On June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed Omaha Beach in the Normandy Invasion, known as D-Day.
A few of those soldiers were established actors or later pursued a career in Hollywood. Here are a few of those men that served in D-Day:
Lt Col David Niven, Royal Marine Commando, Normandy 1944
David Niven: The British actor was a Lt. Colonel of the British Commandos. He also worked in the intelligence branch and was later assigned to the U.S. First Infantry.
Niven was one of the first officers to land at Normandy. He later was one of 25 British soldiers to be awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit Medal, according to a 1983 book by Don McCombs and Fred Worth.
Alec Guinness in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Alec Guinness: The British actor operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.
Richard Todd during World War II
Richard Todd: Capt. Todd was one of the first British officers to land on D-Day. Todd was part of the British airborne invasion, that took place June 5 through June 7. During Operation Overlord, Todd’s battalion were the reinforcements parachuted in after the gliders landed and captured Pegasus Bridge to prevent German forces crossing the bridge and attacking.
Todd’s battalion was led by Major John Howard, who Todd played in “The Longest Day”(1962). The beret that Todd wears in the film is the one he wore on D-Day.
Robert Montgomery in his Naval uniform during World War II.
Robert Montgomery: American actor Montgomery enlisted in World War II before the United States entered the war.
Montgomery became a PT boat Lt. Commander and was part of the D-Day invasion on board the destroyer, USS Barton (DD-722).
After serving five years of active duty, Montgomery was awarded a Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Ribbon, the European Theater Ribbon with two Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, and promoted to the rank of Lt. Commander. (1904-1981)
Actor Charles Durning during World War II. He served in the United States Army.
Charles Durning: American actor Durning served in the United States Army. He was in one of the first waves to land on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion. Durning was the only soldier in his company to survive, according to KPBS broadcasting.
Durning was wounded nine days after the landing and earned a Purple Heart. Durning was also awarded the Silver Star.
Actor James Doohan was shot several times during the Normandy Invasion.
James Doohan: Canadian actor Doohan served in the Canadian Army. Doohan was in the Juno Beach invasion on D-Day. During the invasion, Doohan was shot in the leg, chest and lost his right middle finger.
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