James Arness in uniform.
James Arness, 1956.
James Arness (1923-2011) served in the U.S. Army during WW II. He wanted to be a fighter pilot, but was turned down due to his height--6'7". Instead he served (rather appropriately) as a rifleman with 2nd platoon E Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division of the US Army.
Arness was wounded in the Battle of Anzio, which left him with a lifelong limp. He received a Bronze Star; Purple Heart; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze star devices; World War II Victory Medal; and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Rest in peace, James Arness.