks pretty tough in that picture. Amazing story too!
Talked to one of John Basilone's messmates today. 96 years old, Veteran of Guadalcanal, Vela Lavela, Tarawa, Eniwetok, etc. Those guys went through hells front door.
I think that Joe Beryle would have enjoyed the bikinis too.
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