Monday, June 22, 2015

Hollywood Went to War

Ninth in our series, Hollywood Went to War, is Cool Hand Luke himself, Paul Newman.

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Newman served in the United States Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater. Initially, he enrolled in the Navy V-12 pilot training program at Yale University, but was dropped when his colorblindness was discovered. Boot camp followed, with training as a radioman and rear gunner. Qualifying in torpedo bombers in 1944, Aviation Radioman Third Class Newman was sent to Barber's Point, Hawaii. He was subsequently assigned to Pacific-based replacement torpedo squadrons VT-98, VT-99, and VT-100, responsible primarily for training replacement combat pilots and air crewmen, with special emphasis on carrier landings.

Newman later flew as a turret gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber. As a radioman-gunner, he was ordered aboard the USS Bunker Hill with a draft of replacements shortly before the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. An ear infection grounded his pilot, leaving the pair the detail's sole survivors when the rest of their unit was wiped out in action during the campaign

Radioman Third Class Newman, we thank you for your service. Rest in Peace.

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