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Famous people in WW2 - Paul Harvey and others


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Hugh Brannum (Mr. Green Jeans)

Art Buchwald

Gil Hodges

Gene Tunney

Gene hackman

Steve McQueen

George Peppard

Tyrone Power

Burt Reynolds

James Whitmore (RIP)


All Marines


Richard Boone (have gun will travel) USN Avenger Tail gunner

Kirk Douglas USN

Buddy Ebsen USCG Aleutians

Alex Haley USCG

Jason Robards was in the the Navy on Dec. 7 1941 and recieved the message "Air raid Pearl Harbor, This is no Drill", had 2 cruisers shot out from under him and recieved the Navy Cross.

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Here's a list of post-WWII presidents (some of whom have already been mentioned):


Harry S Truman (Army, WWI)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (I heard he was in the Army)

John F. Kennedy (Navy, WWII)

Lyndon B. Johnson (Navy, WWII)

Richard M. Nixon (Navy, WWII)

Gerald R. Ford (Navy, WWII)

Jimmy Carter (Navy, post-WWII)

Ronald Reagan (Army Air Forces, WWII)

George H. W. Bush (Navy, WWII)

Since then we've had only one president who was a veteran, George W. Bush (Air Force, Vietnam era)



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And here are some fellow U. S. Air Force veterans:


Johnny Cash (Korean War era, served in Europe)

Flip Wilson (Korean War era, served in the Pacific)

Morgan Freeman (late 1950s)

George W. Bush (Vietnam era, Air Force/ANG)

Jerry Mathers (Beaver from Leave it to Beaver, Air National Guard, Vietnam era)

Chuck Norris (late 1950s, served stateside, air police)

Sinbad (comedian, served as a KC-135 boom operator, I think in the 1980s)

Willie Nelson (served briefly in the 1950s)

Tom Daschle (US Senator)

Bob Schieffer (CBS newsman, late 1950s)

George Carlin

Marvin Gaye

(The last two didn't have stellar military careers)


And, of course, many US astronauts are USAF veterans.

Any other Air Force vets of note?

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Hugh Hefner, Army infantry, WW2. Apparently he ended the war as a company clerk. Given his reputation as a lover, one must wonder if he was much of a fighter:)



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Jim Braddock ,1st Lieutenant , enlisted in 1942, served on Saipan training men in hand to hand combat. Called " The Cinderella Man" from his boxing days before the war. Movie about him was also named Cinderella Man starring Russell Crowe as Braddock. ---from Wikipedia---

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Although not a "Screen Actor" lets not forget Marty Robbins the Singer/Songwriter/NASCAR Driver & TV Personality. 1925 - 1982. He joined the Navy in 1943 and got out in 1947 serving in the Pacific. He was Coxswain and was part of the Soloman Island landings. He served most of his enlistment out of Hawaii.





Jon B

Newaygo MI

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Any other Air Force vets of note?


Senator Lloyd Bentsen flew 35 missions and commanded a squadron of the 449th Bomb Group, 15th AF.

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Lest we forget Neville Brand, the gravel-voiced character actor and villian. US Army, WWII.


He was, according to official military records, the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in combat. His other awards and decorations are the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Ribbon, the European/African/Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with three Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, one Service Stripe, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.


Tom thumbsup.gif

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Hugh Hefner, Army infantry, WW2. Apparently he ended the war as a company clerk. Given his reputation as a lover, one must wonder if he was much of a fighter:)



On a History Channel program about sex in the WWII era, Hefner (who was a corporal), stated that he was a virgin when he entered the Army and a virgin when he came out. I was kinda suprised at that, but I guess he set about to making up for lost time soon afterward! w00t.gif

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On a History Channel program about sex in the WWII era, Hefner (who was a corporal), stated that he was a virgin when he entered the Army and a virgin when he came out. I was kinda suprised at that, but I guess he set about to making up for lost time soon afterward! w00t.gif




You make a good point!


However, I've thought for a long time that if 1/3 of the guys got 1/2 as much as they talked about, they'd still be doing pretty well for themselves. Hef, on the other hand, well...if he didn't "make up for lost time" given what he's done since the 50s...well, 'nuff said - this is already a pretty racy post for a family-friendly forum:)



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OK, another U.S. Air Force veteran of note:

Larry Hagman, served in the USAF 1952 to about 1956, in Europe/UK. Later, of course, he played US Air Force Major Anthony Nelson in the I Dream of Jeannie sitcom.


