Thursday, September 30, 2021

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

 I love publicity stills from the studio days.  Everybody told to report most often on Saturdays in full wardrobe for hours of setups ... yeah, they just loved it.  Anyway, I was curious about the kinds of military service these gents had to portray these war heroes.  Of course, it is Hollywood so I wasn't too surprised to find that only two of the six served in the military.  Louis Calhern, the tall gent in the middle, served in France in WWI.  And the young man to his right is Dewey Martin, an actual war hero per his IMDB entry.  

Cast of Men of the Fighting Lady (1954) left to right:  Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Dewey Martin, Louis Calhern, Frank Lovejoy and Keenan Wynn

" Martin joined the U.S. Navy in 1940 and served as a Grumman F6F Hellcat pilot in the Pacific Theater of the war. He fought in the Battle of Midway and had to ditch his Hellcat in the ocean because his carrier was damaged. He was shot down twice. The last time in 1945 and was held as a prisoner of war until Japan's surrender."

(Mr. Pidgeon was way past draft age for WWII, and as a young Canadian studying voice he was no doubt better fitted for the musical rather than the war stage.)

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