They Were Soldiers. . . notable people who had military service, but are notable for something else.



Recently I did a post entitled "They Were Lawyers," concerning people who were or are lawyers, but became well known for something else.  This is similar, but perhaps of less merit.

The reason for this is that military service is amazingly widespread, or at least it has been.  Frankly, nearly every man of my father's generation had served in the military. Basically, if you were between 18 and 35, in 1940, you probably saw service and that kept up for a long time thereafter. Even in my generation military service is extremely widespread.  Indeed, it's almost the case for men who turned 18 after 1940 that, for a big block of time, it's more notable if they didn't see military service.  Therefore, it's surprising to us when we learn that Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney had no military service, as they were in a generation where we'd expect it, for the most part.

Be that as it may, it's still worth noting when somebody's military service was worthwhile in some fashion, but perhaps not foremost in our minds.  This is, however, truer for some generations and eras than others.  In other words, if you were old enough, or young enough, to serve in the Civil War, and were male, you probably did. And the same is true of World War One and World War Two.

This post is one of those  Trailing Posts, and as such, it isn't even close to being a partially complete list at the time of its being posted.

Like some of these other trailing posts, being listed here doesn't automatically equate with being honorable.  At least a couple of the people on this list are infamous, rather than famous.

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William Y. Wycliffe Anderson (Leif Erickson)

An actor most famous for The High Chaparral, and known almost exclusively by his stage name, Erickson was a Navy combat photographer in World War Two, during which he was in planes that were shot down twice.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  December 29, 2014

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James Arness (James Aurness)

Most famous for his television portrayal of Marshall Matt Dillon in the television version of  Gunsmoke, Arness, like his radio compatriot William Conrad, had been in the service in World War Two.  Like Conrad, he'd wanted to be a fighter pilot, but his height prevented that, and he served in the war as an infantryman in the 3d Infantry Division.  He was wounded at Anzio.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Bea Arthur

 Bea Arthur in the Marine Corps, an occupation she would deny her entire life.

Actress Bea Arthur was in the Marines from 1943 to 1945.  Oddly, she denied her World War Two service all the way until her death.


Category:  Actor

Date added:  September 30, 2013.

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Howard Baker, Jr.

Howard Baker, "The Great Conciliator" was a long serving U.S. Senator and later Ambassador to Japan.   He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946.

Category:  Politician.  Civil Servant.  Lawyer.

Date added:  June 26, 2014.

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Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon, the Breitbart executive and chief of Trump's campaign, was an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Category:  Media figure

Date added:  August 18, 2016

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Lawrence ("Yogi") Berra

Famous baseball player and manager Yogi Berra served as a gunner's mate on the USS Bayfield, in the U.S. Navy, during World War Two.

Category:  Athlete

Date added:  September 22, 2015

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Hans Christian Blech

Blech was a German actor who is best known to English speaking officers for his role as a German officer in The Longest Day, although he played enlisted German soldiers in at least two other English language films and an officer in one other.  Blech was in the German army during World War Two and was posted to the Eastern Front.

Category: Actor

Date Added:  November 9, 2015

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Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart, the legendary actor, joined the United States Navy in World War One.  Bogart had a record as being a model sailor, having enlisted in the Navy after having left private school.  He remained in the Navy Reserve for some time after leaving active service in the Navy.

Bogart would play a Naval officer in one of his best films, The Caine Mutiny.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  March 9, 2014.

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Ernest Borgnine

Greek American actor Ernest Borgnine played a large variety of characters, first becoming widely known to movie audiences for his brilliant portrayal of an aging bachelor in the film Marty. But to television viewers, he might be best remembered for playing P.T. boat commander McCale in McCale's Navy.  Audiences were probably largely ignorant of the fact that Borgnine had served in the U.S. Navy prior to World War Two, and then again during World War Two, both times as an enlisted man, so he actually had a great deal of experience in the Navy.  His total Navy time amounted to ten years, with only brief break in service from October 1941 to January 1942.  His service period in fact was so long, that's surprising that he did not continue on for another ten years to complete the period necessary for retirement.

Category:  Actor

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Benjamin C. Bradlee

Legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee served in the U.S. Navy as an officer during World War Two.

Category:  Writer. Editor.

Date Added:  October 22, 2014

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Anthony Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley is well known as a character actor.  Having been cast in a surprisingly large variety of roles, Brimley once even was employed as Howard Hughes' body guard.  He dropped out of high school during the Korean War and jointed the Marine Corps, serving in the Aleutian Islands.

Category: Actor, Rancher, Farmer, Cowboy, Stuntman, Bodyguard

Date Added:  September 28, 2014.

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Clarence Brimmer

Long time Wyoming Federal judge Clarence Brimmer served in the U.S. Army Air Corps late in World War Two and for a short time thereafter.

Category:  Lawyer, Jurist

Dated Added:  October 25, 2014

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Charles Bronson (Charles Dennis Buchinsky)

Actor Bronson served as a B-29 crewman in the United States Army Air Force during World War Two.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Chester Burnett (Howlin' Wolf)

Legendary bluesman Howlin' Wolf joined the U.S. Army in April 1941, serving for two years as a cavalryman.  He was 30 years old at the time, and had a hard time adjusting to military life.  He was discharged in 1943.  Burnett, who rose to blues fame in Chicago, but whose blues music reflected the music of the Mississippi Delta, and in some ways recalled an earlier age, was somehow fittingly slotted to an Army branch which had a strong association with blacks in the segregated Army, but which was also on its way into the past at that time.

Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  August 9, 2014

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Orville Richard Burrell (Shaggy)



Rap artist Shaggy served as a Marine Corps artilleryman.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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Stanley Kirk Burrell (MC Hammer)

Early rapper Burrell served in the U.S. Navy.

Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush was the youngest fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He is the last World War Two veteran to have served as President, and will be the last.

