Categotry Archives: Military

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Robert Gascoyne-Cecil

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Categories: Military, Politicians

Robert Edward Peter Gascoyne-Cecil, the 6th Marquess of Salisbury, bucked the family tradition of working in politics and opted instead to become a soldier and a farmer.
Gascoyne-Cecil was educated at Eton, and received a commission with the Grenadier Guards during World War II. In 1942, he was wounded by a Hurricane that went off target. Twenty-three soldiers were killed, and Gascoyne-Cecil was shot in the lung. He was still being treated for his injury when he joined in the invasion of Normandy with the 2nd Battalion. He was also part of the first British unit to enter Brussels, and later appointed the Resident Minister in North Africa.
After the war, Gascoyne-Cecil followed his father to Parliament. He lost his first election, but won the Bournemouth West by more than 13,000 votes. He only spent four years in office, however, because an illness he contracted in Yugoslavia debilitated him.
Gascoyne-Cecil rested, healed, then devoted himself to running his great estates in Dorset. In 1965, he was elected president of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.
Gascoyne-Cecil died on July 11. Cause of death was not released. He was 86.

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Najeeb Halaby

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Categories: Business, Military

Najeeb Halaby led a very full life. He was a lawyer and a businessman. He set Naval flying records. He headed the Federal Aviation Administration and ran Pan American World Airways. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. He was even the father of a queen.
Halaby graduated from Stanford University and Yale University law school. While working at a Los Angeles law firm, Halaby took flying lessons, which helped him land a job as a flight instructor with the Navy.
During World War II, Halaby test-piloted the first U.S. jet plane, the Bell P-59, and made the first continuous transcontinental jet flight. After the war, he helped Laurence Rockefeller oversee his family’s business enterprises.
When President John F. Kennedy appointed Halaby to the FAA in 1961, he decentralized its authority and helped create the FAA Flight Academy in Oklahoma City.
In 1969, Halaby became chief executive of Pan Am. While he was credited with expanding the airline’s Inter-Continental Hotel chain, he also oversaw the purchase of an expensive new fleet of Boeing 747s, a move that indebted the company for years.
After Pan Am, Halaby published the autobiography, “Crosswinds: An Airman’s Memoir,” with Doubleday. He worked as the chairman of the International Advisory Board for Royal Jordanian Airlines, and ran Halaby International, a New York investment business specializing in Middle East aviation ventures. His daughter Lisa became Queen Noor in 1978 when she married King Hussein of Jordan.
Halaby died Wednesday of congestive heart failure. He was 87.

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Mordechai Hod

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Categories: Military

General Mordechai Hod spent his whole life either in the cockpit of a plane, or deciding where planes should fly.
As a young man, Hod volunteered for the British Army. When the state of Israel was founded, he joined its air force and became the first fighter pilot to earn his wings in an Israeli air force course.
Hod was granted command over the air force in 1966. A year later, he ordered a preemptive strike to destroy hundreds of Arab aircraft on bases in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. The operation, which was known as Moked, launched the Six Day War and helped Israel capture the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Arab Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Desert. The desert was later returned to Egypt as a peace offering.
After his military service, Hod founded the Kal cargo airline, and served as the chairman of El Al, Israel’s national airline.
Hod died on June 29. Cause of death was not released. He was 76.

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Freddie Meeks

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Categories: Military

meeks.jpgFreddie Meeks, a black sailor who was pardoned by President Clinton for his role in a World War II mutiny, died. Cause of death was not released. He was 83.
Meeks was court-martialed by an all-white jury in 1944 for refusing to return to duty after an explosion at the Port Chicago naval facility near San Francisco. The explosion killed 320 servicemen and wounded 400.
Afterwards, more than 250 black sailors went on strike, saying they wanted assurances of safety. Most eventually returned to duty, but Meeks and 49 others were found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to prison and hard labor.

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