20 Famous People You Didn’t Know Served in WWII 0 3

These stars joined the forces to serve their country in the Second World War.

Jimmy Stewart

Wikimedia Commons

Academy Award winner Jimmy Stewart was already a successful actor when he was inducted into the Army in 1941 at the age of 32. Stewart was the first major American actor to wear the uniform in WWII.

Bob Barker

Jesse Grant/WireImage/Getty Images

The legendary game show host was in college on a basketball scholarship when WWII broke out. He served in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot and part of a seagoing squadron before returning to college to finish his degree.

Audrey Hepburn

Mondadori/Mondadori/Getty Images

As a child in the Netherlands, this screen legend aided the fight against the Germans, occasionally acting as a courier for resistance fighters.

Joe DiMaggio

Sporting News Archive/Sporting News/Getty Images

DiMaggio was one of the most famous baseball players in the world when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943. DiMaggio was given so many special privileges that he became embarrassed, at which point he demanded combat duty. He was turned down.

Jackie Coogan

ABC Photo Archives/Disney ABC Television Group/Getty Images

The “Addams Family” actor was a star by the age of 5, appearing alongside Charlie Chaplin in the silent film sensation “The Kid.” Coogan put acting on hold during WWII to deliver troops behind enemy lines in the Burma campaign.

Henry Fonda

Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images

“I don’t want to be in a fake war in a studio,” Fonda said about his decision to join the U.S. Navy. Like his lifelong friend Jimmy Stewart, Fonda set aside a successful acting career to serve in WWII.

Bea Arthur

Nick Valinote/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The future “Golden Girl” enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 21, serving as a typist and truck driver during WWII.

James Doohan

Cbs Photo Archive/CBS/Getty Images

Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery at the beginning of WWII. His first experience in combat was as part of the invasion storming Juno Beach on D-Day. Doohan suffered six gunshot wounds in the battle, including one to his chest that was stopped by a silver cigarette case given to him by his brother.

Johnny Carson

Nbc/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

The longtime “Tonight Show” host joined the U.S. Navy and achieved a 10-0 amateur boxing career while serving on the USS Pennsylvania. The ship was on its way to combat when the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war.

John F. Kennedy

Cbs Photo Archive/CBS/Getty Images

The future U.S. President served in the Pacific theater as part of the U.S. Navy, earning awards for heroic conduct.

Roald Dahl

Cbs Photo Archive/CBS/Getty Images

Before penning such children’s classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach,” Dahl lived his own harrowing tale as a fighter pilot with the British Royal Air Force.

Sam Walton

Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images

Walton achieved the rank of Captain as part of the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps during WWII. He supervised security at aircraft plants and prisoner of war camps before going on to build his retail empire, Wal-Mart.

Hugh Hefner

Dan Tuffs/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Years before founding what would become the Playboy empire, Hefner served as a writer for a military newspaper in the U.S. Army at the end of WWII.

Art Carney

Nbc/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

This “Honeymooners” star fought in the Battle of Normandy, where he sustained a shrapnel injury that would leave him with a limp for the rest of his life.

Mel Brooks

Kim Kulish/AFP/Getty Images

Mel Brooks was in college majoring in psychology when he was drafted into the army. The future funnyman defused land mines as part of the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion.

Julia Child

Nbc/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Before this iconic television personality brought French cuisine to America, Child served as a top secret researcher for the Office of Strategic Services.

Joe Louis

Keystone-france/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

One of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, Louis was a major driver of anti-Nazi sentiment in America during WWII. In January 1942, Louis held a charity boxing match that raised $47,000 for the Navy Relief Society. The next day he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Charles Bronson

Mondadori/Mondadori/Getty Images

Charles Bronson enlisted in his early 20s and served as an aerial gunner. He was wounded and received a Purple Heart.

Charlton Heston

Mondadori/Mondadori/Getty Images

Before his acting career and NRA presidency, Heston served as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 bomber.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 Reasons Why Caligula Was The Most Insane And Depraved Roman Emperor Ever 0 5

Historians have long struggled to explain notorious Roman Emperor Caligula’s behavior. During his short reign, Caligula did everything from engage in public incest to order an innocent 12-year-old to be raped and murdered—making him one of the most hated people in Roman history.