Category:  Politician.  Businessman

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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 George W. Bush

George H. W. Bush's son, George W. Bush, was also a fighter pilot, but in the Texas Air National Guard.  He has actually received a fair amount of criticism for this from critics who fail to understand that the Air National Guard is actually the nation's primary air defense entity, rather than the USAF which has global commitments, and that training for an aircraft tends to be specific for that aircraft.  The younger Bush volunteered to be activated for service in Vietnam, but was declined in light of his being trained for F102s.

To date, George W. Bush is the last veteran to have occupied the position of President of the United States.

Category:  Politician, Businessman

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Charles Bronson

Bronson, born  Charles Dennis Buchinsky, served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War Two as a crewman aboard a B-29.  He was wounded in action in that capacity.  He would play a World War Two airman in the movie The Great Escape, albeit a Polish one.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Mel Brooks

Comedic producer and actor Mel Brooks was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army during World War Two.


Category:  Actor, Filmmaker, Writer

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Drew Carey

Television comedian Drew Carey sported that crew-cut before he was on television.  He was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1980 to 1986.

Category:  Actor, Comedian 

Date added:  September 30, 2013.
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Art Carney

Art Carney was an infantryman during World War Two in the U.S. Army.  He was severely wounded in Operation Overlord and limped the rest of his life as a result.

Category:  Actor, Comedian

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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John Carroll (Julian Lafaye)

Actor John Carroll served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War Two, during which he was injured in North Africa in a plane crash.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Johnny Cash

Cash served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.


Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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James Earl Carter

Jimmy Carter was the fifth President in a row to have served in the U.S. Navy, although he was a Korean War veteran, not a World War Two veteran like the prior four.  Carter was an Annapolis graduate.

Carter was the first President of the United States since 1945 who had not been a veteran of World War One or World War Two, and is the only President who was a veteran of the Korean War.  Given the passage of time another Korean War veteran will never be elected to that office.

Category:  Politician.  Farmer.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Johnny Carson


Famed comedian Carson served in the U.S. Navy as an officer late during World War Two.

Category:  Comedian

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Winston S. Churchill

 Churchill with T.E. Lawrence and Prince Feisel, just after World War One.

One of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century, Churchill started off in his adult life on a career path in the British Army.  Churchill was a Sandhurst graduate and a British cavalryman, serving in Northern India, Africa and in World War One.  He also saw the action of the Boer War, but as a correspondent on leave from the army.  He'd leave the army during World War One while serving in parliament and rose to a position in the government at that time.

Category:  Politician, author

Date added:  January 27, 2014.

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Tyrus "Ty" Cobb


Legendary baseball great Ty Cobb, who likened baseball to war, served in the U.S. Army during World War One.  He was a captain in the same chemical training unit that Branch Rickey commanded during the war.

Category:  Athlete

Date added:  March 25, 2017

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John Coltrane


Legendary Jazz artist Coltrane served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.


Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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James Connolly


Connolly is best remembered as the most able Irish rebel military commander of the failed 1916 Easter Rebellion.  A committed Socialist, the Scottish born Connolly had worked at a variety of trades and had been a soldier in the English Army, stationed in Ireland, having enlisted at age 14 under a false name.  His seven years of British army service left him with a hatred of the English Army.

Category:  Revolutionary, Politician

Date added:  March 29, 2016

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William Conrad (John William Cann, Jr.)

William Conrad is mostly remembered today for his portrayal of stout smart television detectives.  But prior to that, he was a very well liked and recognizable radio actor, most notably portraying the radio version of Marshall Matt Dillon in the radio version of Gunsmoke.

Conrad, born Cann, was also a World War Two fighter pilot.  He took to acting after his post war release from the service.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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 Thomas Daniel (Tim) Conway

Tim Conway was one of the premier comedians of the 50s and 60s, and his career has stretched on beyond that.  He was in the U.S. Army in the mid 1950s.

Category:  Comedian

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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William H. (Bill) Cosby

Long lasting (and now under fire) comedian Bill Cosby served in the United States Navy, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a career enlisted sailor.

Category:  Comedian, Actor, Social Activist

Date Added:  November 26, 2014

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João Duarte Cidade (St. John of God)



John was a Portuguese born man who twice enlisted as a soldier, seeing extensive action, as a young man.  The 15th Century soldier then experienced a profound religious conversion and became a devout Monk, dedicated to hospital work.  For some time he felt a tremendous burden about his prior life as a soldier.

Category:  Catholic Monk.

Date Added:  March 9, 2014
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William H. (Bill) Cosby

One of the greatest comedians the Unites States has ever produced was a U.S. Navy Corpsman in his early life, a fact that he fairly frequently has inserted into his routines.

Category:  Comedian, Actor.

Date Added:  February 28, 2014

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The Cossacks


Cossacks are an ethnic group largely located in southern Russia.  Strongly associated with Russian cavalry, they are actually a distinct people of mixed ethnic background which had, well into the 20th Century, a culture that emphasized military service, typically mounted, as well as hunting and pastoral pursuits.  Very much diminished by the Communist who opposed their independence, they none the less continue to exist to this day, but without the nearly universal mounted military service of prior eras.

Category:  Ethnic group.

Date added:  January 26, 2014.

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César de Bus

De Bus was a French a French officer who served in the French Army and Navy.  Originally a very pious man, he turned towards a life of dissipation while recovering from illness in Paris.  This didn't last however, and he repented from that life and became a priest.  He has been canonized as a Saint.

Category:  Cleric.

Date Added:  April 15, 2014

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Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwartz)

Legendary actor Tony Curtis served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two aboard a submarine tender, and was even present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese formally surrendered.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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Olivier Jacques Marie de Germay

A graduate of St. Cyr, the French military academy, and a paratrooper in the French Army, Bishop de Germay is a notable French Catholic cleric.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  November 24, 2015

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Rene Descartes

Polymath Descartes has also been mentioned in the Lawyers thread, but he had also been a soldier.  He wanted to be a soldier and served as an engineering officer in the Dutch Republic, prior to his becoming the noted philosopher.