Pete B.

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  • 2 years later...

Sid Caesar (USCG, WWII)

James Doohan (Royal Canadian Artillery, WWII)

Don Ho (USAF, 1954-59)

Lecil Travis Martin (aka Boxcar Willie) (USAF, 1949-76)

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Ed McMahon was a Marine aviator. IIRC he was a Corsair pilot but got into WWII combat either not at all or late (Okinawa?). He stayed in the Reserve postwar and returned to active duty for Korea -- but "too old" for fighters, he drove L-5 forward observation/FAC light planes. He later flew helis in the Reserve, but was off flight status by VN time. He retired from the USMCR.


Strom Thurmond was never "ASSIGNED to the 82nd". He was Military Government officer, direct commission due to political clout. He landed by glider in Normandy, on D+1, and worked in the 82nd's AO for a matter of days. When the 82nd moved on, he stayed put.

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Alec Guinness (Star Wars~Bridge over the River Kwai) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.

James Doohan ("Scotty" on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the Canadian Army and was woundedHe was shot by a machine gun and lost a finger.. . Also served in the RCAF as a pilot flying arty observation planes.


Donald Pleasance (The Great Escape) really was an R. A. F. pilot! who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans.

David Niven was a Sandhurst graduate and Lt. Colonel of the British Commandos in Normandy .

James Stewart Entered the Army Air Force as a private and worked his way to the rank of Colonel. During World War II, Stewart served as a bomber pilot, his service record crediting him with leading more than 20 missions over Germany , and taking part in hundreds of air strikes during his tour of duty. Stewart earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, France's Croix de Guerre,and 7 Battle Stars during World War II. In peace time, Stewart continued to be an active member of the Air Force as a reservist, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in the late 1950's.

Clark Gable (Mega-Movie Star when war broke out) Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles. He attended the Officers' Candidate School at Miami Beach , Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942 . He then attended aerial gunnery school and in Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook where flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s. Capt. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.-The bomber Clark Gable flew in, Delta Rebel No.II, was lost with all hands on the next mission it flew after Gable returned to the US.

Charlton Heston was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak.

Earnest Borgnine was a U. S. Navy Gunners Mate 1935-1945.

Charles Durning was a U. S. Army Ranger at Normandy earning a Silver

Star and awarded the Purple Heart.

Charles Bronson was a tail gunner in the Army Air Corps, more

specifically on B-29s in the 20th Air Force out of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan.

George C. Scott was a decorated U. S. Marine.

Eddie Albert (Green Acres TV) was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic

acti! on as a U. S. Naval officer aiding Marines at the horrific battle on the

island of Tarawa in the Pacific Nov. 1943.

Brian Keith served as a U.S. Marine rear gunner in several actions

against the Japanese on Rabaul in the Pacific.

Lee Marvin was a U.S. Marine on Saipan during the Marianas campaign

when he was wounded earning the Purple Heart.

John Russell: In 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he

received a battlefield commission and was wounded and highly decorated for valor at

Guadalcanal .

Robert Ryan was a U.S. Marine who served with the OSS in Yugoslavia.

Tyrone Power (an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed)

joined the US. . Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded

Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Audie Murphy, little 5'5" tall 110 pound guy from Bay City, Texas who played cowboy parts.

2nd most decorated serviceman of WWII(after Col. Matt Urban) and earned: Medal of Honor,Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with "V", 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix deGuerre 1940 Palm.


- Red Skelton (Southern Yankee) was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and discharged in 1945


-Red Buttons (Longest Day) was a Marine


-Bob Keeshan ( Capt. Kangaroo) was a Marine during the war. He did not see action during the war with Lee Marvin as th! e story goes.


-Ronald Reagan (Bedtime for Bonzo) was a reserve officer who had enlisted in 1935. He served in the Army Air Force with the 1st Motion Picture Unit making training and education films stateside.


-Spike Milligan (BBC The Goon Show) was a gunner with a British AA unit in Tunisia and Europe.