He Wasn’t Considered Very Good Looking

Phas/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Caligula—whose real name was Gaius—was born into a Roman dynasty. His father, respected general Germanicus, used to bring him along to battles, and dressed him up in a miniature version of Roman battle gear. The troops were enamored with the little general, and gave him the nickname “Caligula,” which meant, “little boots.” Eventually, Caligula grew up, but he wasn’t considered particularly handsome. He was tall, gangly, pale, and had a bald head but a super hairy body. When he first took the throne, Roman citizens mocked him and claimed he looked like a goat. Eventually, Caligula got fed up with the mockery and made it a crime for anyone to mention goats in his presence.

He Was Super Paranoid And Had His Family Members Killed

Ancient Origins

While Caligula’s crazy behavior started when he outlawed the act of mocking his appearance, he soon became extremely suspicious of almost everyone in Rome. A few months after Caligula was appointed Emperor, he became seriously ill. Caligula, who believed someone had tried to kill him with poison, never truly recovered from the illness. Although his health was restored in a bodily sense, he was mentally never the same. After the incident, he became extremely paranoid and obviously a little insane. In some of his first acts of paranoia, he accused his loved ones of treason and ordered to have them murdered or exiled.

After He Got Sick, Everyone Thought He Was Crazy

Ancient Origins

Initially, most of Rome was happy to have Caligula as a ruler. He won over his people when he granted members of the military large bonuses, got rid of unfair taxes, and freed anyone who had been sent to prison unlawfully. However, after he fell ill, he started behaving really erratically. While some dubbed him insane, modern historians believe there is evidence that suggests he was suffering from epilepsy and lived in constant fear of seizures. He was known to stand outside and speak to the moon, and the effects of a full moon were once linked to epileptic episodes. He was also fond of just staring off into the distance and was constantly irritable, which are both signs of hyperthyroidism.

He Murdered People Left And Right

Dea / V. Pirozzi/De Agostini/Getty Images

If Caligula had spent his time as Emperor staring off into space and lashing out at his family, his legacy probably wouldn’t have been so bad. But, as luck has it, his extreme paranoia, emotional instability, and limitless power all came together to mold him into one bloodthirsty killer. After just a few months as Emperor, he started ordering seemingly anyone who crossed him to be murdered. His behavior became outlandish, and before long almost all of Rome hated him.

He Enjoyed Torturing People


For some reason, hanging or chopping people’s heads off doesn’t seem out of character for an Emperor—and probably wouldn’t even be considered that evil in the scheme of things. But Caligula wasn’t just murder crazy—he was torture crazy. He derived loads of pleasure out of torturing people, and even turned torture sessions into public events. He once had a man tied down and beaten with chains for three months, bringing him out of a dungeon and onto the street where people would gather when they smelled the man’s gangrenous brain.

Caligula Was Obsessed With Body Mutilation

Raw Read

In addition to publicly beating people, Caligula liked to mutilate people’s bodies. Apparently, his favorite torture device was the saw. He had a special saw blade that was modeled after the human spine and could cut someone along the spinal cord from the top of the chest to the crotch in one swoop. The worst thing about the blade was that it caused blood to rush to the victim’s brain, making it impossible for them to pass out. That, of course, meant they actually had to endure every moment of the torture.

He Had A Killer Appetite For Testicles


As if a gross serial killer saw blade wasn’t bad enough, Caligula also like to chew on the testicles of his victims. He would have someone tie down a victim, and then he would slowly nibble on the testicles while they were restrained upside down. Obviously, Caligula had an insatiable appetite for torture. One of his favorite public events, the Circus Maximus, involved throwing criminals into big pits where they were devoured by starved wild animals. He particularly loved when the hungry lions would go after victims. Once, when the criminals ran out before the lions were brought on, he had random people pulled from the stands to participate in the deadly event.

He Thought He Was A Living God

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Eventually, Caligula fell off the deep end when he started publicly exclaiming he was a living God, and ordered his Roman Empire to treat him accordingly. One of his first acts as a living God was ordering the construction of a bridge between the palace and the Temple of Jupiter (the most significant temple in Rome) so that he could regularly hobnob with other deities. Additionally, Caligula started dressing up like Gods, demigods, and goddesses—including Hercules, Mercury, Venus, and Apollo. As if the costumes and outrageous orders weren’t enough, he also referred to himself as “God” in the third person and had the faces removed from god statues in Roman temples and replaced with his face.