Category:  Lawyer.  Philosopher.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch)

Actor Douglas had one of his most famous roles playing a French officer during World War One in Paths of Glory.  In real life he served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two on a submarine chaser.  He received a medical discharge from the Navy due to his wounds.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood, who has played a few military characters in films, was a Korean War era solder in the U.S. Army.  His duty station was Ft. Ord, California, where he was oddly detailed to the duty of life guard.


Category:  Actor
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Sam Elliot

Actor Sam Elliot, best known for his roles in Westerns, served in the California Army National Guard.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 12, 2016

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Jason Everman

A member of the rock bands Nirvana and Soundgarden, Everman joined the Army and served in combat in the Special Forces.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Joe Flynn

Flynn is remembered today for his role as Captain Binghington from McHale's Navy, but during World War Two he actually served in the U.S. Army in the Army Medical Corps. Several of the cast members of that series, including Tim Conway, Ernest Borgnine, and Bob Hastings had likewise seen actual military service.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  July 2, 2014

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John Fogerty

John Fogerty, who rose to prominence with Credence Clearwater Revival and who remains a recording artist today joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1966.  His membership in the Army Reserve curtailed the bands ability to tour in its early period.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Henry Fonda

Fonda served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two as an officer.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the fourth U.S. President in a row to have served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.


Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Francesco Forgione (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was an Italian Capuchin Priest who became famous for his piety during his own lifetime and was widely regarded by those who knew him as a saint even while living.  He was conscripted into the Italian army during World War One and served in the medical service.  He was continually released and recalled throughout the war due to ill health.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  March 10, 2014

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Steve Forrest (William Andrews)

The brother of Dana Andrews, Forrest served in the Army in World War Two, serving in the ETO.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Joe Foss

Joe Foss was the Governor of South Dakota from 1955 to 1959, the first Commissioner of the National Football League and President of the National Rifle Association. He was also a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his service as a Marine Corps pilot during World War Two, and later a general in the United States Air Force Reserve.


Category:  Politician.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Sam Fuller

Move director Sam Fuller is best remembered today for his film The Big Red One.  Fuller, in fact, had served in the 1st Infantry Division in World War Two, seeing a great deal of combat in that role.  The movie has a character very closely based on him.


Category:  Movie Director

Date Added: February 26, 2014


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Clark Gable

Clark Gable served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War Two, flying several B-17 combat missions over Europe and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  February 26, 2014.

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Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead entered the Army at age 17 after getting into trouble at home.  He was a poor soldier, and did not complete his term of enlistment.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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James Garner

Actor James Garner has a surprising amount of military service.  He served as a sixteen year old merchant seaman during World War Two, before returning to high school, and then joined the Oklahoma National Guard, and soon after that, the Regular Army, where he saw action in the Korean War.  He was twice wounded in Korea.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  August 2, 2013. 

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 Michael Vincente Gazzo

Gazzo was a screenwriter, playwright and actor, who is best remembered for playing Franky Pentangeli in The Godfather, Part II.  With an unusual voice, and appearing older than he really was, he was well suited for a role that belied his earlier and ongoing role as a writer.  He served in the Army during World War Two, which allowed him to attend school on the GI Bill.

Category:  Actor, Playwright, Screenwriter

Date Added:  February 23, 2015.

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Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess)

Illustrator and author Theodor Geisel was an illustrator for the Signal Corps during World War Two.

Category:  Artist, Author.

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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George (Georgios)

 World War One era British recruiting poster featuring St. George as a Medieval knight.

Known to us as St. George, and known to us principally through the legends attached to him, George was a culturally Greek Christian who was an officer in the Roman army.  Serving during the time of Dietitian's persecutions of Christians, he refused to renounce his Christianity and proclaimed it in front of his troops.  He was martyred on April 23, 303.

He was a very widely venerated saint in the Middle Ages, and is the Patron Saint of England, Germany and Portugal.  He is a bit unique in that he was at one time venerated by Moslem women in Lebanon, where a legend had him slaying a dragon.

Category:  Saint, Martyr.

Date Added:  April 24, 2014.

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James Geringer

Jim Geringer was Wyoming's governor from 1995 to 2003.  During that period of time he was principally thought of as a wheat farmer who had entered politics, but he had a ten year period of service as an Air Force officer, a period so long that usually a person would complete another ten and retire.


Category:  Farmer, Politician

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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George Gobel (Goebel)

A singer prior to World War Two, and a comedian after it, during the war Gobel was a flight instructor in the United States Army Air Corps.

Category:  Singer, Comedian

Date Added:  November 6, 2014

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Albert Gore

Al Gore served in the United States Army in Vietnam.  He is the only individual to have served in Vietnam, to date, who has occupied the position of Vice President.  None have occupied the Presidency.

Category:  Politician. Environmental critic.

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Robert Graf

Best known to English speaking audiences as the sickly camp guard in The Great Escape, Graf was wounded on the Eastern Front as a German soldier in World War Two and discharged for his wounds.  He died at age 42 of cancer.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 9, 2015

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Günter Grass

Grass has been one of post war Germany's most influential writers.  Coming of age during World War Two, he attempted to join the German Kreigsmarine and volunteered for submarine duty, but was refused.  In turn, he was conscripted into the Wafffen SS.  At that point late in the war, the SS had acquired conscription powers.

