April 07, 2007

Israelis Laud Alaska Sailor for 1947 Exodus Mission

From Israelis Laud Alaska Sailor for 1947 Exodus Mission:

A young Alaskan named Jack Johnson sailed into history and an Israeli hero's stature in 1947, but never really realized it until he returned to the Mediterranean this winter at age 80. Johnson, who in December retired from piloting ships around Alaska, had a dizzying youth during World War II and then found himself at the right bar in Marseille when the Zionist group trying to slip Jewish refugees past a British blockade into Palestine asked him to join their crew. An Orthodox Russian Christian, he signed on to crew aboard the Exodus, a ship that attempted to move some 4,500 refugees and in so doing is widely credited with evoking the world's sympathy toward the formation of Israel.