Famous People Who Served

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Re: Famous People Who Served

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



Jon Pertwee, best known for his TV roles as Dr Who and Worzel Gummidge, joined the Royal Navy in late 1939 as an Ordinary Seaman.  He joined HMS Hood in November 1940 and held a number of watch duties.  He left the ship in spring 1941 after being selected as an officer candidate, a few weeks before it was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck killing all but 3 crew members.  Pertwee served as a naval intelligence officer for the remainder of the war.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:01 am



Prince Philip was born in Greece into the Greek and Danish royal families, but his family was exiled from Greece when he was a child.  He joined the British Royal Navy after leaving Gordonstoun public school at the age of 18 in 1939 and graduated from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in 1940 as the top cadet in his course.  As a Midshipman he spent 4 months on the battleship HMS Ramillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean.  After the invasion of Greece by Italy in October 1940, he was transferred from the Indian Ocean to the battleship HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean Fleet.  Among other engagements, he was involved in the Battle of Crete, was mentioned in despatches for his service during the Battle of Cape Matapan where he controlled the battleship’s searchlights.  During the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, as second in command of HMS Wallace, he saved his ship from a night bomber attack; he devised a plan to launch a raft with smoke floats that successfully distracted the bombers allowing the ship to slip away unnoticed.  In 1944-45 he served in the British Pacific Fleet on board the destroyer HMS Whelp and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed.  He returned to the UK in January 1946.  Philip had been corresponding with Princess Elizabeth throughout the war, and in the summer of 1946 asked King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  The King granted his request.  Philip married Elizbeth in November 1947 and was given the title Duke of Edinburgh by the King on the morning of the wedding.  Philip continued his active naval career up to 1951, but it was eclipsed when his wife became queen in 1952.  In January 1953 he was promoted, as only royalty can be, from Commander to Admiral of the Fleet – bypassing the 5 ranks in between.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:02 am



Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, was conscripted into the Hitler Youth following his 14th birthday in 1941.  In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer, and later trained in the Wehrmacht.  As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family’s home in Traunstein, Bavaria, just as American troops were establishing their headquarters there.  As a German soldier, he was detained in a POW camp but was released a few months later in the summer of 1945.  He  re-entered the seminary and was eventually ordained as a priest in 1951.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:02 am



Reagan enlisted in the US Army Reserve in April 1937 and was commissioned in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry the following month.  Reagan was called to active duty in April 1942, but due to his near-sightedness, he was excluded from serving overseas.  He applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to US Army Air Force Public Relations and subsequently to the First Motion Picture Unit in California, where he spent most of the war.  He ended the war as a captain, having produced some 400 training films for the USAAF.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:03 am



Jackie Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era.  In 1942 he was drafted and assigned to a segregated US Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas.  Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for admission to Officer Candidate School (OCS).  Although the Army’s 1941 guidelines for OCS had been drafted as race-neutral, few black applicants were admitted.  The applications of Robinson and his colleagues were inexplicably delayed for several months.  After protests by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (then stationed at Fort Riley – see no. 29) they were accepted into OCS.  Robinson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in January 1943, and assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, where he joined a tank battalion.  His military career was derailed by an event on 6 July 1944, when he boarded an Army bus.  Although the Army had commissioned its own unsegregated bus line, the bus driver ordered Robinson to move to the back of the bus. Robinson refused and was subsequently taken into custody by the military police.  When Robinson later confronted the investigating officer about racist questioning, the officer recommended Robinson be court-martialled.  After Robinson’s commanding officer refused to authorise the legal action, Robinson was transferred to another battalion whose commander consented to charge Robinson with multiple offences, including, among other charges, public drunkenness—even though Robinson was tee-total.  By the time of the court-martial in August 1944, the charges against Robinson had been reduced to two counts of insubordination during questioning.  Robinson was acquitted by an all-white panel of nine officers.  Robinson’s court-martial prohibited him from being deployed overseas, so he never saw combat action.  After his acquittal, he was transferred to Kentucky, where he served as a coach for army athletics, until receiving an honourable discharge in November 1944.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:04 am