Category:  Writer

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Peter Graves (Peter Aurness)

The brother of fellow actor James Arness, Peter Graves had also been in the service during World War Two.  Graves served in the Army Air Corps.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Claudio Gronzotto

The artistic Claudio Gronzotto is remembered today for his piety and his sculptures.  The Italian Gronzotto grew up in poverty and spent most of his life as a monk, after graduating from the Venice Academy of Fine Arts.  As a young man, however, he had been conscripted into the Italian Army, in which he served for three years.  He was canonized in 1994.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  September 10, 2013.

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Alec Guinness

Legendary British movie actor Alec Guinness served in the Royal Navy as a commander of a landing ship during World War Two.   The service impacted him personally in ways that he struggled with for the remainder of his life.

Guinness almost makes another category on this website as well, as after World War Two he determined to become an Anglican Priest, but he did not as he converted to Catholicism and was already married at the time, making him ineligible to be a cleric.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 30, 2016

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Olaf Haraldson

Olaf Haraldson started off life as a Viking raider and rose to be King of Norway. Along the way, however, he converted from Nordic paganism to Christianity and brought the Catholic Church to Norway.  He's remembered to day as the Patron Saint of Norway, but in his effort to preserve the Church there, he died in battle in 1030, at which time he was about 35 years old and had reigned for 15 years.

Category:  Monarch, Christian missionary.

Date Added:  July 31, 2013. 

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Robert Hastings

Hastings was a comedic actor who got his start in radio but switched to television.  He may be best remembered for playing Lt. Carpenter on McHale's Navy, but he was an actual World War Two veteran, having served as a B-29 navigator during the war.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  July 2, 2014

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Ed Herschler

Long serving Wyoming Governor Ed Herschler was a Marine Corps Raider in World War Two, prior to becoming a lawyer, and then governor.


Category:  Lawyer, Politician.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Adolph Hitler

I really debated whether to note Hitler or not, but in the interest of not self editing, I decided to do so.

Hitler was an Austrian, a country notable at the time for its ethnic diversity, but he left it and was living in Bavaria when World War One broke out.  He served in the German army during World War One, obtaining the rank of corporal.

Category:  Too well known and icky to list.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014.

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Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem



The Hospitalliers were one of several military monastic order during the Middle Ages.   Starting off as an organization dedicated to the care of the sick, it occupied a role analogous to the Knights Templar later on, with that role being focused on the defense of Christendom in the Middle East.  They never, however, lost their hospital role.
Unlike the Templars, however, the order still exists today, having survived the Moslem conquest of the Holy Land and the loss of its later bastion in Malta, although I am uncertain of the form it presently takes.  It is not a monastic order today.  Today, once again, it is dedicated to hospital work.
Because of their name, their original martial role is sometimes forgotten.

Category:  Catholic monastic order.  Medicine.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Andrew Jackson

Old Hickory is a character who shows up on more than one of these lists here, as he was a Tennessee lawyer and planter.  He also enrolled in the Tennessee militia in his early teens, and served as a militia officer in the War of 1812 and the Seminole War. It was really his successful defense of New Orleans, albeit actually after the War of 1812 had ended, unbeknownst to the combatants, that would cause his rise to national fame.

Category:  Lawyer, farmer, politician

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Richard Hanley Jaeckel

Diminutive, athletic character actor Richard Jaeckel served in the Merchant Marines during World War Two.  This was after the launch of his acting career in Guadalcanal Diary, at which time he was only 17 years old.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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David Janssen

Janssen was an actor whose most famous role was as Dr. Richard Kimble in the television show The Fugitive.  He served in the Army during the Korean War, although his service was in the United States.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  September 15, 2015.

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Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon Johnson, like the President before him and after him, served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He was serving in Congress at the time he sought, and received a Commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve.


Category:  Politician.

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Dean Jones

Dean Jones, who is best known for his role in Disney films, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  September 6, 2015

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Maynard James Keenan

Keenan of the band Tool served in the U.S. Army.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 13, 2014.

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Robert Keeshan

Bob Keeshan portrayed "Captain Kangaroo" on television for years.  He had enlisted in the Marine Corps in late World War Two, but was still in the United States when the war ended.

Category:  Television personality.

Date Added:  May 17, 2014

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George Kennedy

George Kennedy has been a well known character actor for decades, playing a wide variety of roles.  Surprisingly, acting was a fall back career for him as he started off as a career soldier.

Kennedy made his debut as a radio actor as a child but put it aside to enter the Army during World War Two.  He liked the Army and determined to make it a career, ultimately serving sixteen years before being medically retired due to a back injury.  During that time, his service career included working for Armed Forces Radio.  Kennedy's roles upon returning to acting famously included a role in The Dirty Dozen, with few probably realizing that both he and actor Ernest Borgnine, both playing officers, had served many years as enlisted men.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy served in the U.S. Navy in World War Two, famously serving as  P.T. Boat commander.

I'm frankly not a Kennedy fan, but I will concede that whatever else a person says about him, his time in the service featured some genuine heroism.


Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Joyce Kilmer.

Poet Joyce Kilmer was a significant literary figure prior to World War One, but is remembered today mostly for his legendary poem, Trees.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, but was killed in France on July 30, 1918.

TREES

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree .
Category:  Poet, author.

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Henry Kissinger

Famed diplomat Henry Kissinger was conscripted into the U.S. Army during World War Two.  Brought into the Army as an enlisted man, his ability to speak English and German caused him to be assigned to roles far above those normal for an enlisted man, including creating civil administrations for captured German series.  In some ways, Kissinger's talents were first recognized in the Army.

Category:  Diplomat.  Civil Servant.

Date Added:  April 25, 2014

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Kris Kristofferson

Kristofferson came from a family with a history of military service, and his father ultimately retired as a Major General in the U.S. Air Force. Family pressure lead the Rhodes Scholar to try an Army career, and he was a helicopter pilot in the early 1960s.  Following his term of service he briefly taught English at West Point before devoting his time to his music career, a decision which lead to his family severing their connections with him.

