The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Hollywood Heroes of World War ll

Bizarre, Fascinating, and Wacky World War I & ll Secrets.

by Cecil Owen

Today's "Hollywood bunch" are the most pitiful, hypocritical and idiotic excuse for human beings that has ever existed. They are actually living in their own world of fantasy. They want everyone to believe that all of the world's troubles today are caused by the "Great Monster," The United States of America. They claim that the other countries of the world have armed themselves because of the United States. If we would just lay down our arms, close down our military bases overseas and at home, then all the other nations of the world would follow suit. Then we could all live in an Utopian World of Peace. After all, they only arm themselves to defend their countries against the mean old United States of America. What an exasperating amount of stupidity, it belongs in the barn yard with the rest of the bull. They should certainly go to some other country and live. For this is what Saddam Hussein and most of the other Arab nations believe.

During World War ll, Hollywood had actors who were real men and patriotic to fight for their country. Here are just a few thumbnail sketches of the one hundred and thirty four directors, producers, and actors, who served in World War ll:-

Clark Gable: In 1942 he joined the Army Air Force as a private. Soon he became an officer and obtained the rank of Major. He flew in B-17's (Flying Fortress) over Germany. His job was to make training films for aerial gunners. Hermann

Cecil Owen

Goering, head of the Nazi Air Force, (the Luftwaffe), heard of this and offered a reward of five thousand dollars, ($5,000.00) to the German pilot who shot Clark Gable down. The lucky pilot would also get a promotion and a leave of absence. (No one ever collected this reward). Clark Gable went on to receive an Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he was discharged by Captain Ronald Reagan.

Gene Autry: America's "Singing Cowboy," enlisted in 1942 as staff sergeant in the Army Air Force. Gene learned to fly on his own time. For a while he was stationed at the Army Air Force base near Chandler, Arizona. He was an instructor, teaching younger pilots how to fly. When he came to Phoenix Union High School to sing for us, (I was there at the time,) what a shock it was to discover that Gene Autry was redheaded and freckle faced. For all of  the movies at the time were black and white, so everyone had assumed that he had dark brown hair. The next task he had was very dangerous, he flew a cargo plane in the

After training in Kearney, Nebraska, Clark Gable was stationed in Europe. In May, 1943, he flew this mission to Antwerp, Belgium. Gable flew as photographer/observer on this mission. William R. Calhoun was the pilot and Lt. Col. William A. Hatcher was copilot.

China-Burma-India theater. Many of these planes were shot down, as they were unarmed. Luckily, Gene Autry's plane never was.

James Arness: Who is six feet seven inches in height, will always be Matt Dillon to millions of people. He played that role all the years "Gunsmoke" was popular. He joined the Army and was shot in the leg during the landings at Anzio, Italy. He received the purple heart medal.

Kirk Douglas: He enlisted in the United States Navy and served aboard a patrol warship. He was a communications officer. His ship was in an anti-submarine unit in the Pacific theater. A depth charge exploded very close to his ship, causing him to receive severe internal injuries. Kirk was hospitalized for five months and received the Purple Heart Medal.

Lee Marvin: He enlisted in the Marine corps when he was just seventeen years old. He was in twenty-one invasions of south Pacific islands. In the battle of Saipan, with 247 men in his company, only Lee and five others survived. He was wounded there and spent thirteen months on a hospital ship. At the same time that Lee Marvin was fighting in the Pacific theater, his

father was fighting in Europe as an Army sergeant.

John Ford: Famous movie producer and director. Most of the big Western movies with John Wayne were filmed in Monument Valley, Arizona by him. He enlisted in the Navy in 1941, with the rank of commander. He became head of a Navy photographic unit. John filmed the departure of Doolittle's raiders to attack Tokyo in 1942. He also filmed the battle of Midway, and he was wounded while doing this.

Darryl F. Zanuck: Producer and director, he joined the Army in 1941, and was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel. He started making training films but later took part n the invasion of North Africa.

Jimmy Stewart: He tried to enlist into the Army Air Force in 1941, but he was

Sergeant Gene Autry
undated photo

too skinny and had to gain at least ten pounds to qualify. For a while he was a bombardier instructor at Moffet Field, California. In 1943 Jimmy was sent to England, as part of the eighth airforce. He flew twenty five combat missions in a B-17 (Flying Fortress) named "Four Yanks and a Jerk." Jimmy Stewart received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Croix de Guerre (French War Cross).

Wayne Morris: He was a navy fighter pilot in the Pacific war, and became Hollywood's first Ace. He shot down seven Japanese planes and sank two Japanese destroyers. Wayne flew fifty-seven combat missions and was awarded four

Distinguished Flying Crosses. He died of a heart attack when only forty five.

Sterling Hayden: In 1941 he joined the COI (Coordinator of Information, a government agency set up by President Franklin Roosevelt.) This would become a secret spy network. Sterling was sent to England for commando and parachute training. But on his eleventh jump, he broke his ankle, tore the cartilage in his knee, and injured the base of his spine. (This would have ended the military career of most men). After Hayden recovered from his injuries, he returned to the United States. He became a test skipper, running PT boats for the Navy. This did not satisfy him, so he joined the Marines as John Hamilton, his real name. He was asked to join the OSS, Office of Strategic Service, which was the COI under another name. Sterling became commander of a supply base in Monopoli, Italy. He was in charge of four hundred guerrilla fighters, and twenty two boats. He made several trips behind German lines, supplying arms and equipment to Yugoslavian partisans.

Robert Altman: Producer and director. He became well known for the Army medical series that he filmed. Many raved about what a good picture it gave of the Army. While others thought it was a very lousy picture. Yes, it was M*A*S*H. Robert enlisted in the Army Air corps in 1943. He flew forty six combat missions as a bomber pilot in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies.

Tim Holt: Cowboy actor; He flew as a bombardier on a B-29 (the super fortress) in the Pacific theater. Tim completed twenty two combat missions, many over Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded the Victory Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three clusters, and the Asiatic Pacific Medal. The name of Tim's plane was the Reluctant Dragon.

Ira Hamilton Hayes: He enlisted at the age of seventeen as a paratrooper in the Marine corps. He fought on the island of Iwo Jima, in the south Pacific. This made him famous, for he was one of the five marines that helped raise the American flag. It was placed on top of Mt. Suribachi and was flashed around the world. It became one of the most famous photos of World War ll. Ira was made a national hero and sent back to the United States for war bond rallies. He acted in the war movie "The Sands of Iwo Jima," with John Wayne. Hayes also helped dedicate the Iwo Jima Monument in Washington DC. Most people do not know that Ira Hayes was a full blooded Arizona Pima Indian. He was not able to go back to the Indian Reservation and adjust to civilian life. Becoming an alcoholic, he died of exposure when he was only thirty-two years old.

Aristotle "Telly" Savalas: He enlisted in the Army way before his seventeenth birthday. He is best known as the star of the detective series "Kojak." He received the Purple Heart Medal, for being critically wounded in combat action. Telly was crippled for over a year, and some doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again. Today he does not even walk with a limp.

This is only eleven Hollywood movie stars, and three producers and directors who became real life heroes when America needed them. It sure is a shame that most of our Hollywood stars today do not have enough intelligence to know what a hero really is!!!
The United States of America is not perfect, because we, the people are not perfect. However, it is still the greatest place in the whole wide world to live in!!!!