Mickey Rooney was originally called up for military service after Pearl Harbour in 1941, but was turned down due to high blood pressure.  Disappointed, he spent the next two years entertaining troops and doing shows for Armed Forces Radio.  He tried again to enlist, and was finally accepted for service in 1944.  He was assigned to a US Army Special Services Battalion, which brought entertainers directly to combat troops.  Three entertainers: one musician, one singer, and one MC to do the joking, would give what became known as ‘jeep shows’.  In his troop of three, Rooney was the MC and his first show was given 3 miles from the front line in a Belgium snowstorm.  Rooney, and other ‘jeep show’ entertainers, were soldiers first and foremost; they were trained for combat and lived in the same conditions as infantry troops.  Rooney served more than 21 months, until shortly after the war ended and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:04 am



Jimmy Stewart was initially rejected for Army service in October 1940 for being under-weight.  However, with the help of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s personal trainer,  he successfully enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Corps in March 1941, and became the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War 2.  As a licensed commercial pilot he applied for a pilot rating and was commissioned in January 1942.  Stewart wanted to serve in an operational unit rather than just as a celebrity recruiter and applied for advanced training in multi-engine aircraft.  After instructor duties at home, he successfully lobbied for an overseas assignment and took command of a bomber squadron based in England.  Stewart led his squadron on its first combat mission in December 1943 to bomb U-boat facilities at Kiel, Germany.  By the end of the war Stewart had an official tally of 20 mission credits, but he unofficially participated in many more sorties deep into Nazi-occupied Europe.  He rose from private to full colonel in his four years of WW2 service and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Croix de Guerre, and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters for his bravery in combat.  Stewart rarely spoke about his wartime service, but continued to play a role in the United States Air Force Reserve after the war as a Brigadier General.  In 1966, he flew as a non-duty observer on a B-52 bombing mission during the Vietnam War, but refused the release of any publicity regarding his participation.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:22 am

 

With no viable career options, Bogart followed his passion for the sea and enlisted in the United States Navy in the spring of 1918. He recalled later, "At eighteen, war was great stuff. Paris! Sexy French girls! Hot damn!" Bogart is recorded as a model sailor who spent most of his sea time after the Armistice ferrying troops back from Europe.
It was during his naval stint that Bogart may have received his trademark scar and developed his characteristic lisp, though the actual circumstances are unclear. In one account his lip was cut by shrapnel when his ship, the USS Leviathan, was shelled, although some claim Bogart did not make it to sea until after the Armistice had been signed. Another version, which Bogart's long-time friend, author Nathaniel Benchley, holds to, is that Bogart was injured while taking a prisoner to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine. Changing trains in Boston the handcuffed prisoner allegedly asked Bogart for a cigarette, then while Bogart looked for a match smashed him across the mouth with the cuffs, cutting Bogart's lip then fleeing. Recaptured, the prisoner was taken to jail. An alternate version has Bogart struck in the mouth by a handcuff loosened while freeing his charge, the other still round the prisoner's wrist.
By the time Bogart was treated by a doctor, a scar had already formed. "Goddamn doctor", Bogart later told David Niven, "instead of stitching it up, he screwed it up." Niven says that when he asked Bogart about his scar, he said it was caused by a childhood accident; Niven claims the stories that Bogart got the scar during wartime were made up by the studios to inject glamor. His post-service physical makes no mention of the lip scar even though it mentions many smaller scars. When actress Louise Brooks met Bogart in 1924, he had some scar-tissue on his upper lip, which Brooks said that Bogart may have had partially repaired before entering films in 1930. She believed his scar had nothing to do with his distinctive speech pattern, his "lip wound gave him no speech impediment, either before or after it was mended. Over the years, Bogart practiced all kinds of lip gymnastics, accompanied by nasal tones, snarls, lisps and slurs. His painful wince, his leer, his fiendish grin were the most accomplished ever seen on film."
During World War II, Bogart volunteered to travel to Africa with the USO to entertain the troops. He also joined the Coast Guard Temporary Reserve offering the use of his own yacht, Santana, for Coast Guard use. It was rumored Bogart attempted to enlist but was turned down because of his age.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:32 am

