Skip to comments.Military Celebrities: Who do/did you know? (VANITY)
Posted on 05/11/2012 5:01:45 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
In an off line conversation with my FReeper lady friend, floralamiss, she mentioned to me that Joe Dimaggio had been her father's PT instructor during WWII. I indicated that my dad had served with Lt. George Steinbrenner at Lockbourne AFB in the 50's. When I was an ROTC Cadet, I did my advanced camp at Ft. Bragg, and then went on CTLT in Germany with Shawn Mullins.
Just curious how many other FReepers got to meet/know/serve with folks that later achieved some degree of fame (or notoriety) while in the military. Thought it might be a fun conversation topic for a Friday evening....
I ran into a guy who’s sister baby sat The Cowsills when they were calves.....
Well, when my dad was a young guy in the Marines, he drove Chesty Puller around. He had a few stories to tell about those days.
I went through basic at Lackland with Joe McCooey.
That sumbitch talked in his sleep all night long.
I also worked with Robin Hamilton at Plattsburgh AFB.
As close as I can get is that I worked for a fellow that was in the film Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant.
He was a bubblehead like me and he had one scene in the film.
He called in the air raid from the sail during the topside luau.
He is listed 2nd to last in the film credits LOL
That’s cool...When I was in 10th Grade, I was a member of my high school speech/debate club. We participated in a “Mock UN” and our school drew Grenada. This was the year right after the invasion, and our forensics coach, had a young Major named John Abizaid come give us a presentation on the miitary/politics of the island. He had participated in the invasion. Years later, he was my division commander at First ID.
My dad gassed up Glenn Miller’s plane before its last flight.
Neat, lol. I also had a friend a few years ahead of me in ROTC, who had gone to Valley Forge Military Academy for high school. He was there for the filming of “Taps” and met a number of the brat pack. Said most of them were sh!theads.
Wow...Interesting. I’m also from Jimmy Stewart’s hometown (who of course later played Glenn Miller).
Larry said Grant was the same off screen as on screen.
He said the guy was genuine.
Good to hear. I think a lot of that generation probably were. It's hard for me to watch movies after I've found out the protagonist is a dirt bag in real life.
Nah, it was those deviled eggs.....
Edward Babe Gomez
My father flew the hump over Burma.
I served in the Army Security Agency in Japan with country crooner Don Williams when stardom, the Grand Ol’ Opry, C&W Entertainer of the Year, etc. were only a wild dream in his heart. But he made it. BIGTIME!
I know Chesty Puller’s son in law.
My father-in-law was a lieutenant in the navy in WWII. First on the Arizona in Pearl but later in the Atlantic. His aide was Craig Claibourne, the late New York Times food critic.
Just looked up and read his citation. Did you serve with him in Korea?
Ive met my share of celebrity ****heads and my share of nice guy celebs but none if them in the military.
I met Tom Selleck while I was in the military in HI
He was a nice guy.
I met Wilt Chamberlain, he was a megaJerk.
Ive been fishing with Ernie Shavers and he’s a nice guy.
Grew up with Boom Boom Mancini and he’s a nice guy but not the same anymore
I met Alvin York’s grandson in Korea :-)
My dad was an acquaintance of CDR Lloyd Bucher.
Forgot his name, but I had as a student the B52 BombNav who fired the first cruise missile on Bagdad in 1991.
Funny. Ernie Shavers always SEEMED like a nice guy to me. Could never say why.
On YouTube, there’s a “Vice Travel Guide to North Korea”. A ballsy Canadian got access to the DPRK and part of his tour was to the Pueblo. Sad, sad story.
Well he was a nice guy.
He was training at Blackie Gennaro’s Stables just down the road and on the other end of the woods behind my parents home when I was a kid.
I spent the afternoon fishing with him and his Nephew at a pond back in the woods.
It was just the 3 of us.
I enjoyed it.
I’d go fishin with George Foreman too LOL
George Foreman grills my dinner almost every night!
General George Patton’s son was the graduation speaker for my Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox. Since Patton is my forever more hero military commander, it was awesome to sit for a few minutes in the presence of his son.
I went to AOBC in ‘91. Creighton Abrams’ grandson was one of our SGL’s.
I had the privilege of meeting and being interviewed by Admiral Hyman Rickover. Following the interview, I worked in the Naval Reactors organization for 8 years prior to my retirement from the Navy. An amazing experience.
I don’t know his name, he is long since retired now, but my mother told the story of how she changed the diapers of a future Commandant of the Marine Corps back when my dad was a young lieutenant.
Like many stories from our parents, the details are gone and so are our parents. It wasn’t until my father was in ill health in his late 70s that he told me details of his time in the South Pacific (grunt), Korea (first command) and Viet Nam (adviser in the early Kennedy days, before the SHTF).
