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"Hollywood Goes to War" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 May 2024 5:42 p.m. PST

When the United States entered WWII, life changed for Hollywood actors, on and off the screen. Studios shifted to making movies to bolster patriotism and morale, while actors often supported the war effort differently. Some led recruitment and bond drives, and others entertained troops. A few left Hollywood altogether and joined the United States Armed Forces. Here are a few Hollywood actors who played a part in WWII…

Fold3: link

pmwalt15 May 2024 6:51 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing.

ccmatty Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2024 8:58 p.m. PST

That was an amazing generation. I cannot even imagine today's actors in Hollyood doing anything remotely like supporting our military or joining the military to support the country. They just seem to hate our country today.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2024 11:20 p.m. PST

Great article and the public comments that follow are well worth a read. Many make the point that the title suggests it should have been restricted to established Hollywood actors who chose to serve, rather than those who later became famous eg Audie Murphy.

Amongst the latter I have to mention Rod Steiger (AKA Napoleon) who sailed on the Doolittle raid.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2024 8:20 a.m. PST

I didn't know about any of these except Stewart and Gable. Thanks.

Bismarck16 May 2024 9:39 a.m. PST

Thanks Bill! Knew some of them served, but not the details in
the article. Never knew Bea Arthur was a Marine.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2024 12:16 p.m. PST

I am sorry but these write ups are full of mistakes. Take Clark Gable. He flew only one mission with the 303 Bomb Group. His 5 "official" missions were with the 351st Bomb Group and he was never a tail gunner. His accomplishments are real and to be commended.

Have a particular fondness for Jimmy Stewart whose write up at the link gives a bit of short shrift to his service. I remember ROTC summer camp where part of our training was short subject movies by BG Stewart :)

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2024 2:36 p.m. PST

It's a bit inaccurate about Paul Newman too. He graduated HS in 1943 and, after failing pilot selection, went to boot. He wasn't colorblind, and he later admitted he just couldn't do the math required of pilots. He apparently also couldn't shoot worth a damn and only qualified as a radioman/gunner because friends (and presumably instructors) covered for him. He served in various training squadrons until he was assigned to an Avenger squadron. Ordered to the USS Bunker Hill as replacements prior to the invasion of Okinawa, his plane was grounded due to the pilot having an earache. So, Paul Newman was mercifully not aboard when the kamikazes stuck on May 11, 1945 and caused 660 casualties, including men from his squadron.

Nine pound round17 May 2024 5:06 a.m. PST

Stewart had a real, hard war, and no two ways about it. I once read an article about his fini flight- it was during Vietnam, and he rode the jump seat in a B-52 on a mission over IIRC South Vietnam. When they were returning to Guam, something went wrong and the pilot had to declare an inflight emergency. They landed safely, but the pilot later said, "the whole time I was thinking, ‘please God, don't let me be the guy who killed Jimmy Stewart."

David Niven deserves a more than honorable mention here, given that he volunteered in 1939, and served the whole war through. I don't know if it's true that he told a platoon, "you chaps are only going to have to do this once, but I'm going to have to shoot it over and over again with Errol Flynn," but I'd like to think it is.

Fred Cartwright17 May 2024 6:18 a.m. PST

Have a particular fondness for Jimmy Stewart whose write up at the link gives a bit of short shrift to his service. I remember ROTC summer camp where part of our training was short subject movies by BG Stewart :)

He was a legend. Flew all of SAC's big birds up to and including the B52. A damn fine actor too!

mildbill21 May 2024 7:00 a.m. PST

Niven got an Iron cross.

Upprow22 May 2024 1:09 p.m. PST

Hearing stories from my grandparents about that era always gives me a sense of awe. It's amazing how those actors used their fame and influence to make a difference, whether it was boosting morale or actively supporting the war effort.

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