   

Newman served in the United States Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater. Initially, he enrolled in the Navy V-12 pilot training program at Yale University, but was dropped when his colorblindness was discovered. Boot camp followed, with training as a radioman and rear gunner. Qualifying in torpedo bombers in 1944, Aviation Radioman Third Class Newman was sent to Barber's Point, Hawaii. He was subsequently assigned to Pacific-based replacement torpedo squadrons VT-98, VT-99, and VT-100, responsible primarily for training replacement combat pilots and air crewmen, with special emphasis on carrier landings. Newman later flew as a turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber.
As a radioman-gunner, he was ordered aboard the USS Bunker Hill with a draft of replacements shortly before the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. His pilot's ear infection kept their plane grounded while the rest of their squadron continued to the aircraft carrier. Days later the rest of their unit on the USS Bunker Hill were among the dead when the ship was the victim of a kamikaze attack.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:43 am



George C. Scott joined the United States Marine Corps, serving from 1945–49. He was assigned to 8th and I Barracks in Washington, D.C., in which capacity he taught English literature and radio speaking/writing at the Marine Corps Institute. His primary duty, however, was as an honor guard for military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. He later claimed his duties at Arlington led to his drinking.  After his military service, Scott enrolled in the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism and then became interested in drama. His first public appearance on stage was as the barrister in a University production of Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy, directed by H. Donovan Rhynsburger. During rehearsals for that show, he made his very first stage appearance—in a student production of Noël Coward’s Hands Across the Sea, directed by Jerry V. Tobias. He graduated from the university in 1953.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:47 am



In 1946 at 16 (he lied about his age), Gene Hackman left home to join the Marines, where he reportedly served four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator. According to some sources, Hackman's stint included assignments in China, Japan and Hawaii. His first showbiz gig was as a DJ on the Armed Forces Network.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:58 am

 

Steve McQueen joined up in 1947, at the age of 17, and was quickly promoted to Private First Class, but -- much in keeping with his future tough-guy film image -- was demoted seven times due to insubordination. He also spent 41 days in the brig for going AWOL to be with his girlfriend. He eventually shaped up, saving the lives of five other Marines during an Arctic exercise, pulling them from a tank before it broke through ice into the sea. He was also assigned to an honor guard responsible for guarding then U.S. President Harry Truman's yacht. McQueen served until 1950 when he was honorably discharged.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:04 am



Drafted in 1950, during the Korean War. He was stationed at Fort Ord in California, where, thanks to his lifeguard training, he served as a swimming instructor. He saw the most action on leave: In 1951, a bomber he was in crashed in the ocean near Point Reyes. He and the pilot swam three miles to shore, a more-than-adequate prep for his role in 'Escape From Alcatraz.'

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:14 am



Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of the war, but left the war cabinet in disgrace after the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.  He took up active service on the Western Front to rehabilitate his reputation.  After spending some time as a major with the Grenadier Guards, he commanded the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers as a lieutenant-colonel from January – March 1916.  While in command he personally made 36 forays into no man’s land, and his section of the front at Ploegsteert became one of the most active.  He returned to England in March 1916 to resume his political career and became Minister of Munitions in 1917.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:15 am



De Gaulle was already a professional soldier by 1914, having joined the 33rd Infantry Regiment of the French Army.  He fought at Verdunin 1916.  He was wounded in action and captured by the Germans, spending the remainder of the war in a POW camp.  After 1918 he remained in the French Army and took part in the expedition to assist the Poles in the Russian Civil War of 1919-21.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:16 am



