Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Autry & Coogan.

This is coolbert:

Here are two persons from the Hollywood movie/entertainment scene that bravely served in World War Two [WW2]:

Gene Autry.

Jackie Coogan.

Autry [2007 is the centennial of his birth] at the time of his enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Corps was perhaps for a variety of reasons, the hottest commodity in Hollywood. Singer/movie star, at the peak of his success. This is a man who did NOT SHIRK HIS DUTIES!! Thirty-four years old at the time of his enlistment and was willing and able to go!

Volunteered for pilot duty. Served in an admirable fashion until the end of the war.

[Autry was the first singer to popularize for the general public what was called "Native American" melodies. Cowboy singing at the time. Became Country & Western music!! And entire genre' of music was created by this man!!??]

Jackie Coogan was the first successful [?] child movie star?! Had roles expressly written for him by the Hollywood moguls.

Also a man did not shirk his duties during WW2.

Volunteered for military service BEFORE Pearl Harbor. Jackie had a premonition of things to come?!

"Coogan enlisted in the US Army in March 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he requested a transfer to US Army Air Forces as a glider pilot because of his civilian flying experience. After graduating from glider school, he was made a Flight Officer and he volunteered for hazardous duty with the 1st Air Commando Group. In December 1943, the unit was sent to India. He flew British troops, the Chindits, under General Orde Wingate on 5 March 1944, landing them at night in a small jungle clearing 100 miles behind Japanese lines in the Burma campaign."

"Nazi Propaganda portrayed him [Coogan] as a Jew named Jacob Cohen."

Jackie Coogan was interred upon his death in Catholic Cemetery, Los Angeles. Presumably he was NOT Jewish!!

Both Autry and Coogan:

* Had piloting experience prior to the start of WW2.

* Each saw service in the China-Burma-India [CBI] theatre.

Autry flew military transport aircraft during his term of service. It may be that he flew "The Hump"! Piloting transport aircraft from India to China and back again over the Himalaya mountains. Some of the most dangerous flying in the world, even in a time of peace, much less war.

Coogan served with the 1st Air Commando Group. The forerunner of the present day Air Commandos. This was difficult, dangerous combat duty. COOGAN WAS ONE OF THE FIRST MEN TO FLY A HELICOPTER INTO COMBAT??!! This maybe so. A primitive first-generation Sikorsky [R-4 Hoverfly] was used in Burma to ferry wounded from the battlefield to rear area hospitals!

"Today the 'egg-beater' [R-4 Hoverfly] went into action and the damn thing acted like it had good sense."

Autry and Coogan. Like I have said, men that were not slackers.



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