Famous 20th Century Soldiers

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 1 
Desmond Doss
(U. S. Army Corporal)
Desmond Doss
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lynchburg
Died: March 23, 2006

Desmond Doss was a US Army corporal. Doss served as a combat medic in World War II. For his actions during the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond Doss became the only conscientious objector to be honored with the prestigious Medal of Honor as he saved 75 men. His life and work inspired several books and the biographical war film Hacksaw Ridge.

 2 
Audie Murphy
(One of the Most Decorated American Combat Soldiers of World War II)
Audie Murphy
6
Birthdate: June 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingston, Texas, United States
Died: May 28, 1971

Audie Murphy displayed such valor as an American soldier in World War II that he did not have problems establishing a successful acting career after the war, as he was already famous for his heroism which he demonstrated by single-handedly holding off many German soldiers for an hour before leading a successful counterattack despite being wounded and out of ammunition.

 3 
Simo Häyhä
(Finnish Military Sniper in World War II)
Simo Häyhä
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rautjärvi, Finland
Died: April 1, 2002
Simo Häyhä was a Finnish sniper who served in the Winter War against the Soviet Union, in 1939–1940. He had killed 500 men in the war and received many awards for his exploits. His face was disfigured by a Red Army bullet, and he later retired to a farm.
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 4 
Bruce Kingsbury
(Victoria Cross Winner)
Bruce Kingsbury
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melbourne
Died: August 29, 1942

Bruce Kingsbury was an Australian soldier best remembered for his efforts during the Second World War. Kingsbury lost his life while counter-attacking the Japanese forces during the Battle of Isurava. Kingsbury's counter-attack proved beneficial for the Australians and his bravery during the battle was honored with the Victoria Cross. 

 5 
Claus von Stauffenberg
(German Army Officer Who Failed in His Attempt to Assassinate Adolf Hitler)
Claus von Stauffenberg
7
Birthdate: November 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jettingen, Germany
Died: July 1, 1944

German army officer Claus von Stauffenberg, a significant figure of the German Resistance Movement within the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944, but failed. He was executed by a firing squad soon after Operation Valkyrie. He had earlier actively participated in World War II.

 6 
Buffalo Bill
(American Showman, Bison Hunter and One of the Most Famous Figures of the American Old West,)
Buffalo Bill
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1846
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Scott County, Iowa, United States
Died: January 10, 1917
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was a legendary showman and bison hunter who had also been a Union soldier. He began working as a freight carrier at 11 and later performed in Wild West-themed shows. He later formed Buffalo Bill's Wild West and toured across the U.S. and Europe.
 7 
Jason Robards
4
Birthdate: July 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 26, 2000
 8 
Tyrone Power
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: November 15, 1958
 9 
Carlos Hathcock
(Military Personnel)
Carlos Hathcock
5
Birthdate: May 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas
Died: February 23, 1999
Carlos Hathcock was a U.S. Marine sniper who had killed at least 93 enemy personnel in the Vietnam War. He inspired the 1993 movie Sniper. His signature style of attaching a feather to his bush hat earned him the name “White Feather.” He later had a rifle named after him.
 10 
Peter Townsend
(aviator, writer)
Peter Townsend
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yangon
Died: June 19, 1995
 11 
Jack Churchill
(British Army Officer Who Fought in the World War II)
Jack Churchill
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died: March 8, 1996

Better known as Mad Jack or Fighting Jack, British Army officer Jack Churchill was an iconic example of a person fighting wars on his own terms. He popularized carrying swords and bagpipes to battles and killed his enemies with his longbow. He inspired a comic strip and several books, too.

 12 
John Basilone
(United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant)
John Basilone
4
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 1945

John Basilone was a US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who played a crucial role in the Battle for Henderson Field, for which he was honored with the Medal of Honor. Basilone died during the Battle of Iwo Jima and was posthumously honored with the Navy Cross, becoming the only enlisted Marine to receive these two decorations in World War II.

 13 
Bowe Bergdahl
(Soldier)
Bowe Bergdahl
6
Birthdate: March 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sun Valley, Idaho, United States
 14 
Lyudmila Pavlichenko
(One of the Most Successful Female Snipers in Recorded History)
Lyudmila Pavlichenko
8
Birthdate: July 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bila Tserkva, Ukraine
Died: October 27, 1974

Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko belonged to the Red Army during World War II and is believed to have killed over 300 people. Also known as Lady Death, she was awarded the Order of Lenin and was made a Hero of the Soviet Union. She later became a Soviet Navy researcher.