During the first year of World War I, Göring served with an infantry regiment in the Vosgesregion and was hospitalised with rheumatism from the damp of trench warfare.  When he recovered he transfered to the Luftstreitkräfte (air combat force) of the German army.  He flew reconnaissance and bombing missions and won the Iron Cross, first class.  He steadily scored more victories and got his first command in May 1917.  In May 1918, he was awarded the coveted Pour le Mérite.  On 7 July 1918, he was made commander of the famed ‘Flying Circus’, Jagdgeschwader 1.  Göring finished the war with 22 confirmed victories.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:17 am



Hemingway was rejected by the US Army due to poor vision, but served in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps on the Italian Front.  In July 1918, he was badly wounded in the legs by both shrapnel and machine-gun fire.  Despite his injuries, he managed to drag a wounded Italian soldier to safety for which the Italian government awarded him the Silver Medal of Military Valour.  He spent six months recuperating at the Red Cross hospital in Milan.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:17 am



Hess enlisted in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery in 1914 and fought on the Western Front.  Transferring to the Infantry, he was wounded several times and was awarded the Iron Cross, second class.  He saw heavy action both on the Western Front (at Ypres and Verdun) and in the Carpathian Mountains.  After sustaining a chest wound severe enough to prevent his return to the front as an infantryman, he transferred to the Imperial Air Corps.  He served as a pilot, with the rank of lieutenant, in an operational squadron from 16 October 1918, but had won no victories by the time the war ended a month later.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:18 am



Hitler fought on the Western Front as a private in the 16th Bavarian Regiment and was later employed as a runner, earning the rank of lance-corporal.  He fought at Ypres in October 1914 where his company of 250 men was reduced to 42 in a matter of weeks.  Hitler later fought on the Somme, Arras and Passchendaele.  He was wounded in the thigh in 1916 and gassed in October 1918 which left him temporarily blinded.  Hitler was twice decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross, second class in 1914 and Iron Cross, first class in 1918.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:19 am



Hubble joined the United States Army in 1917 as an artillery officer.  He served on the Western Front and reached the rank of major.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:20 am



Buster Keaton enlisted as an infantryman in the US Army and was assigned to the 40th ‘Sunshine’ Division in July 1918.  He was transferred toFrance, via California, New York and Liverpool, and spent 7 months overseas, but was not employed in a combat role.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:21 am



Colonel Douglas MacArthur deployed to France as the Chief of Staff, 42nd (‘Rainbow’) Division, in October 1917.  In February 1918 he accompanied a French trench raid and assisted in the capture of a number of German prisoners, earning him the Croix de guerre from the French.  In March 1918, the 42nd Division launched trench raids of its own and MacArthur’s leadership was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Cross.  Shortly afterwards he was gassed, but quickly recovered.  MacArthur was promoted to brigadier general in June 1918 and participated in opposing the German Marne Offensive.  In August he was put in command of the 84th Infantry Brigade and in the subsequent Allied counter-offensive was awarded a second Croix de guerre and the Légion d’honneur.  His leadership in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in September 1918 earned him more accolades.  In October 1918 he was gassed again and 2 days later was wounded, but not severely, while reconnoitring German defences ahead of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  He was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross.  On 10 November, a day before the Armistice, MacArthur was appointed commander of the 42nd Division.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:21 am



Mussolini served in the Italian Army on the Austrian Front.  He reached the rank of corporal and totalled about nine months of front-line trench warfare.  In 1917  he was wounded accidentally by the explosion of a mortar bomb in his trench.  He was left with at least 40 shards of metal in his body and was discharged from the Army.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:22 am



In 1917 Captain Patton was the first officer assigned to the new United States Tank Corps, establishing a Light Tank Training School for US troops in France.  In September 1918, Patton was wounded in the leg while leading an attack on German machine guns during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  He was still recuperating from his wounds when the war ended.  For his service in the Meuse-Argonne Operations, Patton received both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal, and was brevetted full colonel.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:23 am



In 1916, Rathbone enlisted in the London Scottish Regiment as a private.  He was later commissioned as a lieutenant in the Liverpool Scottish Regiment, where he served as an intelligence officer and eventually attained the rank of captain.  In September 1918, he was awarded the Military Cross.  His younger brother, John, was killed in action.

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