"James Bond" Dead at 90

LONDON (AP) - Patrick Dalzel-Job, whose wartime exploits made him a model for James Bond, has died at 90, his son said Thursday. During World War II, Dalzel-Job commanded one of the naval teams led by Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, in undercover raids on occupied Europe. Dispatched to Norway during World War II, Dalzel-Job saved the people of Narvik from a Nazi reprisal bombing raid by arranging for them to be evacuated in fishing boats. He was threatened with a court martial, but reprieved when the Norwegian king awarded him the prestigious Knights Cross of St. Olaf, First Class.

Peter Jemmett, a member of Fleming’s unit, said later that when Fleming’s first Bond novels appeared in the 1950s, colleagues immediately recognized Dalzel-Job in the 007 character. “In contrast to a number of people who have claimed that they were the James Bond, Patrick has never made any fuss about it,” Jemmett said. Dalzel-Job later acknowledged that Fleming had told him he was the basis for Bond, but added, “I have never read a Bond book or seen a Bond movie. They are not my style. … And I only ever loved one woman, and I’m not a drinking man.”

That woman was Bjorg Bangsund, who was a schoolgirl when she joined Dalzel-Job and his mother in sailing his schooner Mary Fortune as far as Arctic Russia in 1939. In June 1945, Dalzel-Job returned to Norway searching for the girl, and married her within three weeks. Dalzel-Job had volunteered for military service when the war broke out and, with his knowledge of Norwegian waters, was ordered to help organize the landing of the Allied North-West Expeditionary Force in Norway, using mainly small local craft. His evacuation - against orders - of the people of Narvik in May 1940 prevented large numbers of casualties; just four Norwegians died.

Another unsung hero passes quietly. Thanks for the note, Eve.

Dalzel-Job… Patrick Dalzel-Job
Never would have known about him otherwise. Thanks Eve.

Copyright me…

ALPHABET (Allied 40) The evacuation of British troops from the Norwegian town of Narvik; authorized on 24 May, 1940 (shortly before the ground forces had actually entered the port) and completed by 8 June. This evacuation was made necessary by the launch of the German attack on France in the spring of 1940, which reduced operations in Scandinavia to a sideshow. See WILFRED, WESERUEBüNG. Several nights after final evacuation, the civilians of the town were rescued by British Sub-Lieutenant Patrick Dalzael-Job. Against orders, he organized local fishing boats to remove the population just before a German reprisal bombing. The town was largely destroyed, but only four people wee killed. The Royal Navy wanted to discipline Dalzael-Job but was unable to after King Haakon VII awarded him the Knights Cross of the Order of Saint Olav (First Class). Later in the war, he served with Ian Fleming. Many sources cite Dalzael-Job as the inspiration for the James Bond character.

Too often those of quiet resolve for the good of man pass from our now-improved world unnoticed. Thank you for preventing this, Eve.

Patrick Dalzel-Job was certainly one of the inspirations for James Bond, but not the only one. Another top British spy (despite not being neither British or a JB type spy) was Sidney Reilly, a shady double dealer originally from Poland.

Here’s his book. I’m assuming that’s him on the cover.

This looks to be him.

Sympathetic Obit in The Guardian:

"He could ski backwards, navigate a midget submarine, and undertake the riskiest parachute jumps. His second world war exploits are the epitome of derring-do behind enemy lines. And, like Bond, he sometimes defied authority. "

  • Thanks for pointing him out, Eve.