He Tried To Appoint His Horse As A Priest


Amongst all of the bloodthirsty murders, Caligula tried to have his horse Incitatus (Galloper) appointed as a priest and consul. Caligula took the instatement so seriously he actually had a huge pure marble stable built for the horse and filled it with the most lavish furnishings. Of course, the horse never sat on the luxurious chairs or couches, and instead preferred to hang around the servants who fed him oats mixed with gold flakes.

He Had A Whole Family Publicly Executed

Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most evil acts Caligula ever committed came when he had an entire family publicly executed. The debacle began when a Roman citizen had the guts to insult the hated leader to his face. Caligula responded by ordering guards to tie the man down and beat him with chains. At the same time, he sent other guards to gather the man’s family, and one by one he had the children publicly executed from oldest to youngest.

Caligula Took His Public Executions Too Far

Look And Learn

The crowd was so disgusted with the spectacle they started to revolt, and Caligula responded by focusing on the last remaining member of the family, a 12-year-old girl. The girl was a sorry sight—she had just watched her entire family get murdered, and was sitting sobbing in the street. According to Roman law, Caligula couldn’t execute her because she was still a virgin. As a way around that, Caligula coldly ordered the executioner to rape and then strangle her.

He Was Rumored To Have Had Public Sex With His Sisters


While his murder and torture rampages are pretty well documented, few people actually made official records about his acts of incest. In fact, only one historian, Suetonius (who was known to be pretty gossipy) published claims that Caligula had sex with his sisters in the open at banquets while guests walked around them. Other chroniclers, who lived the same time as Caligula, never mentioned his sisterly trysts.

Some Thought He Was Possessed By A Demon

Ancient Origins

While some ancient historians claimed he was into incest, others, who were persuaded by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, believed he was straight up possessed by a demon. Eventually, Caligula’s bad reputation got him killed a year before his 30th birthday. And, fittingly, he was stabbed to death in public right after he left his favorite event, the Circus Maximus. In the end, Caligula was so hated by the Roman people that they left his body to rot in the street and his remains were eaten by dogs.

12 Bizarre Victorian Slang Terms We Should Totally Bring Back 0 12

The Victorian era was not all prim and proper. In fact, people back then used quite a few creative and dirty slang terms. And it’s about time we brought back a handful of these totally funny and crafty phrases.

Bitch The Pot


In Victorian times, ‘bitch the pot’ meant pour the tea. We wonder how waitresses or waiters would respond today when told to ‘bitch the pot.’

Beer And Skittles

Wikimedia Commons

“Beer and skittles” meant having a good time during the Victorian era. Truthfully, beer and skittles still sounds like a good time.



“DAMFINO” was an abbreviated curse, which meant “damned if I know.” Who knew people in the Victorian times also loved to abbreviate curses?

Jammiest Bits Of Jam

Wikimedia Commons

In the Victorian era, if you were called the “jammiest bits of jam” it meant that you were an absolute perfect young female.



“Arfarfan’arf” meant a very drunk man. This Victorian slang term in particular might be worth bringing back.


Tumblr/Faces of the Victorian Era

“Chuckaboo” is today’s equivalent of BFF or your #squad.

Not Up To Dick


“Not up to dick” was something people in the Victorian era would say when they weren’t feeling well. Today, that means something slightly different.

Toast Your Blooming Eyebrows

Keystone-france/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

“Toast your blooming eyebrows” was a creative Victorian way of saying “fuck off.”

Mutton Shunter

Flickr/Greater Manchester Police

A “Mutton shunter” was the Victorian way of calling police, “pigs.”

To Snuff A Bloke’s Candle

The Daily Mail

“To snuff a bloke’s candle” meant to kill someone.


LSU Library Archives

A “strumpet” was slang for a prostitue.



In the Victorian era church bells not only helped people kept track of time and their daily prayers, but it was also a slang term for a talkative woman.

Editor Picks