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Inspiration Behind James Bond Dies

A British war hero, said to have been the inspiration behind secret agent James Bond, has died aged 90, British newspapers reported Wednesday.

Former Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Patrick Dalzel-Job carried out a series of daring exploits behind enemy lines during the Second World War including some while serving under author Ian Fleming, who created the 007 character.

Although he never claimed to be the real James Bond, Fleming had told him he was the model for the heroic spy, the Guardian newspaper said.

Dalzel-Job's real life adventures certainly read like a James Bond novel. In one of most daring exploits in 1940, he disobeyed orders to rescue all the women, children and elderly residents from the Norwegian town of Narvik in local boats just before it was destroyed in a German bombing raid.

He only avoided a court martial after the King of Norway sent his personal thanks and awarded him the Knight's Cross of St Olav. Later in the war he commanded a team in one Fleming's undercover units which worked far ahead of allied lines in France and Germany.

He recounted tales of his wartime achievements in his memoir "From Arctic Snow to Dust of Normandy."

However unlike the woman-chasing 007, Dalzel-Job returned to Norway after the war to marry a schoolgirl he had met there as a child. He even shunned the Bond films.

"I prefer the quiet life now. When you have led such an exciting life you don't need to see a fictional account of it," the Guardian quoted him as saying.

LONDON (Reuters) 15th October, 2003