Irena Sendler smuggled children in boxes, suitcases and caskets, saving the lives of more than 2,500 Jewish children. During World War II, she watched in horror as the Nazis forced Jewish people to live in a ghetto in Warsaw, Poland where disease ran rampant. Soon, it became clear that the Nazis intended to exterminate the Jews. That’s when Sendler took courageous action. To gain access to the ghetto, she pretended to be a nurse. She used a fake I.D. and told German soldiers she was there to deliver supplies and care for the sick.
Noor Inayat Khan was born a princess but died living the life of a spy while fighting the Nazis. She was born in Moscow in 1914 to an American mother and an aristocratic Indian father, which made her a princess. Khan and her family soon moved to London and then Paris where she went to school. After completing her education, she began writing children’s stories and may have gone on to lead the quiet life of a writer. But this was not her path.
Private Wojtek is hailed as a war hero in Poland, but the renowned soldier was neither Polish nor human. Wojtek was a brown bear who was dealt a poor hand as a cub. After hunters killed his mother, Wojtek wandered the world alone until he was found and adopted by a young boy.
In 1942, Nobuo Fujita became the only Japanese pilot to bomb the U.S. mainland in World War II. Fujita traveled to the unprotected waters off the Oregon Coast by submarine. Hidden beneath the Pacific, the sub concealed a small plane with folded wings. It allowed Fujita and the crew of 100 to approach America unseen and undetected.