Category:  Actor
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Hardy Krüger

Hardy Kruger (Franz Eberhard August Krüger) is a well known German actor who has appeared in a variety of English language movies.  He was also an underaged soldier in the SS late in World War Two.  In at least one film the quiet Kruger portrayed an SS officer, that being A Bridge Too Far.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Jay Lawson

Long serving Chief Wyoming Game Warden, the late Jay Lawson, was a Natrona County High School graduate who went to Casper College and then was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  He served as a combat medic, being wounded in that role.  He later served as a helicopter medic in Vietnam.  Upon returning from military service her resumed his studies and completed his degree at the University of Montana and entered the Wyoming Game and Fish.

Category:  Game Warden

Date Added:  July 20, 2014

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Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître

Lemaître appears here also in the They Were Clerics thread.  He was a physicists who was the first person to propose an expansion of the universe, the first to propose the "Big Bang" and he was also the first person to what is now known as Hubble's Law. The brilliant physicists was also a Belgian Catholic priest.  During World War One, before he took Holy Orders, he was an artillery officer in the Belgian Army.

Category:  Catholic Priest.  Physicist. Scientist.  Mathematician.  

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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Richard Long

Richard Long was an actor who served in the United States Army during the Korean War.  He was mostly known for his television roles.

Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  September 15, 2015.

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Íñigo López de Loyola (Ignatius of Loyola)

St. Ignatious of Loyola was a very experienced Spanish soldier when battlefield wounds resulted in a period of recuperation for him. During this period, he started reading the lives of the Saints and found that martial texts lost their appeal to him. He took Holy Orders and ultimately founded the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits. Today (July 31) is his Saint's Day.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013. 

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 Joe Louis (Joseph Louis Barrow)

Boxing great Joe Louis interrupted his career to serve in the U.S. Army during World War Two, at first being assigned as a cavalryman.

Category:  Athelete

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Archibald MacLeish



MacLeish is also mentioned in the Lawyer thread.  He was a Harvard Law graduate who turned towards writing.  A progressive in the Progressive Era, he served as an artillery office in the U.S. Army in World War One, later returned practicing law, lived as a writer in the ex-patriot American community in Paris, and became Librarian of Congress.

Category:  Lawyer, Civil Servant, Writer.

Date Added:  April 13, 2014

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Tracy Marrow (Ice T)

Actor and wrapper Ice T was in the U.S. Army from 1979 to 1983.

Category:  Actor, Musician 

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.
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Lee Marvin

As is fairly well known, Lee Marvin was a World War Two Marine.  Marvin's Marine Corps term was significant enough to him that the actor, who often played military characters, attempted to reenlist during a particularly rough time in his later life.

Marvin was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where his tombstone reads:  Lee Marvin, PFC US Marine Corps, World War II.

Category:  Actor

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Christopher "Christy" Mathewson


Baseball pitching great Christopher "Christy" Mathewson not only served in World War One, in a chemical training unit in France, in which he was an officer.  It basically killed him.  Exposure to gas in that role weakened his respiratory system and he died in 1925 from tuberculosis. 

Category:  Athelete

Date Added:  March 25, 2017

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Walter Matthau

Actor Walther Matthau was a crewman on B-24 with the United States Army Air Crops during World War Two.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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James McIlhenny

The McIlhenny names is known to those who favor Tabasco, the famous hot sauce, as the family owned company produces it.

James McIlhenny was the second head of the company, taking over after the death of his father. During the Spanish American War he took leave of the company to join the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, the Rough Riders, in which he went from being an enlisted man to being an officer.

Like several of hte McIlhenny's, James had attended military school as part of his education.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  May 3, 2016

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Walter S. McIlhenny


The son of James McIlhenny, Walter McIlhenny has a similar story in that he was the executive director of the famous Tabasco company.


However, he always had a strong interest in military affairs and served in the Virginia National Guard from 1931 to 1935, at which time he switched over to the Marine Corps Reserve.  As a Marine Corps officer he served in World War Two, earning the Navy Cross and a Silver Star in that role.  At the time of his retirement from the Marine Corps as a reserve officer he was a Brigadier General.


Category:  Businessman


Date Added:  May 3, 2016

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Hannes Messemer
 
Actor Hannes Messemer, best known in English films as the Commandant in The Great Escape, served in the German army during World War Two and provides a rare example of a German soldier who was captured by the Russians and successfully escape.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 9, 2015

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Robert R. McCormick



Robert R. McCormick appears below in the "They were lawyers" thread as well.  He was a legendary newspaper publisher, and the owner of the Chicago Tribune. Today, to the extent he's remembered (and in the publishing industry, he is remembered) that's what he's remembered for. But, McCormick was a graduate of the Northwestern School of Law, which he attended following his graduation from Yale.  He practiced law for three years before moving over to the Tribune.  However, he served in the Illionois National Guard's cavalry as an officer prior to World War One and as an artillery officer during World War One, which left a lasting impression on him.  The Pritzer Military Libary was founded and endowed by the McCormick foundation, which remembers him as Col. Robert R. McCormick.

Category:  Correspondent, Publisher, Soldier

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.
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Ed McMahon

Straight man for Johnny Carson for many years, Ed McMahon had been a Marine Corps pilot during World War Two.


Category:  Television personality.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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William "Neal" McMurry

Wyoming businessman and philanthropist, and father of Mick McMurry, was a bomber pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War Two.

Category:  Businessman, Philanthropist

Date Added:  March 12, 2014

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Mick McMurry

Noted Wyoming businessman and philanthropist Mick McMurry was an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

Category:  Businessman, Philanthropist

Date Added:  March 12, 2014

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Tashiro Mifune

The great Japanese film star was a Manchurian born Japanese whose parents were Methodist missionaries.  Mifune was conscripted into the Japanese Army during World War Two where he served as a photographic specialist in the air branch.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 5, 2015

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Roger Miller

Miller was a songwriter who was famous for a series of humorous or eclectic songs.  Prior to that, however, he was in the Army during the Korean War, and served in Korea.

