Thursday, May 1, 2014

James Arness: Military Hero

James Arness in uniform. 

I wrote about James Arness once before shortly after he died. From The Thing to Gunsmoke he has always been one of my favorites actors, but I recently learned that he also had extensive military experience and was wounded in the service. 

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.

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