Famous People Who Served

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Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:35 am

This is a list of famous people who fought in Worl War II.


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:39 am

J. D. Salinger



J. D. Salinger, author of "Catcher in the Rye", used his multi-lingual skills to interrogate prisoners of war as a part of a counter-intelligence division.


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:41 am

Alec Guiness



During his service, actor Alec Guiness, most famously known for his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars trilogy, was granted a short leave to appear in the Broadway production of Flare Path.


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:42 am

Yogi Berra



Baseball legend Yogi Berra was involved in the D-Day invasion, and also coined the phrase "It ain't over 'till it's over!"


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:43 am



During his time in the Navy, television host Johnny Carson took on amateur boxing, winning 10 out of 10 fights.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:44 am



Sammy Davis, Jr. was deployed to entertain the troops, where he combated prejudice.
"My talent was the weapon, the power, the way for me to fight. It was the one way I might hope to affect a man's thinking".

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:45 am



Ernest Borgnine initially joined the US Navy in 1935 straight from High School.  He was discharged in 1941, but re-enlisted after Pearl Harbour and served until 1945, accumulating a total of 10 years’ military service.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:46 am



Charles Bronson enlisted in the US Army Air Forces in 1943 and served as an aerial gunner.  In 1945 he was based on Guam as a B-29 Superfortress crewman and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:47 am



Richard Burton joined the Royal Air Force as a navigator at the age of 18 in 1944.  He went to Canada for further training, but the war ended before he could gain any combat experience.  A frustrated Burton had to endure a further 2 years waiting to be demobilized.  He got involved in acting during periods of leave from the RAF.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:48 am



George Bush joined the US Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 and became a naval aviator at the age of 18.  He was assigned to a torpedo squadron on the USS San Jacinto and in 1944 was involved in one of the largest air battles of World War 2: the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  During one mission against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands, Bush’s aircraft was hit by flak and his engine caught on fire.  Despite this he completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several hits.  Bush was forced to bail out of the burning aircraft and was rescued after 4 hours at sea, but both his crewmen were killed.  During 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and 3 Air Medals.  He was honourably discharged in September 1945.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:49 am



Already famous as a child star in the 1920s, Jackie Coogan enlisted in the US Army in March 1941.  After Pearl Harbour, he requested a transfer to the US Army Air Forces as a glider pilot because he had civilian flying experience.  After graduating from glider school, he volunteered for hazardous duty with the 1st Air Commando Group, and was sent to India in December 1943 to support the Burma campaign.  In March  1944 Coogan flew British troops, the Chindits, at night into a small jungle clearing 100 miles behind Japanese lines.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:49 am



Tony Curtis enlisted in the US Navy after Pearl Harbour and joined the Pacific submarine force.  He served aboard a submarine tender, the USS Proteus, until the end of the war.  On 2 September 1945, he witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay from his ship’s signal bridge about a mile away.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:50 am



As WW2 loomed, Roald Dahl was in Tanzania, at that time the British colony of Tanganyika, working for the Shell Petroleum Company.  In August 1939 he was made an officer in the King’s African Rifles, commanding a platoon of Askaris – indigenous troops serving in the colonial army.  In November 1939 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an Aircraftman, and was accepted for flying training in Kenya.  After advanced flying training in Iraq, he commissioned as an Acting Pilot Officer.  He flew the obsolete Gloster Gladiator, the last biplane fighter aircraft being used by the RAF.  On a routine mission in September 1940, he was flying his Gladiator from Libya to Egypt when he could not locate a forward airstrip after being badly briefed.  Running low on fuel and with night approaching, he was forced to attempt a landing in the desert.  The undercarriage hit a boulder and the aircraft crashed, fracturing his skull, smashing his nose and temporarily blinding him.  He managed to drag himself away from the blazing wreckage and passed out.  Later, he wrote about the crash for his first published work.  He eventually recovered in hospital in Alexandria.  In April 1941 Dahl was flying Hurricanes and saw his first aerial combat in the Battle of Greece.  He described it as “an endless blur of enemy fighters whizzing towards me from every side”.  By May, the Germans were pressing on Athens and Dahl’s squadron was evacuated back to Egypt, from where he flew sorties every day for a period of 4 weeks.  He began to get severe headaches that caused him to black out, so he was invalided home to Britain.  In 1942 he was transferred to Washington DC as an Assistant Air Attaché and began writing in his spare time.  While in Washington he was also introduced to the world of espionage by the Canadian spymaster William Stephenson, known by the codename ‘Intrepid’, who was part of MI6.  At one point Dahl was sent back to Britain by British Embassy officials, supposedly for misconduct, but Stephenson promptly sent him back to Washington – with a promotion to Wing Commander.  Dahl and Stephenson remained friends for decades after the war.  Dahl never recovered from the excruciating headaches he suffered while flying, and in August 1946 he was medically discharged from the RAF.  His record of 5 confirmed aerial victories qualified him as a flying ace, although it is likely that he scored more than that during the Greek campaign.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:51 am