-Leslie Howard (Gone With the Wind) was a wounded WW1 vet who worked for the war effort in England during the war. He died on June 1, 1943 when the BOAC plane he was on was shot down by the Luftwaffe. He was returning from Lisbon where he had flewn to meet with Winston Churchill possibly on a secret mission.


-Don Knotts (Andy Griffith Show) was in the Army in the South Pacific during the war as a military entertainer in a show called Stars and Gripes. It was his first taste of showbiz.


-Johnny Carson (Tonite Show) joined the Navy on the V-12 program and served from 1943-1946 as an officer.


-Ed McMahon (Tonite Show) was a decorated USMC fighter pilot and later flew 85 missions in Korea and retired a Brigadier General from the California National Guard


-Frank Sutton (Sgt Carter on Gomer Pyle. USMC) took part in 14 assault landings, including Leyte, Luzon, Bataan and Corregidor. The actor who's best known role was playing a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, was unable to pass the Marine Corps physical and ended up serving in the Army.


-Alan Hale (Gilligan's Island ) was in the US Coast Guard during the war.


-Richard Burton(The Wild Geese) was an RAF cadet Jeffrey Hunter (Star Trek) was in the Navy, but was discharged medically on the eve of his transfer to the Pacific.


-Rod Steiger (American Gothic) served in the Navy in the Pacific


-Eli Wallach (the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) was a captain in the Army Medical Corps


-Lee Van Cleef (many westerns with Clint Eastwood) served on minesweepers and sub chasers in the Navy


-Dean Martin was in the army in 1944, but was invalided out.


-Rod Serling was in the US Army(service number 32 738 306), from January 1943 to January 1946, as a paratrooper and combat demolition specialist. He saw heavy fighting in the Phillipines and was WIA there. Serling was discharged as a Technician 5th Grade (the equivalent of a Corporal). Serling's decorations included the World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (w/ Arrowhead Device), Good Conduct Medal, Phillippine Liberation Medal (w/1 bronze service star), Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Honorable Service Lapel Pin. He was also retroactively authorized the Bronze Star Medal, based on receipt of the Combat Infantryman Badge. Serling reportedly suffered from what we now call PTSD--he had "flashbacks" and insomnia for the rest of his life


-Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers) was a Lt in the US Army


-Joe Lewis (heavyweight boxing champ) was a Cpl in the US Army


-'Joltin' Joe DiMagio (New York Yankees, married Marilyn Monroe) was in the US Army


- Jimi Hendrix was a Cpl in the 101st AB. He was medically discharged after breaking his leg severely on a jump.


-Chris Christopherson was in the 1st Air Cav in Vietnam.


-Peter Gabriel snuck into the US from Canada to join the US Army and go to Vietnam.

rod serling was in the 11th abn div, 511th para inf regt

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Another interesting book along these lines is: Duty, Honor, Victory America's Ahletes in World War II by Gary Bloomfield.

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Actor Wayne Morris - U.S. Navy Fighter Ace! Perhaps you'll remember him as the French Lt. in "Paths of Glory" with Kirk Douglas. Here's a bio from the 'net:


Wayne Morris , born Bert DeWayne Morris in Los Angeles, was an American film and television actor, as well as a decorated World War II fighter ace. He appeared in many notable films, including Paths of Glory , The Bushwackers and the title role of Kid Galahad in 1937. While filming Flight Angels , Morris became interested in flying and became a pilot. With war in the wind, he joined the Naval Reserve and became a Navy flier in 1942, leaving his film career behind for the duration of the war. Flying the F6F Hellcat off the aircraft carrier USS Essex, Morris shot down seven Japanese planes and... contributed to the sinking of five ships. He was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals. Morris was considered by the Navy as physically 'too big' to fly fighters. After being turned down several times as a fighter pilot, he went to his brother in law, Cdr. David McCampbell, imploring him for the chance to fly fighters. Cdr. McCampbell said "Give me a letter." He flew with the VF-15, the famed "McCampbell Heroes.


He died of a heart attack in 1959 at age 45, Buried at Arlington National Cemetary with full military honors. His brother, Richard, a B-17 pilot shot down during WWII is also resting there.




