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Captain John Morrison Birch: Do you know his story?
August 25 marks the brutal death of Captain John Morrison Birch
APPLETON, WIS. — August 22, 2011 — As August 25, 2011, approaches, The John Birch Society, named after Captain John Morrison Birch, will remember the man who they honor.
Capt. Birch was slain by Chinese communists on August 25, 1945, ten days after the official end of World War II. Although Birch suffered a horrible death, he lived an incredible life, which is why The John Birch Society is named after him today.
In the 1930s hundreds of Christians devoted their lives to missionary work in China. Birch was one of those missionaries. Birch was devoted to his time in China. He became fluent in Chinese, traveled about China preaching, passing out tracts and bibles, and developing relationships with Chinese people.
Birch also showed his dedication to the Chinese and to his own country by volunteering for service with the U.S. forces who were fighting Japanese invaders in China. He did this even though he was exempted from the draft because he was an ordained minister. He spent over three years as an intelligence specialist working almost exclusively behind Japanese lines, became a legend among all who served in China during World War II, and received numerous military decorations.
John Birch’s military career began with a chance encounter within China in 1942. Birch was eating in a restaurant in Chekiang province, when he was approached by a man who asked discretely if he was an American. He was then led to a boat in which were concealed several American pilots. He was astonished to learn that the leader of the group was none other than the famous aviator Colonel James H. Doolittle, and that he and his crew had parachuted into China after bombing Tokyo.
Birch helped Doolittle and his men to safety. Birch was instructed to find the whereabouts of 15 other planes from Doolittle’s raid and ensure they were rescued.
Birch immediately used his network of contacts to get information about their location. He was able to find most of the men with a few that had been captured or killed.
Birch was a greatly respected, diligent man who today is remembered by The John Birch Society. After learning of Capt. Birch, Robert Welch wrote a book about him in 1954 and later, with the permission of Birch’s parents, named the society he founded in 1958 after their son.
John McManus, the current president of the Society, remembers meeting John Birch’s parents, George and Ethel, in their Macon, Georgia, home in 1970. “They were enthusiastic members of the Society right from its beginning. And they were very grateful and proud of the fact that their valiant son had been honored as the symbol of patriotism, courage, and righteousness by Robert Welch.”
Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, The John Birch Society is dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom under the U.S. Constitution. Members come from all walks of life and are active throughout the 50 states on local, regional and national issues. United by a strong belief in personal freedom and limited government, members work to achieve the mission of the organization: to bring about less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world by providing leadership, education, and organized volunteer action in accordance with moral and Constitutional principles. Visit JBS.org for more information.