Monday, May 11, 2015

Hollywood Went to War

You may remember him from "Tootsie", or "Rescue Me" or anyone of scores of movies and television programs. He was a great actor...and a veteran.

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Charles Durning served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was drafted at age 20 (or 21) and discharged with the rank of Private First Class on January 30, 1946...

...For his valor and the wounds he received during the war, Durning was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart Medals. Additional awards included the Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, and the World War II Victory Medal His badges included the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, and Honorable Service Lapel Pin. Durning received the French National Order of the Legion of Honor from the French Consul in Los Angeles in April 2008.

According to at least one source, Durning also hit the beaches at Normandy on D-Day.

Durning...served as an artilleryman who took part in the landings on Normandy Beach. Despite extensive injuries obtained from a German mine, Durning recovered quickly and returned to action in time for the Battle of the Bulge.

A great character actor, and a man of great character. Mr. Durning, rest in peace. We thank you for your service.

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