James Wise - Naval Institute Press Author of the Year, Third Prize
The lives of movie stars are often more closely followed than those of political leaders, sports figures, or sometimes one's own relatives, but even the most avid film buffs might be surprised to learn their favorite actors served in one of this country's sea services and distinguished themselves above and beyond the call of duty. In this book, filled with fascinating and revealing profiles of more than fifty celebrities, many readers will discover for the first time the patriotic contributions and sacrifices actors have made in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard from World War I to Vietnam.
Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, and Ernest Borgnine are among many stars who have portrayed naval personnel on film, but do their fans know that Fonda won a Bronze Star for his actions during Pacific naval encounters, that Bogart dropped a fleeing prisoner with his .45, that Montgomery was awarded a Bronze Star for his courageous performance of duty during the Normandy invasion, or that Borgnine hunted U-boats off America's East Coast? A virtual Who's Who, this entertaining yet historically accurate and complete account brings to life these and dozens of other stars' naval and coast guard service backgrounds and film careers, drawn from interviews, diaries, letters, and official military and film industry archives.
Find out how John Howard won a Navy Cross, how Navy Hellcat ace Wayne Morris downed seven Japanese planes, how UDT frogman Aldo Ray reconned the Okinawa landing beaches, how Eddie Albert saved more than a dozen wounded marines on the bloody reefs of Tarawa, and how Hedy Lamarr patented World War II communications anti-jamming technology still in use today. Rarely have movie stars' real lives been portrayed in such detail, including interesting anecdotes from their Hollywood careers and never before published photographs from their military careers, including Paul Newman as a Navy radioman/gunner who flew in torpedo bombers during World War II.