 15 
Alvin York
(One of the Most Decorated United States Army Soldiers of World War I)
Alvin York
4
Birthdate: December 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fentress County, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 2, 1964

One of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I, Alvin York is best remembered for leading an attack on a German machine-gun nest. The son of a poor blacksmith, he started working as a child to contribute to his family income. After joining the army, he became known for his courage and valor.

 16 
Rory Stewart
(British Politician Who Served as Minister in Theresa May's Cabinet)
Rory Stewart
4
Birthdate: January 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: British Hong Kong

The son of a soldier and intelligence officer, Rory Stewart was educated at Eton and Oxford and was also a tutor to princes William and Harry. Apart from being a diplomat and MP later, he also traveled across several countries on foot and wrote about this remarkable journey in a bestselling book.

 17 
Tony Lip
(Actor)
Tony Lip
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: January 4, 2013
 18 
Robert A. Heinlein
(American Novelist Best Known as the 'Dean of Science Fiction Writers')
Robert A. Heinlein
5
Birthdate: July 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Butler, Missouri, United States
Died: May 8, 1988

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer. Heinlein is credited with pioneering a literary subgenre called hard science fiction as he was among the first to stress the importance of scientific accuracy in fiction. Robert A. Heinlein is one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time.

 19 
Robert Falcon Scott
(British Royal Naval Officer and Explorer)
Robert Falcon Scott
4
Birthdate: June 6, 1868
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Plymouth, Devon, England
Died: March 29, 1912

Robert Falcon Scott was an explorer and Royal Navy officer. He is remembered for leading two expeditions to the Antarctic regions, the second of which was the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition. Although Scott and his companions died during the second expedition, they helped discover the first Antarctic fossils, which proved that the place was once forested.

 20 
John Wooden
(Basketball coach)
John Wooden
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hall, Indiana, United States
Died: June 4, 2010
 21 
Hal Moore
(Former lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, during the American War in Vietnam)
Hal Moore
6
Birthdate: February 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bardstown, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 10, 2017
 22 
Lloyd Austin
(Military personnel)
Lloyd Austin
5
Birthdate: August 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mobile
 23 
Roy Benavidez
(Soldier)
Roy Benavidez
5
Birthdate: August 5, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cuero
Died: November 29, 1998
 24 
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
(United States Naval Aviator and Eldest Son of Joseph P. Kennedy SR and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy)
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
4
Birthdate: July 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hull, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 12, 1944

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was a US Navy lieutenant. The eldest of the famous Kennedy siblings, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was groomed by his father from a very young age to become the president of the United States. After his death during World War II at age 29, John F. Kennedy took it upon himself to materialize his father's dreams.

 25 
Sterling Hayden
(Actor, Author, Sailor and an Office of Strategic Services' Agent During World War II)
Sterling Hayden
5
Birthdate: March 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 23, 1986

Sterling Hayden mostly appeared in Westerns and film noir of the 1950s. He had also served in World War II. He gained fame with Stanley Kubrick's The Killing and Dr. Strangelove. He was also a sailor and once sailed to Tahiti to shoot a film that eventually remained unfinished.

 26 
Jeffrey R. MacDonald
(Military physician, Soldier)
Jeffrey R. MacDonald
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States of America
 27 
Erich Hartmann
(Aviator, Officer)
Erich Hartmann
8
Birthdate: April 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weissach
Died: September 20, 1993

Remembered as the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, Erich Hartmann completed 1,400 missions in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 and shot down 352 Allied planes. Known for his dogfighting strategy, he inspired the popular biography The Blond Knight of Germany and became a flight instructor post-retirement.

 28 
Fess Parker
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Died: March 18, 2010
 29 
Bob Gunton
(Actor)
Bob Gunton
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA
 30 
Jessica Lynch
(Soldier)
Jessica Lynch
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palestine, Wirt County, West Virginia
 31 
Alejandro Villanueva
(American Football player)
Alejandro Villanueva
6
Birthdate: September 22, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States
 32 
Richard E. Byrd
(American Naval Officer and Explorer Known for His Expedition of the Antarctic Plateau)
Richard E. Byrd
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winchester, Virginia, United States
Died: March 11, 1957

American naval officer Richard E. Byrd is remembered for his pioneering expeditions to Antarctica, using airplanes. Though he was awarded a US Congressional Medal of Honor for completing the first flight over the North Pole, it was later revealed that he had returned when he was 150 miles away from the destination.

