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Also known as “Jake,” Mr. McNiece led a group of men that Hollywood acknowledged with embellishment when none was needed.
From NewsOK, here are some excerpts from today’s article:
McNiece, a retired Ponca City postal worker, commanded a group of rough men nicknamed “The Filthy 13,” who served as the inspiration for the 1967 movie “The Dirty Dozen.” Hours before the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion, McNiece led 18 paratroopers behind enemy lines to destroy two bridges and control a third to prevent German reinforcements from moving into Normandy and to cut off retreating German troops. Sixteen of his men were killed during the 36-day mission, in which they also cut enemy communications and supply lines.
In September, he was presented France’s most prestigious decoration, the Legion of Honor, during a ceremony at the state Capitol. In 2002, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.
“War is hell,” McNiece said in September after receiving the French medal. “We do not brag about winning the war, and we do not apologize. It was a thing that needed to be done, and we did it and we’re glad.”
Here is the video from the article, it is well worth your time to watch and the commercial is only a few seconds long.
I urge you to read the entire article about this American Hero and a man’s man. A man who could endure the horrors of war, of seeing most of the men he called brother killed, facing almost certain death on a daily basis for years, only to return and live a quiet, peaceful life in a small town as a postal worker and husband of 59 years.
I thank God men such as Mr. McNiece existed and I believe his example insures us his warrior spirit will live on.
Godspeed, Mr. McNiece. Your last jump has been made and your mission was a complete success.