Paul Picerni (1922-2011) USAAF WW II. Served as B-24 bombardier in Pacific Theater. Few 25 combat missions with 7th Bomb Group. Part of mission that bombed the real bridge famous in “Bridge on the River Kwai”. Earned Distinguished Flying Cross. Best remembered for roles in “Twelve O’Clock High” (’49), “To Hell and Back” (’55), and Eliot Ness’ TV partner Lee Hobson in “The Untouchables” (’60-63).
Clark Gable, Major US Army Air Corps 1942-44 WW II. Although beyond draft age, he enlisted as a private. Assigned to OCS he excelled and received a commission. He flew five combat mission as an observer/gunner in a B-17 earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal. On his 4th mission, a 20mm shell cut the heel from his boot.
"I'll Get Bye" B-17G-55-BO Flying Fortress s/n 42-102700 412th Bomb Squadron, 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Shot down on August 2,1944, all but three crewmembers were killed. Plane was hit in the wing by flak, knocking off the wing tip. The plane veered to left and caught fire, then exploded. They were flying as deputy lead crew for this mission
"Captain Harold Stouse in the 427th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group – who piloted B-17F 27-BO 41-24635 ‘The Eightball’ to Wilhelmshaven on 27 January 1943, the first time the 8th Air Force bombed a German target fills out his flight report after the mission. USAAF.1943."
Ben Kuroki - flew a total of 58 combat missions during World War II, and is the only Japanese-American in the United States Army Air Forces to serve in combat operations in the Pacific theater of World War II.
Robert Cummings-He was taught to fly by his godfather Orville Wright. He was the first official flight instructor in the U.S.he was in the Army Air Corps in WW2. After the war, he served as a pilot in the Air Force Reserve
Charles Bronson (né Charles Buchinsky) (1921-2003) U.S. Army Air Force 1943-45 WW II. He enlisted and served as an aircraft gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam. He was assigned to a B-29 bomber. He flew on 25 missions & was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service. Most remembered for his roles in The Dirty Dozen and Death Wish.
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, perhaps of 97th Bomb Group, USAAF, bombing Messina, Sicily, summer 1943. Messina, a great strategic target, note the harbour, which was heavily bombed in preparation of Allied invasion of Sicily, Operation Husky, and of the crossing of the Straits for passage of Allied forces in continental Italy.
John Herschel Glenn, Jr., (born Jul 18, 1921) former US Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, & US Senator. In World War II, he enlist in US. Army Air Corps; however, in March 1942 he enlisted as a US Navy aviation cadet, then reassigned to US Marine Corps. He saw action over Marshall Islands, where he attacked anti-aircraft batteries & dropped bombs on Maloelap Atoll. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions during Korean War. Later, Glenn flew a second Korean tour of 27 missions in F-86F Sabre.
A B-25 Mitchell from the 405th Bomb Squadron "Green Dragons", 38th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force doing some low-level 'skip' bombing. The bombers would come in over a target low and fast, dropping their bombs with delay fuses a distance from the target and it would skip across the water into the side of the ship.
Gene Rayburn joined the United States Army Air Corps, He began training at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, Texas and graduated in 1942, He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theatre with the “Bomber Barons” of the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bombardment Wing of the Thirteenth Air Force. 8/2/43 he was piloting a B-17E Flying Fortress named the “Yankee Doodle”, mechanical failure caused it to crash on take-off. He flew 89 missions & was awarded the Flying Cross and the Air Medal before 1945.
Captain James Stewart. Cpt. Stewart officially flew 20 combat missions over Europe. However, these missions went uncounted under Stewart’s orders, so the total number is contested. He earned 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Croix de Guerre, an Air Medal, and 3 Oak Clusters. Before the war was over, he was a Colonel. Before he died, he had risen to Major General.
King George VI of England meeting Capt. H.W. Terry and the crew of his B-17 named "Terry and the Pirates" in 1942. This is a B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress (s/n 41-24489) from the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Shot down by fighters over France on December 20,1942.
Actor Russell Johnson, best known as "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island, served in the US Army Air Force during WWII. He flew 44 combat missions as a bombardier in B-25 bombers. In March 1945, he and two other B-25s were shot down in the Philippines. He broke both his ankles and the radioman next to him was killed. Johnson earned a Purple Heart, among other honors. He was honorably discharged and later served in the Army Reserve. He used his GI Bill to fund his acting lessons.
Morgan Freeman born June 1, 1937, in Memphis, TN. After high school served in the US Air Force as a radar technician. Actor, film director, and narrator best known for his roles in Driving Miss Daisy, and Million Dollar Baby for which he won an Oscar.
Jimmy Stewart...WWII.....He was a pilot in the USAF, had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve. See, some actors are real heroes.