Category:  Singer, Songwriter

Date Added:  March 17, 2014

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Marin Milner

Milner was famous for his role as as officer Pete Malloy in Adam 12, a spinoff from Dragnet.  He acted in a variety of other roles, but it was in that role which he is remembered.  He served in the Army during the Korean War, although he remained in the United States during his service.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  September 15, 2015

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Robert Montgomery

Actor Robert Montgomery served as a volunteer ambulance driver for the British in France prior to the British evacuation at Dunkirk and then later as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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Wayne Morris

Wayne Morris was a pre World War Two actor who was a successful fighter pilot during World War Two, shooting down seven Japanese planes while serving with the U.S. Navy.  His career was hurt by his absence during World War Two and while it did resume, he never was able to obtain his pre war status before he died at age 45.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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George Robert (Bob) Newhart

Comedian Bob Newhart, like many comedians, had varied early career experiences, including have attended law school and having worked as an accountant.  He was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Category:  Comedian.  Accountant

Date Added:  January 28, 2014

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Paul Newman

Legendary actor Paul Newman was a U.S. Navy aircrewman during World War Two.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Leonard Nimoy

The actor famous for portraying Spock in Star Trek served in the  Army Reserve.

Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  March 2, 2015

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David Niven

Legendary British movie actor David Niven was a graduate of Sandhurst, the British "West Point".  He was accordingly commissioned as a Lieutenant in the British Army in 1930.  He did not enjoy his service in the peacetime British Army and reserved, after effectively going AWOL, in 1933.  He rejoined the British Army at the start of World War Two and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before the war's end.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  He served in administrative roles.


Category:  Politician

Date Added:  January 27, 2014

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Warren Oates

Born in a small town in Kentucky, Warren Oates didn't complete high school before he joined the Marine Corps in 1945.  After getting out he entered the University of Kentucky where he became interested in acting.  He rose to prominence as a character actor in the films of Sam Peckinpah, where he was often caste as a southerner.  He died the age of 53 in 1982.


Category: Actor

Date Added:  October 13, 2014

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Hugh O'Brian (Hugh Charles Krampe)

Hugh O'Brian is remembered as an actor principally for his television rolesHe also served a Marine during World War Two, joining the USMC at age 17, and was at least for a time the youngest Drill Instructor in Marine Corps history.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  September 15, 2016

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Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald, as is often noted, had served in the Marines prior to his defection to the USSR.  He actually joined the Marines at age 17, prior to being able to do so with parental permission, and his older brother, who had also been a Marine, signed his permission for him.  Oswald did not serve a full term, and was discharged in 1959 on a hardship, claiming he needed to take care of his mother.

Category: Murderer

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Arnold Palmer

 Arnold Palmer while in the Coast Guard.

Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer served in the United States Coast Guard for three years, dropping out of Wake Forest to enlist following the death of a close friend.  After his three years of service he returned to university and, of course, went on to become the most famous golfer of all time.

Category:  Athlete

Dated Added:  September 27, 2016

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Elvis Presley

Presley's career was famously interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in the late 1950s.  He served tour of duty in Germany.

Category:  Musician

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Pope Benedict came from a strongly Catholic family that was opposed to the Nazis, but he was conscripted into the Luftwaffe as an underaged antiaircraft crewman.  Late in the war he was transferred to a unit training as infantry but deserted.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013.
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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan served prior to World War Two as an Army Reserve cavalry officer.  He was activated in World War Two, during which he made films for the service.


Category:  Actor, Politician

Date Added:  January 26, 2014. 

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Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey hired to manage the Cardinals

Branch Rickey, 1912
Branch Rickey was hired on this date in 1917 to manage the Cardinals.
Rickey debuted in professional sports as a football player in 1902, playing for the Shelby Blues.  The following year however, he switched to baseball, signing with a minor league team.  In 1905 he moved to the majors and played with the St. Louis Browns.  His fortunes fell, however, and he was traded to the New York Highlanders where he set a negative record for stolen bases against him.  He retired after 1907.  
He thereafter attended the University of Michigan where he obtained a law degree.  While in law school he became the schools baseball coach.  In 1913 he returned to the Browns as a member of the managment.
His run with the Cardinals in 1917 was short, as he left to join the Army the same year.  He returned to St. Louis after the war.  He moved to the Dodgers in 1942.  While with the Dodgers he signed Jackie Robinson.
Rickey was the commanding officer of a chemical training unit during World War One.

Category:  Athlete,  Sports Manager, Lawyer

Dated Added:  March 25, 2017

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Chuck Robb

Governor of Virginia and U.S. Senator Chuck Robb served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam prior to entering politics. He was a Marine Corps lieutenant at the time.

Category:  Politician.

Date Added:  November 26, 2014.

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Dale Robertson

Actor Dale Robertson served in the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Category: Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli ( Pope John XXIII)

Pope John XXIII was already an ordained Catholic Priests when he was conscripted into the Italian Army during World War One, an event not unusual for European armies. He served at the rank of sergeant as a stretcher bearer and chaplain in the medical corps.

Category:  Cleric

Date Added:  July 31, 2013.
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Mickey Rooney (Joseph Yule, Jr.)

Legendary actor Mickey Rooney commenced his acting career as a child, but saw it interrupted by his being conscripted into the U.S. Army during World War Two.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Archibald Roosevelt

Archy Roosevelt served in the Army in World War One, where he was wounded, and returned to service in World War Two, in which he was wounded again. His First World War wounds had resulted in a rating of 100% disabled, and his World War Two wounds did again, making him the only American serviceman to have that distinction.  In civilian life he was a businessman.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Elliot Roosevelt

Elliot Roosevelt was the son of Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt and pursued a wide variety of careers.  Always interested in aviation, he was in the Army Air Force during World War Two.