 33 
Nicholas Colasanto
4
Birthdate: January 19, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: February 12, 1985
Vikram Batra
5
Birthdate: September 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palampur
Died: July 7, 1999
 35 
Doris Miller
(Navy Man)
Doris Miller
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States
Died: November 24, 1943

Doris Miller was a US Navy cook third class. He became the first black American to be honored with the Navy Cross for saving the lives of many sailors aboard West Virginia by manning an anti-aircraft machine gun to shoot down Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was killed in action while serving in World War II.

 36 
Howard Zinn
(American Historian, Playwright, Philosopher and World War II Veteran)
Howard Zinn
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 27, 2010

Born into a Jewish working-class, immigrant family in Brooklyn, Howard Zinn was initially dragged into communism. He was part of the U.S. Army during World War II and later established himself as a historian. Of his many books, the most popular has been A People's History of the United States.

 37 
Eugene Sledge
(Biologist, Soldier, Academic, University teacher, Writer)
Eugene Sledge
4
Birthdate: November 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mobile
Died: March 3, 2001

Eugene Sledge was a US Marine, author, and university professor. He is remembered for chronicling his Second World War combat experiences in a memoir titled With the Old Breed, which was used as source material for a television documentary miniseries titled The War. The memoir also inspired the 2010 HBO miniseries, The Pacific, where Sledge was played by Joseph Mazzello.

 38 
John Gavin
(Actor)
John Gavin
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: February 9, 2018
 39 
Lauri Törni
(Finnish Army Officer Who Fought Under Three Flags in the Winter War and the Continuation War)
Lauri Törni
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1919
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Viipuri, Finland
Died: October 18, 1965

Lauri Törni was a Finnish-born American soldier who served in the Vietnam War as part of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He died during the war due to a helicopter crash in 1965. In the 1990s, several books were written about Lauri Törni, making him a war hero. He was inducted into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor in 2011.

 40 
John Conyers
(Politician)
John Conyers
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Highland Park, Michigan, United States
Died: October 27, 2019
 41 
George Halas
(American football player)
George Halas
5
Birthdate: February 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: October 31, 1983
 42 
Lewis Nixon
(Was a United States Army officer who, during World War II)
Lewis Nixon
4
Birthdate: September 30, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 11, 1995
 43 
William Guarnere
4
Birthdate: April 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 8, 2014
 44 
Hans-Ulrich Rudel
7
Birthdate: July 2, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kondratów, Poland
Died: December 18, 1982

Nazi World War II pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel hated academics but loved skiing as a young man. He is believed to have destroyed 519 Soviet tanks and even got a leg amputated. Post-war, he went to Argentina briefly, wrote books, and also became an entrepreneur after returning to Germany.

 45 
William Calley
(Military Officer)
William Calley
6
Birthdate: June 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
 46 
Christine Jorgensen
4
Birthdate: May 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: May 3, 1989
 47 
Jack Hawkins
(One of the Most Popular British Film Stars of the 1950s)
Jack Hawkins
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wood Green, Middlesex, England
Died: July 18, 1973

Jack Hawkins was an English actor best remembered for playing military men during the 1950s. Hawkins achieved international stardom in the '50s when he entered Hollywood. In 1958, Jack Hawkins was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the art.

 48 
Yakov Dzhugashvili
(Joseph Stalin's Son)
Yakov Dzhugashvili
6
Birthdate: March 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Baji, Kutais Governorate
Died: April 14, 1943
Yakov Dzhugashvili was the eldest child of Joseph Stalin. His mother, Stalin’s first wife, Kato Svanidze, passed away within months of his birth. He was a shy child and had attempted suicide several times. He was forced to join the army and eventually died in a German concentration camp.
 49 
Gene Kranz
(Officer, Engineer)
Gene Kranz
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toledo
 50 
Ron Kovic
(Anti-War Activist)
Ron Kovic
4
Birthdate: July 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ladysmith, Wisconsin, United States