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#1 Eagle3

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:21 PM


I know that this is not Thompson related. But there are patriotic members of this forum who will find this very interesting, as I did.

>>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 earned the Navy Cross and were severely
>>wounded."
>>
>>
>>
>>"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?'
>>Well Bob... if you make it home be fore 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
>>respectand 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















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#2 Bruce L

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:52 PM

From Urban Legends.Com



Despite sundry grains of truth sprinkled throughout — including the fact that both actor Lee Marvin and Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan were Marines during World War II (Keeshan a reservist), and that Marvin really was wounded in the buttocks while storming a beachhead (though in Saipan, not Iwo Jima) — the story is fundamentally false. According to their respective biographies, Marvin had already been injured and shipped back to the United States with a Purple Heart by the time Keeshan entered basic training. They could not have encountered one another in combat. Neither was awarded the Navy Cross.

At the age of 20, Lee Marvin was a private in the U.S. Marines 4th Division, part of the Allied landing force that invaded the Japanese-held Pacific island of Saipan on July 15, 1944. He was wounded three days later on July 18, spent the next 13 months in Navy hospitals recovering from a severed sciatic nerve, and was discharged in 1945.

Bob Keeshan signed up for the Marine Corps Reserve shortly before his 18th birthday in 1945. Since the war was all but over by the time he finished basic training, it's unlikely Keeshan ever saw combat before completing his service a year later, let alone attained the rank of sergeant.

Unless all the biographical information available about him is wrong, Fred McFeely Rogers never served in the military in any capacity, let alone as a Marine sniper (or Navy Seal, as another version of this apocryphal story claims). Some cynical folks may be loathe to believe that the gentle, soft-spoken host of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" was exactly what he seemed, but he was.

Rumors to the contrary have circulated since the early 1990s. It's unknown where, precisely, they began, but starting in 1994 stories about Fred Rogers' supposed military exploits became a hot topic on the Internet, escalating as the decade wore on. For example:

1994: "A note on Mr. Rogers. He would be a tough competitor. He has 42 confirmed sniper kills (in Korea?)."
1998: "So this fellow at work (retired Army vet) says that Mr. Rogers of childrens' TV fame served three tours of duty in 'Nam as a sniper and has been credited with kills in excess of 1500 meters."

1999: "Interesting side note about Fred Rogers. He was the number three Marine sniper in the Vietnam war. And one of the reasons he always wears long sleeve clothing is because his arms are covered in tattoos."

Predictably, Rogers' death in February 2003 sparked a resurgence in the rumors, but with a new twist: now, he was an ex-Navy Seal instead of a Marine sniper. This variant circulated far and wide when it hitched a ride with an newer email hoax making similar claims about Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan. The relevant portion of the text went as follows:

2003: "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-sleeve sweater to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. A master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat. He hid that away and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm."
Fred Rogers won our hearts, true enough; but the rest is hogwash. After graduating from Rollins College in Florida with a degree in music in 1951, he immediately embarked on a broadcasting career — a career that went uninterrupted for nearly 50 years, even while he studied for a Bachelor of Divinity degree, eventually becoming an ordained minister in 1962. Far from hiding a secret past as a trained killer, Fred Rogers was an exemplary individual who devoted his entire adult life to educating and bettering the lives of children, and as such he deserves to be remembered.


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#3 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 08:11 PM

But Jimmy Stewart, Neville Brand (4th most decorated WWII vet), and Sterling Hayden (OSS behind Italian lines), were the real deal. Perhaps Marvin embellished some, but the "COMBAT" cast were enthralled with him when he was on the show.

John Wayne and his offspring never left the good Ole U.S.A. I guess that's why he never had to worry about embellishing his war experiences.

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#4 Bruce L

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 08:30 PM

Arthur,

I've always been told that Wayne received a 4F (or other) exemption during World War 2. I never have been able to stomach his "fighting" from "The Sands of Iwo Jima" to the jungles of Vietnam while the real heroes were fighting and dying in far away lands.

