Elk Grove Man Recounts His Years Of Protecting World Leaders
By Cody Stark February 13, 2016 7:51 PM
Filed Under: Elk Grove
ELK GROVE (CBS13) – A few weeks ago we were at Camden Springs in Elk Grove for another story and we ran into a fella named Danny Mander.
He was tall and handsome with a hint of ginger in his grey hair and you see in his eyes he had a story to tell, so we came back and this is what he had to share.
The year was 1943 and Mander was in the military police stationed in Tehran of all places one day unannounced a plane lands.
“The door slid open and a man with a walking cane came out with a big cigar … it was Winston,” Mander said.
Winston as in Winston Churchill. Danny would be in charge of his security
“It was a hot day … I didn’t think it was right to take an Englishman in 120 degrees,” Mander said.
So he took Churchill up to a private retreat in the mountains.
“He spotted the pool and he got in he shouted for me to jump in,” Mander said. “I said you know damn well I’d be no good as a guard if I was in the pool.”
The two would get kind of close; Mander had to actually sleep in his room.
Ends up Churchill wasn’t the only dignitary Mander would meet that week.
“The dramatic conference of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin,” Mander said.
He actually got hands on with President Franklin Roosevelt.
“He was just a bag of bones and I had to put him in his chair carefully,” Mander said.
Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill weren’t the only dignitaries he would work security for. For a brief time he worked for a then Princess Elizabeth.
“I’m her body guard and got to know her. She was 17 and I was 24,” Mander said.
And he made quite the impression after the war was over and she was crowned queen.
“We got a message that I had to go across the street and there she was and she handed me this.”
It’s her personal crest in a pin for him to carry in his wallet, and he still carries it today.
Danny turns 99 this week.