|Alec Guinness (Star Wars) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.|
|James Doohan ('Scotty' on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the U. S. Army on D-Day.|
|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 1950s.|
|Clark Gable was a 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 he 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.|
|Charlton Heston was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak.|
|Ernest 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-29's 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 action 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 Rabal 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 O.S.S. in Yugoslavia.|
|Tyrone Power (an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed) joined the U.S. Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.|
|Audie Murphy, a little 5'5' tall 110 pound guy from Texas, played cowboy parts. Most Decorated serviceman of WWII 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 de Guerre 1940 Palm.|
Can you imagine these stars of yester-year saying they hate our flag, making anti-war speeches, marching in anti-American parades and saying they hate our president?
I thought not, neither did I!
And there's more!
Things you didn't know - but perhaps should.
And there's more!
This part of the story was told when Bob Keeshan died.
Who is Bob Keeshan? Are you too young to remember Captain Kangaroo?
Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 as age 76, which is odd, because he always looked to be 76. (DOB: 6/27/27.) His death reminded me of the following story.
Some people have been a bit offended that the actor, Lee Marvin, is buried in a grave alongside 3 and 4 star generals at Arlington National Cemetery. His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC). Nothing else. Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time. Why the heck does he rate burial with these guys? Well, following is the amazing answer. I always liked Lee Marvin, but didn't know the extent of his Corps experiences.
In a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in the armed forces often in rear echelon posts where they were carefully protected, only to be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war bond promotions, Lee Marvin was a genuine hero. He won the Navy Cross at Iwo Jima. There is only one higher Naval award... the Medal Of Honor.
If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery.
Dialog from "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson": His guest was Lee Marvin.
Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima, and that during the course of that action you were severely wounded and earned the Navy Cross."
"Yeah, yeah... I got shot square in the bottom and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi. Bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys getting shot hauling you down. But, Johnny, at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew. We both got the cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison. That dumb guy actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach. Bullets flying by, with mortar rounds landing everywhere and he stood there as the main target of gunfire so that he could get his men to safety. He did this on more than one occasion because his men's safety was more important than his own life.
That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends. When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me, lying on my belly on the litter and said, "Where'd they get you Lee?" I said, "Well Bob, if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!" Johnny, I'm not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew.
The Sergeant's name is Bob Keeshan. You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo."
On another note, there was this wimpy little man (who just passed away) on PBS, gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth. But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV, to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. He was a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat.
After the war Mr. Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister and therefore a pacifist. Vowing to never harm another human and also dedicating the rest of his life to trying to help lead children on the right path in life, he hid away the tattoos and his past life and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm.
America's real heroes don't flaunt what they did; they quietly go about their day-to-day lives, doing what they do best. They earned our respect and the freedoms that we all enjoy.
Look around and see if you can find one of those heroes in your midst. Often, they are the ones you'd least suspect, but would most like to have on your side if anything ever happened.
Take the time to thank anyone that has fought for our freedom. With encouragement they could be the next Captain Kangaroo or Mr.Rogers.