Following the outbreak of World War II, he (Russell) joined the United States Marine Corps, though he was initially rejected because of his height (6 ft 3 in). He was commissioned as second lieutenant on November 11, 1942, and was assigned to the 6th Marine Regiment. His division was sent to Guadalcanal, where he served as an assistant intelligence officer. He contracted malaria and returned home with a medical discharge.
Kelly served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
During World War II, Brannum enlisted in the US Marine Corps
Gentlemen, we humbly salute you and thank you for your service to our country.