The trash ruling this country now wouldn’t be fit to lick the bottom of his shoes after he walked through manure, IMO. I’m glad he’s not here to see what is being done to the country his comrades died for.
Bud Day, Jeremiah Denton, Roy Hoffman, John O’Neill, Paul Galanti.
My dad went to Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener) at the same time Grace Kellys older brother, Jack, was there and, yes, he got to meet her, but long before she was famous.
I can only imagine...What a combination of both technological innovation in the greater context of the whole geo-political backdrop of the cold war.
That’s quite a line up. Incredible men, each and every one.
A real character and a legend.
My dad was in basic training with Billy Martin the Yankees manager during Korean War.
My stepfather was in flight school with Ted Williams during WWII...
No. I cheated a little. I never met him. I knew his relatives many many years ago. It still chokes me up to think about his story as they told it to me.
He is best known for having more traps than any other pilot in Naval History, but is also an aviation photographer of note. I think he is now the president of Sun N' Fun (For you aviation enthusiasts out there)
He was a great guy. Treated us lowly plane captains like men, not serfs. Was respectful, and conscientious. He did his walk arounds with a fine tooth comb, really paid attention. My overriding memory of him was as a LT wearing a bright orange flight suit, something he was entitled to do after one of the many programs he was involved in, I forget what it was.
Captain John R. Lites Leenhouts
By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
Captain John Lites Leenhouts was born in Bryan, Texas and has resided in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Illinois. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1973, John entered the Navy as an Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate Program. He was commissioned as an Ensign in March 1974 and was designated a Naval Aviator on August 22, 1975 at NAS Kingsville, Texas.
Following flight training, John reported to VA-174 for A-7B training and then to VA-46 for duty. During his first tour he completed three deployments aboard the carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), and the initial shakedown of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). He became the First Fleet Landing Signal Officer (LSO) to cross-train in the F-14 and fly it concurrently with the A-7. Captain Leenhouts returned to the Hellrazers of VA-174 as an instructor pilot and LSO. In January 1982, he joined Carrier Air Wing One as the Staff Landing Signal Officer, flying the A-7E with VA-72 and the F-14A with VF-102 aboard the USS America (CV-66).
Upon completion of an accident-free CAG Landing Signal Officer tour, Captain Leenhouts was selected to be the Naval Air Atlantic Fleet Landing Signal Officer from December 1983 until December 1985. As ￼an Operational Readiness Evaluator, he flew with every East Coast Fighter and Light Attack squadron from every carrier in the Second Fleet. Returning to sea duty, Captain Leenhouts was assigned a second tour with VA-46 as a department head, again deploying on the USS America and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. In August 1988, Captain Leenhouts surpassed 3000 Corsair hours and achieved 1000 arrested landings as a Lieutenant Commander. Following duties on the Light Attack Wing One readiness staff, he was assigned as Attack Squadron 72 Executive Officer in June 1989, deploying to the Red Sea aboard the USS Kennedy in support of Operation Desert Shield.
Commander Leenhouts flying the above A-7 led the first strike from the USS Kennedy on January 17, 1991 at 2:00A.M. in the opening minutes of the first war against Iraq. During Operation Desert Storm, Commander Leenhouts accumulated over 100 combat hours in 24 missions leading strikes into Iraq and Kuwait. After the war Commander Leenhouts reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 136 in December 1991 as Executive Officer. He assumed command of the Knighthawks in March 1993. Following his command tour, Captain Leenhouts attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base graduating in 1995. He then became Deputy Director of Operations for the Joint Task Force Southwest Asia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from August through December 1995. In February 1996 he reported to Battle Force Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan, as the Operations Officer and deployed to the Far East aboard the USS Independence (CV-62). Captain Leenhouts returned to the United States in February 1997 and assumed command of Strike-Fighter Wing, Atlantic in April 1997.
With 10 major deployments to his credit, Captain Leenhouts has logged over 8000 hours piloting more than 35 different types of military, antique, and civilian aircraft. He has become the all time leading Carrier Aviator, having accumulated 1645 traps on 16 different aircraft carriers. Additionally, Captain Leenhouts has exceeded 10,000 aerial photographs with many of his images published worldwide. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat V (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Individual Air Medal with Combat V (four awards), two Strike Flight Air Medals with Combat V, Joint Service Commendation Medal. Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V (two awards). Captain Leenhouts retired n January 2001 after twenty-eight years of adventurous sea service.
Ah. I almost forgot. I also served with CDR. McCain when he was the CO of VA-174 in Cecil Field back in 1976.
I guess I didn’t want to put that down here, it isn’t a resume enhancer on Free Republic.
I was in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and as far as I can recall I served with no one who became famous. But, I served with several who were INFAMOUS.
That is completely cool.
Ridgeway was one hell of a man. A hell of a man.
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