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Mike Hoare
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Military Personnel
    (March 17, 1919-February 2, 2020)
    Born in Kolkata (Calcutta), India
    Former British Army Major
    Mercenary in the Congo (Zaire) (1961-65)
    Led an unsuccessful coup to overthrow the government of the Seychelles (November 25, 1981)
    Convicted of hijacking an airplane and served 33 months in prison
    Wrote the memoir ‘Mercenary’
    He was nicknamed ‘Mad Mike.’
    He liked to call himself a colonel, despite not actually having reached that rank.
    He said, ‘Killing Communists is like killing vermin. Killing African nationalists is as if one is killing an animal.’
    For the Seychelles coup, he and his fellow mercenaries posed as a visiting rugby club while smuggling in AK-47s hidden in false bottoms of their luggage.
    Their cover was blown when one of the mercenaries got into the wrong line at customs, resulting in a thorough search of his bags during which his weapon was found.
    After a gunfight with airport security and Seychelles soldiers, he and his men hijacked an Air India plane to take them to South Africa.
    At his trial, he proclaimed, ‘I did my duty as I saw it. I brought my men home safely, and I am proud of that.’ (Actually, five of his men had been left behind.)
    He served in the Burma-India theater in World War II.
    He travelled from Cape Town to Cairo on motorbike (1953).
    He had the unlikely career path of chartered accountant turned mercenary.
    He served as a technical advisor on the film ‘The Wild Geese’ (1978), which was inspired by his exploits as a mercenary.
    He was frequently described as ‘dapper’ and ‘charming’

Credit: C. Fishel

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