Ex-PH2 and Tman sent us links to the news that one of the most prolific actors of the last 50 years has passed. If you haven’t seen Charles Durning act, you haven’t been paying attention. He was a soldier before he was an actor, according to Fox News;
The younger Durning himself would barely survive World War II.
He was among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the only member of his Army unit to survive. He killed several Germans and was wounded in the leg. Later he was bayoneted by a young German soldier whom he killed with a rock. He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners.
In later years, he refused to discuss the military service for which he was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.
“Too many bad memories,” he told an interviewer in 1997. “I don’t want you to see me crying.”
ADDED: ROS sends a link that says Durning was also a Malmedy Massacre survivor.
Jacob Joachim “Jack” Klugman, also a World War II veteran of the US Army died last night at the age of 90, but I can’t find much about his service.