Kirk Douglas attended Midshipman School at Notre Dame University and was subsequently commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy in 1942.  He served as a communications officer on anti-submarine operations in the Pacific, but was wounded in an attack by a Japanese destroyer.  He was medically discharge with the rank of Lieutenant in 1944.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:52 am



Henry Fonda enlisted in the US Navy in 1942, saying, “I don’t want to be in a fake war in a studio.”  He served for 3 years, initially as a Quartermaster 3rd Class on the destroyer USS Satterlee.  He was later commissioned as an officer in Air Combat Intelligence in the Central Pacific and was awarded the Bronze Star.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:52 am



Gerald Ford was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve in April 1942.  After instructor duties, Ford served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey from June 1943 until December 1944 and saw action in the Pacific Theatre.  After the Monterey was crippled in a typhoon, Ford returned to instructor duties in the US for the remainder of the war.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:53 am



Clark Gable enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in August 1942, and was commissioned as an officer in October.  He was initially involved in making recruiting films in the US, then was posted with the 351st Bomb Group to RAF Polebrook in England, where he spent most of the war as head of a motion picture unit.  He flew 5 combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses in 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  In the raid on Germany, 1 crewman was killed and 2 others were wounded; flak went through Gable’s boot and narrowly missed his head.  When MGM studio executives found out, they badgered to have him reassigned to non-combat duty in the US.  He was promoted to major in May 1944, but, when it was clear that he would not get another combat assignment, he requested and was granted a discharge.  His discharge papers were signed by Captain Ronald Reagan.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:54 am



John Glenn, who was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 and the oldest person to fly in space at age 77 in 1998, left college to enlist in the US Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbour.  However, the Army did not call him up, so in March 1942 he enlisted as a US Navy aviation cadet.  In 1943 he was reassigned to the US Marine Corps, flying transport aircraft.  He later achieved his main ambition to become a Corsair fighter pilot, and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:55 am



Hugh Hefner enlisted in the US Army in 1944 as an infantry clerk.  He did not serve overseas, but was posted to Camp Adair in Oregon and Camp Pickett in Virginia, where he contributed cartoons for Army newspapers.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:57 am



Benny Hill was a Driver/Mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and served in Normandy and Dunkirk from September 1944.  Hill was not a natural soldier and hated the Army, claiming that there was always someone above you to shout at you.  He was eventually transferred to Germany and began entertaining, ending up in the production ‘Stars in Battledress’.  He later summed up his military service with, “I was five years in the army and never got a stripe.”

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:57 am



Rock Hudson enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 after graduating from high school, and served in the Philippines as an aircraft mechanic.  He was discharged in 1946.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:58 am



Lyndon Johnson reported for active duty 3 days after Pearl Harbour in December 1941 as a mobilised Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve (USNR).  He served in Washington DC, then in New Zealand and Australia, where he participated as an observer on a number of bomber missions in the South Pacific.  He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action over New Guinea in June 1942.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:58 am



John Kennedy was initially turned down for Army service due to chronic lower back problems, but used his father’s influence to join the US Navy in September 1941.  Kennedy was an Ensign serving in the office of the Secretary of the Navy when the attack on Pearl Harbour occurred.  He was assigned to duty in Panama, and later in the Pacific theatre in command of a patrol torpedo boat.  In August 1943 Kennedy’s boat was performing night patrols in the Solomon Islands when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer.  Shunning surrender, the crew swam towards a small island and Kennedy, despite further injury to his back in the collision, towed a badly burned crewman through the water with a life jacket strap clenched between his teeth – for which he received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.  He was also awarded the Purple Heart.  After further service in the Pacific, Kennedy returned to the US for treatment to his back injury.  He was honourably discharged in early 1945.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:59 am



Lee Marvin left school to enlist in the US Marine Corps as a Private.  He was wounded in action in the assault on Mount Tapochau during the Battle of Saipan, during which most of his company were killed.  Marvin was wounded in the buttocks by machine gun fire, which severed his sciatic nerve.  He was awarded the Purple Heart and given a medical discharge.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:00 am



Richard Nixon joined the US Navy and was commissioned as an Ensign in October 1942.  His first post was as aide to the commander of the Ottumwa Naval Air Station in Iowa.  Seeking more excitement, he requested sea duty and was reassigned to logistical support of operations in the South West Pacific Theatre.  He was later  given command of cargo handling units.  Nixon earned two service stars and a citation of commendation, although he saw no actual combat.  Upon his return to the US in 1944, he was involved in administrative work and the negotiation of commercial war contracts.  He ended his military service as a Lieutenant Commander on New Year’s Day 1946.

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