P.S. Don't forget about Audie Murphy, although he didn't become an actor until after the War.
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#5 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 09:41 PM

And don't forget Eddie Albert who won a Bronze Star at Tarawa, even if he did ask Robert Mitchum if he should call for them to start evacuating Omaha Beach.
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#6 guy sajer

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 10:59 PM

Thanks for the info . I had never heard about Neville Brand's service . I always enjoyed him on the weekly "Mystery Movie" Heck Ramsey I think it was and the TV western "Laredo" .

Also , James Garner was awarded 2 Purple Hearts in Korea .

I believe James Arness earned his famous limp in or around the Monte Casino fighting .

Just found this link to Purple Heart winners . Some additional actors names :
Raymond Burr , Charles Durning , Russell Johnson as the The Professor , Judge Wapner , Ephrem Zimbalist Jr .

http://www.nndb.com/.../279/000043150/

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#7 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 11:11 PM

Bruce L,
Forget Murph? I didn't mention him because his famed exploits rival Captain America. His story is the quintessential G.I. Joe. Name an actor or real life person who could play themselves in their own life story and not come off as a complete pompous ass? He was a most unusual man.

I always wondered what Wayne and Stewart would talk about when they were shooting "Liberty Valance." You would think Wayne's legendary screen heroism would make him somewhat self conscious when he was in the presence of the genuine article.

Roland,
Albert's "The Longest Day" performance was almost a precursor (chronologically in the war, but not in his filmography) to his gutless wonder, Captain Cooney, in "Attack!" with Marvin and Jack Palance.

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#8 Z3BigDaddy

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:39 AM

QUOTE (Bruce L @ Jan 24 2006, 08:30 PM)
Arthur,

I've always been told that Wayne received a 4F (or other) exemption during World War 2. I never have been able to stomach his "fighting" from "The Sands of Iwo Jima" to the jungles of Vietnam while the real heroes were fighting and dying in far away lands.

P.S. Don't forget about Audie Murphy, although he didn't become an actor until after the War.

So if your 4F you can't act in military movies? Sounds a little like a certain group complaining about non-gays playing gays in the movies.... Does a 4F make someone a bad person..... just need to know for personal reasons.....
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#9 Sgt

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 07:33 AM

Some of you may be old enough to remember Don Herbert, television's famed Mr. Wizard, who did a series teaching children the wonders of science. He was B-24 bomber pilot who flew 56 missions with the Fifteenth Air Force and participated in the invasion of Italy. When Herbert was discharged in 1945 he was captain and had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

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#10 full auto 45

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:14 AM

QUOTE (Z3BigDaddy @ Jan 25 2006, 02:39 AM)
Does a 4F make someone a bad person..... just need to know for personal reasons.....

Not as bad as the Group "W". That's the mother stabbers and father rapers.
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#11 Bruce L

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:53 AM

It is my understanding that Wayne was granted 4F status because of the fact that he had four kids. My 5 1/2 foot tall, 120 lb. father had plenty of family that he left behind when he went over to Europe as a forward observer with an artillery battalion, as did millions of other young Americans.

If Wayne's exemption was granted for some legitimate physical condition, then I stand corrected. (Although I assume that any physical malady would not haveprevented him from going up in that bomber with Jimmy Stewart and pushing the button!)
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#12 Eagle3

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 09:33 AM

I knew that throwing this topic out to the forum would illicit some good responses. When I initially received this e-mail from a USMC Colonel I was a bit dubious. Needless to say this forum can solve ANY problem, Thompson related or otherwise.

Bruce, I e-mailed the Colonel your response. Very informative and well done. Thanks
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#13 Bill in VA

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 09:40 AM

I dunno. My understanding of John Wayne's 4F status was that it was a result of hearing problems and balance problems/inner ear issues.
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#14 Ron Mills

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 10:07 AM

We could on and on with this one (and likely will). Actors get a call, read the part, and either take it or turn it down. For me, it didn't make a difference whether John Wayne was a vet or not, anymore than Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox, or Robert Stack as Eliot Ness for that matter. Much in Hollywood isn't real (hair, teeth, breasts, guns, etc.). I should add a ...wink! there but that's for our Respected One.
But it's always neat to find out about actors who did actually serve on (or above) the battlefield. I've always wondered how many guys did what Audie Murphy did in that famous scene on the tank. Probably quite a few.

