I have recently read an account of Jimmy Stuart's <sp?> missions as a bomber pilot in World War 2.
I also read World War 2 Magazine's account of Bob Dole's experience in the war (granted he had no such status in during wartime as to be called a celebrity) and these articles got me thinking (uh oh . I was wondering who some other celebrities were out there that did not use their status to avoid combat?
I tried to think of any, but came up with none...who am I missing? Please note I am talking about combat veterans, not the John Waynes or the Ronald Reagans...
Eddie Albert (under his real name) was not exactly a combat soldier, but he did drive landing craft at Tarawa. The Marines recently recognized him for that. Seems he did good.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Andy Rooney Clark Gable (wasn't supposed to be near fighting, but rode in a few B-17 missions) Lee Marvin (like dole, not famous yet) Jack Palance (Ditto) Glenn Ford (Marine!) Ed MacMahon Several future presidents.
How's that to start!?
A Knight is sworn to Valor His Heart knows only Virture His Blade defends the Weak His Word speaks only Truth His Wrath undoes the Wicked
Delete the '.CanDo' from my addy to reply!
Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
The first celeb that comes to mind is baseball hall of famer Ted Williams who joined the US Marine Corps in May 1942. He became a fighter pilot.
The Air Force Museum in Dayton has an online exhibit about celebrities who served in the Army Air Force during World War II, including Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, and Ronald Reagan:
None? I don't think so.
Ted Williams, baseball star = fighter pilot WWII and Korea.
Benny (Bernie?) Leonard prewar prize fighter = Guadalcanal marine.
Eddie Albert an actor who starred in 1950s Green Acres show = naval officer at Tarawa who rescued many marines under fire.
Clark Gable movie star = gunner on B17s bombers.
Tyrone Power was a marine officer.
In the UK Leslie Howard, movie star, KIA. Randolph Churchill, son of Winston, served in Yugoslavia liaising with Tito.
During the war the shortage of major league baseball players was so bad that a one-armed player (last name Gray?) made it to the majors, playing with the St. Louis Browns. One 16-year old (Eddie Yost) played for the Senators then entered the service and rejoined the Senators as a vet.
Many, many sons of famous Americans served including sons of TR Roosevelt (one KIA in Normandy) and sons of FDR. The sons of Joe Kennedy, powerful ex-head of the SEC and Ambassador to UK, are so well-known they need not be mentioned.
In view of our current President's non-existent military service it might be politically correct to claim 'they all did it' but when it comes to WW II the suggestion that famous Americans routinely escaped service in the ranks runs into an embarrassment of facts.
I recall reading somewhere that 'heavy' Neville Brand was a highly decorated paratrooper.
Photos of the Great War
At my dad's Web site, telling about his experiences in the Air Corps during WWII ( http://www.loop.com/~tstel/marshw.htm ), there is a photo of Clark Gable in uniform and being referred to as 'Capt.'. I don't know how much combat duty, if any, that he actually saw. The photo is number F33 in the 'Photos of Combat Missions' section.
Found following book this past weekend in a large B & N in NYC: They also served: Military Biographies of Uncommon Americans Scott Baron Includes: Alan Alda, Judge Wapner, Dr. Suess, Yogi Berra, and Julia Child. Covers all US wars.
Tyrone Power was a USMC pilot, but flew only transports, and mostly VIP type missions. Jack warden was a paratrooper in the 101st Abn Div, Including Bastogne. Actor Charles Durning was an infantry rifleman in the 1st Inf Div, wounded more than once, came out a MSGT. Lee Marvin was a Marine