The Duke in WW2

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by comiso90, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good read.
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    :salute:

    I'd love to see the Duke come back for a day, and kick the living crap out of a good portion of the "stars" we have in Hollywood now.
     
  5. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Frikkin computer....network is acting up on me again. Arrrr.
     
  6. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Cool read Comiso. :thumbup:


    Wheels
     
  7. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    If I am right, the Duke was 39 years old in 1939!!!!!!!! That would have made him 46 in 1946, a little old for the battle field eh?
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    What are you saying? I'm 44 but I'd go in to combat!

    .
     
  9. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Pull it in mate. I don't think 39 year olds were not being drafted or accepted in 1939, that's all.......................
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    He was born in 1907. That would make him 35 years old in 1942.

    When you factor in his physical ailments, there's really no chance of him being accepted by the draft or enlistment.
     
  11. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I loved many of his films and would not have wanted to argue with him - if tales of the real action punch ups are true! He and several co-stars would apparently punch each other rather than try to fake it for realism - don't know if this is true or not?
    Anyway I found this on Wiki -
    America's entry into World War II resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Many established stars rushed to sign up for military service. Most notably, James Stewart, who had already enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, surmounted great obstacles in order to do so.

    As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-blossoming stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them."[29] He repeatedly wrote to John Ford, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but continually postponed it until "after he finished one more film."[30] Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry to the Army.[31]

    Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates that Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute.[32] Whether or not the threat was real, Wayne did not test it. Selective Service Records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment.[33] In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest").[33] He remained 2-A until the war's end. Thus, John Wayne did not illegally "dodge" the draft, but he never took direct positive action toward enlistment.

    Wayne was in the South Pacific theater of the war for three months in 1943–44, touring U.S. bases and hospitals as well as doing some "undercover" work for OSS commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who thought Wayne's celebrity might be good cover for an assessment of the causes for poor relations between General Douglas MacArthur and Donovan's OSS Pacific network. Wayne filed a report and Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless.[34]

    The foregoing facts influenced the direction of Wayne's later life. By many accounts, Wayne's failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life.[35] There were some other stars who, for various reasons, did not enlist. But Wayne, by virtue of becoming a celluloid war hero in several patriotic war films, as well as an outspoken supporter of conservative political causes and the Vietnam War, became the focus of particular disdain from both himself and certain portions of the public, particularly in later years. While some hold Wayne in contempt for the paradox between his early actions and his later attitudes, his widow suggests that Wayne's rampant patriotism in later decades sprang not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Pilar Wayne wrote, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."[36]

    Still a hero to me!
     
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