John McAleese – legend of the British Army and SAS

Legendary SAS hero - John McAleese 5
Siege of Iranian embassy in London, 1980

John McAleese was born on 25 April 1949 and he was a member of the British Army and SAS (Special Air Service). He was part of the SAS team which raided Iranian embassy in London in May 1980, during Operation Nimrod. The Iranian embassy was sieged and its employees were taken as hostages in the standoff with police. John McAleese becomes famous when he told his life story in the TV Show named SAS: Are you tough enough? With his mustaches trademark in the shape of a horseshoe, he was shortly recognized as the legend of World’s special forces.

Legendary member of British SAS, John McAleese

John Thomas McAleese, nicknamed “Mac”, was born in Stirling, England and grew up in Lauriestonu and in Stirlingshire. He joined the British army in 1969 and soon was deployed to 59th independent command, Royal Engineers. He was just 20 years old. Six years later, he moved to Hereford in 1975 after he passed selection course for the SAS. He served in the rank of Lance Corporal in the B squadron, 22 SAS Regiment. As he told in the TV show, the moment which changed his life was the hostage crisis in Iranian embassy. McAleese became famous after he was spotted with members of SAS Blue Team live on television. John McAleese was seen on the first-floor balcony of the Iranian embassy, just at the moment when he attempts to place an explosive charge on the door. It was moments before they stormed the building on 05 May 1980.

In the further SAS career, John McAleese served also in the Falkland Islands in 1982, and he received the Military Medal in 1988 for his service contribution in Northern Ireland. He also served as a personal bodyguard for three major British ministers. He left the army in 1992 in the rank of Sergeant and after army he was appointed as a security consultant in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also was an instructor of Airsoft.

The life and death of John McAleese

John died on 26 August 2011 in Thessaloniki, Greece, from a heart attack. The funeral was held in the cathedral in Hereford with military honors.

He was married twice. His heart weakened in 2009, when his son, then 29-year old Sergeant Paul McAleese was killed on duty in Helmand, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was hit by IED. He was a member of 2 Battalion The Rifles and his only wish was to be like his father. He wanted to join SAS. John McAleese had his second wife, a daughter from his first marriage and two children from his second marriage.

Sergeant Paul McAleese, son of famous British soldier and SAS hero John McAleese, killed on duty in Helmand province, Afghanistan

He also was honored in 2003 when he was featured in the popular video game Call of Duty, where he given the concept of the character Captain Price. He appeared in many sequels ever and was recognized by millions worldwide.