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  • Fighting celebrities

    During the war, many people voluntarily left the "good life" of being a celebrity to risk their lives in combat. The stories of several are well-known, while most have been forgotten with the passage of time. Whatever their field of expertise, be it politics, sports or entertainment, they deserve to be remembered. If nothing else, it adds another facet to their legacies and makes them more "human" in the eyes of history. Do you have a personal favorite?
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    Originally posted by sherlock View Post
    Do you have a personal favorite?
    Jimmy Stewart. It would be like Tom Hanks joining the war in Iraq for four years.

    (Nothing against Tom Hanks - I think he's too old to serve now - but it's a point of reference for those who are too young to know that "Helter Skelter" was written before Motley Crue formed, music came from vinyl records, and there once was a time when people played pinball games because there were no Xboxes or Nintendos.)
    Last edited by Jon Jordan; 16 Jun 10, 08:43.
    "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
    -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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    • #3
      John Wayne, the all American Hero
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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      • #4
        This story is not related to combat, but it has a lot to do with risking one's life and leaving the "good life" for the patriotic duty.

        Dmitry Shostakovich wrote an application to join the army on the first day of the war. He was refused, and after receiving his second refusal on July 2, 1941 he joined the People's Militia as a volunteer and took part in building fortifications and digging trenches around Leningrad alongside other professors and students of the Conservatory. When the first air raids started in July, he took part in air raid and firefighting partols on the Conservatory's rooftop. Having been evacuated to Samara, he continued writing applications, and to no avail - the government considered him too valuable to be sent to the front.

        Among the 1,5 million soldiers and civilians who contributed to the defence of the city, he was awarded the medal "For the defence of Leningrad".



        www.histours.ru

        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
          John Wayne, the all American Hero
          Yes, John Wayne, as well as Ronald Reagan, who flew a Hellcat in the Navy!!

          (Actually, Reagan was in the Army, as a reserve cavalryman and, during the war, with the AAF, producing training films. John Wayne simply fought on the Sands of Iwo Jima, though the sands were in San Diego, and the battle, contrary to popular opinion, was fought in 1949).
          Last edited by Jon Jordan; 16 Jun 10, 11:40.
          "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
          -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

          (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

          Comment


          • #6
            The Duke was stopped from serving by threats of a lawsuit by Republic Pictures. He could have been more assertive about it, but, no, he never served. Considering even Don Knotts was in uniform, I think that the Duke could have tried harder.

            Clark Gable served in the USAAC, over the strenuous objections of MGM.

            Lee Marvin was a Marine scout/sniper; wounded at Saipan.
            Last edited by globetrotter; 16 Jun 10, 11:52.
            "Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way." - Christopher Hitchens

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ShAA View Post

              Dmitry Shostakovich wrote an application to join the army on the first day of the war. He was refused, and after receiving his second refusal on July 2, 1941 he joined the People's Militia as a volunteer and took part in building fortifications and digging trenches around Leningrad alongside other professors and students of the Conservatory. When the first air raids started in July, he took part in air raid and firefighting partols on the Conservatory's rooftop. Having been evacuated to Samara, he continued writing applications, and to no avail - the government considered him too valuable to be sent to the front.
              Great example!!

              In December of that year, I think he also wrote some nice little tune having something to do with Leningrad......
              "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
              -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

              (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by globetrotter View Post
                Uhhh. No, he didn't. The Duke was stopped from serving by threats of a lawsuit by Republic Pictures. He could have been more assertive about it, but, no, he never served.
                Sorry - I should have been more explicit in the sarcasm department. I saw that article about his studios pressuring him to avoid enlisting. He is still one of my all-time favorite actors, though he clearly didn't serve in uniform. To me that is OK, I guess, since we won the war anyway.
                "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

                Comment


                • #9
                  There were a number of celebrities who didn't became known until after their service, but if we are considering only those that saw combat after gaining celebrity status, then a good example would be this man...

                  Max Schmeling

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                  • #10
                    John Wayne and the military.

                    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/dg...and-the-draft/

                    How about Joe Dimaggio?
                    "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                    — Groucho Marx

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                    • #11
                      If all we are looking at is service, then we should include the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis.

                      If we are looking at service in combat, omit him, John Wayne and Ronald Reagan.

                      If politicians count as celebrities, you must include George H. W. Bush. He, Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin, among others I am sure, top the charts on combat service

                      Regards,
                      Dennis
                      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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                      • #12
                        Clark Gable:

                        Gable spent most of the war in the United Kingdom at RAF Polebrook with the 351st. Gable flew five combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses between May 4 and September 23, 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. During one of the missions, Gable's aircraft was damaged by flak and attacked by fighters, which knocked out one of the engines and shot up the stabilizer. In the raid on Germany, one crewman was killed and two others were wounded, and flak went through Gable's boot and narrowly missed his head. When word of this reached MGM, studio executives began to badger the U.S. Army Air Corps to reassign their valuable screen property to non-combat duty. In November 1943, he returned to the United States to edit the film, only to find that the personnel shortage of aerial gunners had already been rectified. He was allowed to complete the film anyway, joining the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Hollywood.

                        In May 1944, Gable was promoted to major. He hoped for another combat assignment but, when D-Day came and passed in June without further orders, he requested and was granted a discharge.
                        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                        • #13
                          The article on John Wayne failed to mention that he had two bad knees. He didn't walk the way he did for pure theatrics.
                          Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                          "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                          What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jon Jordan View Post
                            Great example!!

                            In December of that year, I think he also wrote some nice little tune having something to do with Leningrad......
                            Well, sure, and the whole artillery of the Leningrad front together with the battleships of the Baltic fleet opened a 2h 20min non-stop barrage on all known German batteries when it was performed in Leningrad for the first time on August 9, 1941. Just to make sure the orchestra wouldn't have to stop playing the music to run to the bomb shelter.
                            www.histours.ru

                            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                            • #15
                              PT boat to the oval office

                              John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

                              I was introduced to the story of Lt(jg) Kennedy and the PT-109 when I was very young. Despite his faults, or perhaps because of them, JFK has been a personal hero ever since.

                              While he wasn't famous when he served, he was a member of a privledged family and could have easily sat out the war in a much friendlier job than jockying a PT boat through the south Pacific. His brothers also served with distinction.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Torpedo_Boat_PT-109
                              Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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