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  • 3 weeks later...

It seems that I read somewhere that Alan Alda was an artillery Captain in the Army in the Korean War. Really I'm not confusing it with M A S H lol

Anyone else know anything of this?

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George Herbert Walker Bush


Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, at the age of 18, Bush postponed going to college and became the youngest aviator in the US Navy at the time.


After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve at Corpus Christi, Texas on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him the youngest naval aviator to that date.


He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as the photographic officer in September 1943.The following year, his squadron was based on the USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname 'Skin'. During this time, the task force was victorious in one of the largest air battles of World War II: the Battle of the Philippine Sea.


After Bush's promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, the San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. Bush piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima. His crew for the mission, which occurred on September 2, 1944, included Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White. During their attack, the Avengers encountered intense anti-aircraft fire; Bush's aircraft was hit by flak and his engine caught on fire. Despite his plane being on fire, Bush completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits. With his engine afire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft; the other man's parachute did not open. It has not been determined which man bailed out with Bush as both Delaney and White were killed as a result of the battle. Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine USS Finback. For the next month he remained on the Finback, and participated in the rescue of other pilots.


Bush subsequently returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. Through 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to San Jacinto.


Because of his valuable combat experience, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk Navy Base and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. He was later assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. Upon the Japanese surrender in 1945, Bush was honorably discharged in September of that year.


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Here is her Wiki excerpt:


Child joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) after finding that she was too tall to enlist in the Women's Army Corps (WACs) or in the U.S. Navy's WAVES.[5] She began her OSS career as a typist at its headquarters in Washington, but because of her education and experience soon was given a more responsible position as a top secret researcher working directly for the head of OSS, General William J. Donovan.[6] As a research assistant in the Secret Intelligence division, she typed 10,000 names on white note cards to keep track of officers. For a year, she worked at the OSS Emergency Rescue Equipment Section (ERES) in Washington, D.C. as a file clerk and then as an assistant to developers of a shark repellent needed to ensure that sharks would not explode ordnance targeting German U-boats. In 1944 she was posted to Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where her responsibilities included "registering, cataloging and channeling a great volume of highly classified communications" for the OSS's clandestine stations in Asia.[7] She was later posted to China, where she received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat.[8] For her service, Child received an award that cited her many virtues, including her "drive and inherent cheerfulness."[6] As with other OSS records, Child's file was declassified in 2008, and, unlike other files, her complete file is available online.[9]


While in Ceylon, she met Paul Cushing Child, also an OSS employee, and the two were married September 1, 1946 in Lumberville, Pennsylvania,[10] later moving to Washington, D.C. Child, a New Jersey native[11] who had lived in Paris as an artist and poet, was known for his sophisticated palate,[12] and introduced his wife to fine cuisine. He joined the United States Foreign Service and in 1948 the couple moved to Paris when the US State Department assigned Paul there as an exhibits officer with the United States Information Agency.[8] The couple had no children.


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  • 6 months later...
  • 11 years later...

William Smith, who played the Russian Colonel in Red Dawn and faught Clint Eastwood on Any Which Way You Can served on the USAF in the Korean war as a linquist.

Mr T, faught Rocky in the third movie,  enlisted into the Army and served in the Military Police.  I have read that he was the Honor Grad at basic training.


Thanks to all that serve.

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> George Steinbrenner, USAF 1952-54 - 91st and 301st Bombardment Wings


"George Steinbrenner Baseball Executive, Businessman George Steinbrenner was born in Rocky River, Ohio on July 4, 1930. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 after graduating from Williams College. He served as an aide to the commanding general at Lockbourne AFB in Ohio. He was responsible for setting up athletic programs and sporting events. After the Air Force, Steinbrenner worked in college football, as an assistant coach at Northwestern and Purdue. He later joined the family business, American Shipbuilding Company, and made a fortune. He bought the New York Yankees in 1973. Steinbrenner's time with the Yankees has been marked by both controversy and winning. The Yankees remain the most successful baseball team in America. The Yankees have won the World Series for the last three years, and have won six since Steinbrenner came aboard. But Steinbrenner was suspended for bad behavior from 1990 to 1992. He has kept a lower profile recently."

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