Category:  Businessman, rancher

Date Added:  November 27, 2014
 
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.

A son of Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt, FDR Jr. served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.  In civilian life he was princiipally a lawyer, but also a civil servant, cattle farmer, and importer of Fiats.

Category:  Lawyer, Businessman, Farmer, Civil Servant.

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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James Roosevelt II

A son of Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt, James Roosevelt served as a Marine Corps officer during World War Two.  At one time, he was in the Marine Raiders.  In civilian life he occupied a variety of business positions and was for a period a U.S. Congressman.

Category:  Businessman, Politician, Civil Servant.

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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John Aspinwall Roosevelt

A son of Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt, John Roosevelt served in the U.S. Navy as an officer during World War Two.  Always a unique member of the Roosevelt family, he'd indicated an intent to take conscientious objector status when the war broke out, but did not do so, and ended up a decorated Naval officers.   In civilian life he was a businessman and sought to avoid any advantages being a member of his famous family might afford him.  He was unique in the Hyde Park branch of the family, in that he was a Republican.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Joseph Willard Roosevelt

Pianist Joseph Roosevelt, a son of Kermit Roosevelt, served as a Naval officer during World War Two.

Category:  Musician.

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Kermit Roosevelt

A son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, the adventurous Kermit Roosevelt served in the British Army in World War One, and the American Army in World War Two.  He was a businessman in civilian life.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Quentin Roosevelt II

Named after his uncle Quentin, who was a World War One aviator killed in that war, this child of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr served as an Army officer during World War Two, seeing action at Kasserine Pass, where he was wounded, and also landing in the first wave at Omaha Beach.

He had an interest in aviation like his better known uncle, and was the director of the China National Aviation Corporation after World War Two.  Oddly, like his uncle, he died in an airplane crash.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Theodore Roosevelt

As is well know, Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in the raising of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish American War.  He was actually the units second in command, with Leonard Wood serving as the commander, but Wood moved up in theater due to the illness of a more senior commander, leaving Roosevelt in command.  Less well known is that Roosevelt had been in the New York National Guard prior to the war.  Roosevelt is the only U.S. President to have been a veteran of the Spanish American War.

Category:  Politician, writer
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Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

The son of President Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., actually the third Roosevelt to have that name, served in World War One and World War Two.  His heroism and clear thinking during the Normandy landings caused him to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, although posthumously as he died of  a heart attack shortly thereafter.  He was a Brigadier General at the time.  He had also served in World War One.  He was a businessman by trade in civilian life.

Category:  Businessman.  Author.

Date Added:  November 26, 2014.

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Theodore Roosevelt III

The son of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, this Theodore Roosevelt served as a Naval aviator during World War Two.  He was a businessman and civil servant in civilian life.

Category:  Businessman, Civil Servant

Date Added:  November 27, 2014

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Sig Ruman (Siegfried Albon Rumann)

Ruman was a German born actor who played in many Hollywood films.  He served in the German Imperial Army during World War One.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 9, 2015

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Robert Ryan

Character actor Robert Ryan served in the Marine Corps during World War Two, during which he was assigned as a drill sergeant.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Kenny Sailors

Sailors was recently added to the Farmers and Hunters pages here.  When I did that, I wondered how the 1940s era University of Wyoming basketball player, who invented the jump shot, had not had World War Two service.

Well, he did. Sailors was a Marine prior to going to the University of Wyoming, something I learned in his obituary.

Category:  Athlete, Outdoorsman, Farmer

Date Added:  February 5, 2016

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Pat Sajak

The Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak was a U.S. Army radio announcer in Vietnam during his service in the Army.


Category:  Television personality

Date Added:  September 30, 2013.

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Harland David Sanders

Known as "Colonel Sanders" to most, due to his having awarded the honorary title of "Kentucky Colonel" by that state, Sanders had served a hitch as an enlisted man in the Army from 1906 to 1907.  He was underage at the time of his enlistment.

Category:  Restaurateur.

Date Added:  December 29, 2014

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Randolph Scott

Randolph Scott served as in the U.S. Army during World War One as an artillery observer.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Tom Selleck

Actor Tom Selleck, who came to fame playing former Navy Seal detective Thomas Magnum served in the California Army National Guard's 160th Infantry Regiment, a unit activated during the Watts Riots.  Selleck's photograph was posted on a bulletin board at Camp San Luis Obispo, a California National Guard training facility, when I stopped in there to take a look in 1986, at which time I was in the Wyoming Army National Guard.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  March 9, 2014.

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Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas

Famed actor Telly Savalas served in the U.S. Army during World War Two.


Category:  Actor

Date Added:  April 10, 2014

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Jene Shepard 

Jene Shepard is best remembered today for being the inspiration for The Christmas Story, a modern Christmas classic in which he also has a cameo role.  Shepard had an extensive radio career and also was an author, basing much of his comedic writings on humorous recollections of his youth.  Included amongst these were his bitingly funny stories based on his service in the U.S. Army, in the Signal Corps, during World War Two.

Category:  Radio personality, actor, author, comedian

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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George Harold Sisler


"Gentleman George" Sisler had a long career in baseball, first as a player and then later in the scouting office.  During World War One he served in the Chemical Corps in a training unit in France.
Category:  Athelete

Date added:  March 25, 2017

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Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden jointed the U.S. Army Reserve and sought to enter the Special Forces, but he did not complete training, having been injured in the process.

Category:  Leaker

Date Added:  January 26, 2014.

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G. D. Spradin

Spradin was an Oklahoma lawyer who became wealthy as an oil producer.  In his 40s, after having become wealthy, he turned to acting where he is known for a series of semi sinister roles, such as the Senator in The Godfather, Part II, or a the CIA agent in Apocalypse Now.  He was, however, both personally and professionally versatile and occupied a wide range of roles in acting, and outside of it, where he'd also been a politician and in the Army Air Corps during World War Two.

