- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
The world has lost a legend but may his legacy live on in the community.
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Legendary last surviving founding member of SAS 'Originals' dies at 92
By Sarah Bruce
Last updated at 8:27 AM on 31st January 2012
He was in the Special Air Service before it was even called the SAS: a member of the formidable L Detachment who carried out stealth raids and daring missions throughout World War Two.
Jimmy Storie, the last surviving veteran of ‘The Originals’ who went down in history as the founders of the legendary SAS, has died aged 92.
Ayr-born Mr Storie was one of a handful of men brought together as the first raw form of the regiment, born out of fighting Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa.
Storie, right, and a fellow 'Original' in the desert in 1941After a disastrous first mission that claimed two thirds of their original team, L Detachment soon became a byword for bravery and the scourge of the German and Italian forces.
Often, they simply walked on to enemy airfields, planting bombs and blowing up scores of planes. On one mission at Sidi Haneish in Egypt, they drove jeeps on to the airfield, shooting up planes with a range of firepower running to 90,000 rounds a minute.
Mr Storie recalled years afterwards: ‘The planes were all parked up on either side of the field. We drove our Jeeps in a line and went in with guns blazing. Each of us singled out an aircraft, brewed it up and then we swung around and went down the other side.’
Hand-picked by Scots Guards officer David Stirling in 1941, Mr Storie – already a Commando - was one of only 66 men to form the basis for the regiment that would spend the rest of war using stealth, cunning and sometimes downright dirty tactics to beat the enemy.
The inaugural mission of L Division was a disaster: the team attempted to parachute into the desert during the worst storm in 30 years. Only a third of the men returned to base. One broke his back in the landing and was left to his own fate, equipped with a bottle of water and a pistol.
Storie, seen here with his fellow comrades died aged 92Their second mission was basically a publicity stunt: they broke into a British forces base and left stickers on planes, buildings and property that read ‘Blown up’ – showing the top brass the devastation they could have caused if the raid had been for real.
From then on, it was deadly serious: with appropriated gear – like the tents they stole from New Zealand troops – the SAS’s mission was to operate many miles behind enemy lines, attack airfields and convoys, blow up planes, destroy fuel dumps and derail trains.
Based at Kabrit, near the Nile, they destroyed 400 enemy planes in waves of surprise attacks on air bases.
Mr Storie had many close shaves. One evening, after dark on the Benghazi plain, his group, seven in number, ran into a fully manned enemy roadblock.
A German NCO, swinging a red lantern, stepped out into the road. His demand for a password was met with a string of swear words from the German-speaking member of the SAS unit.
They had been at the front for six weeks, the man was told, they were hungry, in need of a bath and in no mood for formalities. A mile away, the fires were still smouldering from their raid the night before on an airfield, which had killed many Germans.
The men cocked their revolvers and the German sentry let them through: he knew the men were British but he also knew that if he gave the alarm he was a dead man.
Mr Storie was captured by the Germans after almost two years with the SAS and taken initially to Berlin. Hitler had decreed that any captured Special Services personnel were to be executed immediately - but Mr Storie persuaded his captors he was a pilot.
After interrogation and a spell in solitary confinement, he ended up in POW camp in Czechoslovakia.
He returned home in 1945 and immediately married Morag whom he had met before the war.
His first post-war job was as a prison warder at Barlinnie, but spent most of the rest of his working life in Aberdeen as a tile fixer, retiring in 1979.
Mr Storie lived a quiet life in the village of Muchalls outside Aberdeen, displaying no hint that he had once been one of the country’s most courageous master saboteurs.
He died on January 8, and is survived by his wife, children Sandra, Ian, Marion and Brian, five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093981/Jimmy-Storie-dead-SAS-Originals-surviving-founding-member-dies-92.html
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