Ron
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#15 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

Charles Durning, the character actor you would all recognize, was a survivor of the Malmedy massacre.

While we're at it: Clark Gable, at age 41 when WW II started was exempt from the draft. Still he left a $30,000 a month job, enlisted in the Army as a private and worked his way up through the ranks. After graduating Officers' Candidate School in 1942 he attended aerial gunnery school, then served with the 8th Air Force in England. Though he flew combat bombing missions, his primary job was photographing other airmen in action for a movie to recruit airmen for the war effort. He completed his service as a major.

And don't forget the litter bugs, Mike
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#16 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:38 AM

It's one thing to play a role on film and quite another to then assume your alter ego screen heroes characters as if they are one and the same. If Wayne had merely played heroic individuals in Hollywood versions of WWII, Korea and Vietnam combat scenes, then he would be no different than "Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox, or Robert Stack as Eliot Ness."

The problem with the Wayne syndrome is that he blurred the line between the characters he played with that of his singularly uninspiring zero military service in real life. It is perplexing why Lee Ermy, a Vietnam veteran, considers Wayne his ultimate warrior idol.

As far as Hollywood actors getting 4F classifications as a reason why they did not wear their country's uniform in any capacity, someone with Wayne's pull could have secured some sort of position, combat or rear echelon, in any of the military branches. If John Ford could wear the uniform of the U.S. Navy at the age of 47/48, William Wyler could fly along on AAF missions at the age 42, Frank Capra, at the age of 45, was in uniform, along with Clark Gable (42/43), Wayne could have been in uniform at the age of 35.

In 1940, Stewart failed to make the 148 pound minimum weight requirement for his height and was rejected for military service. When he did finally get into the AAF at the age of 32, he was classified as "static personnel," which prohibited his assignment to a combat squadron. Steward prevailed upon his commander "Pop" Arnold to arrange for a combat assignment. Arnold simply ignored the "static" classification and transfered Jimmy to 445th BG/8th AF.

When just about every Hollywood director, actor, writer, and cinematographer scrambled to get into uniform, Wayne embraced his 4F classification and went on to fight for a place at the Craft Service truck.

Apparently Wayne's sons inherited their dad's preference for silver screen combat rather than action in Southeast Asia. While Jimmy Stewart's son lost his life in Vietnam, Michael Wayne, age 20 at the time of the Tonken Gulf, was making "McLintock" and "Green Berets" with his dad.

If Wayne were not such a vociferous critic of Communism and a self-aggrandizing paradigm of the American fighting man, his conspicuous absence from WWII, and his son MIA from Vietnam, then the legitimate criticisms of Wayne's hypocrisy would not be valid

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#17 ghostsoldier

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:16 PM

QUOTE (Roland @ Headless Thompson Gunner,Jan 25 2006, 11:25 AM)
Charles Durning, the character actor you would all recognize, was a survivor of the Malmedy massacre.

Talk about a tough SOB....
Charles Durning

BTW, here's a link of all the notable's awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Stars...

Purple Hearts
Silver Stars

Rob
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#18 Z3BigDaddy

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:37 PM

QUOTE (PhilOhio @ Jan 25 2006, 12:17 PM)


Here's a reversal of Hollywood vs. reality, where Stack was probably a much better shooter, of just about everything, than the character he played, the mild-mannered and very political Elliot Ness could have ever dreamed of being. Ness actually never did much of anything...successfully, at least. But he tried hard, against a lot of poilitical resistance. His latter days here in Ohio were notably unremarkable.

Yeppers he was a world class shotgunner.....
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#19 Ltcboy

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:52 PM

Scott Glenn was a Recon Marine in Vietnam. We all know that Jesse Ventura was a SEAL and served in Vietnam.
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#20 Bruce L

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:16 PM

And let's not forget Charles Bronson, who served as a tailgunner aboard a B-29 superfortress during World War 2.
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