Category:  Lawyer, Politician, Actor.

Date Added:  February 23, 2015

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James Stewart

Actor Jimmy Stewart came from a family with a strong tradition of military service.  His father had served in the Spanish American War and World War One.  Jimmy Stewart served  in the Army Air Force during World War Two and stayed in the Air Force Reserve after the war, retiring as a Major General after 27 years of service.  During the Vietnam War he flew a mission on a B-52 as an observer.


Category:  Actor.

Date Added:  August 2, 2013.

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 Rod Steiger 

Steiger served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two, seeing a fair amount of action.  He later became a famous actor.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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Larry Storch

Actor and comedian Larry Storch served in the U.S. Navy aboard the same submarine tender that Tony Curtis did.

Category:  Actor, Comedian

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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Dave Thomas

Wendy's founder Dave Thomas was an Army mess sergeant, fittingly enough, during the Korean War.  He served in the United States and Germany.

Category:  Businessman

Date Added:  September 30, 2013

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Harry Truman 


Harry Truman is the country's only President to have served in World War One.  Truman entered the service through the Missouri National Guard and served in the war as an artillery officer, a position that was acquired at that time through unit election.


Category:  Politician. _________________________________________________________________________________
  
Forrest Tucker

Forrest Tucker enlisted in the U.S. Army twice, the first time when he was underaged and the second time during World War Two, when he was commissioned as an officer.  He later became an actor.

Category: Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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Conrad Veidt (Hans Walter Conrad Veidt)

German actor Conrad Veidt is best known to English speaking audiences as Major Strassner in Casablanca.  He served as a NCO in the German Imperial Army early in World War One, prior to illness resulting in a medical discharge.  A wealthy man, he immigrated to Britain after the Nazis came to power with his Jewish wife and lent a considerable portion of his fortune to the British for the war effort, which he did not live to see the end of as he died in 1943.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 10, 2015

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The Vikings

Not normally thought of in these terms, Vikings were Scandinavian bands sworn to allegiance to a leader for a raid. To go raiding was to go "viking."  Seen as bandits by outsiders, from their prospective their activities were more martial, in a rough and ready sense.

Category:  Ethnic subgroup

Date Added:  January 26, 2014. 

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Eli Wallach

Famed character actor Eli Wallach served as both an enlisted man and an officer in the U.S. Army during World War Two. Starting off as an enlisted man he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in a hospital in Hawaii before he went to Officers Candidate School.   He remained in the medical corps after receiving his commission.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  June 25, 2014

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William Wellman

Legendary  movie director William Wellman jointed a volunteer ambulance service in World War One, before transferring to the French Foreign Legion.   In that capacity he became a fighter pilot.

Category:  Movie Director

Date Added:  January 26, 2014

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Oskar Werner (Oskar Josef Bschließmayer)

The moody Werner was an Austrian actor who played in a lot of English language films.  During World War Two he was conscripted into the German army and assigned to officers school, where he feigned ineptitude to escape the intended role of German officer. His act was successful and he was reassigned as an enlisted man, ultimately being assigned to the Eastern Front.  He married a half Jewish woman secrety during this time and deserted.

Category:  Actor

Date Added:  November 11, 2015

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Byron "Whizzer" White

Byron White is remembered both for his sterling football career at the University of Colorado and the Detroit Lions, as well as for his legal career, which saw him rise to the United States Supreme Court.  His football career was interrupted by World War Two, during which time he served in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer.

The courthouse for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is named in honor of White.

Category:  Athlete.  Lawyer.

Date Added:  April 25, 2014
 
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Edward Douglass White

Edward Douglass White was a Supreme Court Justice appointed by Grover Cleveland who was later appointed Chief Justice by President Taft.  He had served in some capacity as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War, although the details remain obscure.

Category:  Lawyer.

Date Added:  April 25, 2014

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Gene Wilder (Jerome Silberman)

Legendary comedic actor and screen writer Gene Wilder was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 and served as a paramedic at the Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Category:  Actor, director, writer

Date Added:  September 1, 2016

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Demond Wilson

Wilson is remembered for portraying Lamont Sanford in the 1970s television series Sanford and Son, where he played the younger Sanford along side Redd Foxx.  He served in the Army, and was wounded, in Vietnam and became an actor after his service.  He acted up until 1982, when a long simmering call to the ministry caused him to abandon being a full time actor to become an ordained Protestant minister, although he still acts a bit.


Category:  Soldier.  Actor.  Protestant minister.

Dated Added:  March 15, 2015

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Jonathan Winters

Born to means but in a family where relationships were strained, comedian and actor Jonathan Winters was a Marine during World War Two.   According to Winters, his mother gave a way a collection of toy soldiers he had while he was in the Marines, as she didn't think he'd survive the war.

Category:  Actor, Comedian

Date Added:  November 6, 2015

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Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II)

Pope John Paul II is well within the living memory of many, many people, but few might actually know that he was conscripted into the pre World War Two Polish Army very briefly, just before World War Two, but his training was not completed by the time the Germans overran the country.

In some ways, military service would not have been unexpected for the future Pope, as his father was a officer in the Polish army.

Category:  Cleric.
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Chuck Woolery

Television personality Chuck Woolery served in the U.S. Navy for two years in the early 1960s.

Category:  Television personality, Singer

Date added:  March 25, 2016

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Ryan Zinke



Secretary of the Interior in the Trump Administration Ryan Zinke was a Navy Seal and career Navy officer, serving in that role for over twenty years before retiring and entering politics.

Category:  Politician

Date added:  March 25, 2017

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Related Posts:

They were Clerics. 

They were Farmers. 

They were Hunters or Fishermen.

They were Lawyers.

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