Walts on Screen and Actors Who Served

Donald Pleasence was a WoP. I don't know his squadron. I always thought it was 101st Flying from Ludford Magna in Lincs but I could easily be wrong here. His Lancaster was shot down in August 1944 and Sgt. Pleasence fortunately survived to be taken prisoner. It is sobering to think when watching 'The Great Escape' that not only was he the only leading actor in the production to see frontline action, he was the only one who knew remotely what it was like be 'thrust into the bag'
James Garner although not a POW did see front line service in Korea being wounded twice and receiving a CIB
charles Branson was a B29 gunner who flew 25 missions against Japan and received a Purple Heart
hannes messemer (the commandant) served on the eastern front and was a POW of the soviets
Nigel Stock was at Kohima and was mentioned in dispatches twice during the war
 

Awol

LE
James Garner although not a POW did see front line service in Korea being wounded twice and receiving a CIB
charles Branson was a B29 gunner who flew 25 missions against Japan and received a Purple Heart
hannes messemer (the commandant) served on the eastern front and was a POW of the soviets
Nigel Stock was at Kohima and was mentioned in dispatches twice during the war
CIB?
 
You forgot the other side, from IMDb:

Several cast members were actual POWs during World War II. Donald Pleasence was held in the German camp Stalag Luft I, Hannes Messemer in a Russian camp, and Til Kiwe and Hans Reiser were prisoners of the Americans. Pleasence said the set was a very accurate representation of a POW camp.
I am sorry about missing them out. I did not know. Equally regret that I did not check out James Garner or Nigel Stock.
 
I recall Christopher Lee of Dracula fame in what must have been one of his last TV interviews produce an award for service in the SAS. It seems he worked with partisans in Yugoslavia. I have not been able to verify this but I can't imagine he was a walt.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
James Garner although not a POW did see front line service in Korea being wounded twice and receiving a CIB

CIB?
Combat Infantry Badge.
 
I recall Christopher Lee of Dracula fame in what must have been one of his last TV interviews produce an award for service in the SAS. It seems he worked with partisans in Yugoslavia. I have not been able to verify this but I can't imagine he was a walt.
He was.
Lee was a well known 'raconteur' even in a profession which is full of them.
His main claim was that he had served with Popski's Private Army but even decades after the war, if ever asked to elaborate, it was a case of "Sorry, old man, Official Secrets Act, can't say more"
 
He was.
Lee was a well known 'raconteur' even in a profession which is full of them.
His main claim was that he had served with Popski's Private Army but even decades after the war, if ever asked to elaborate, it was a case of "Sorry, old man, Official Secrets Act, can't say more"
He was however a very good shot.
Brig Vandeleur told the tale of Lee ( who was a friend of his wife) stopping over for dinner. It was a warm evening and through the open French windows they could hear a commotion from an ornate glass sided bird feeding house. Mrs V complained that the grey squirrels were allways scare ing the birds off.
Mr Lee asked if they had a gun. ( Joe had an Arsenal, most of it off ticket!)
So a 22 with iron sights was produced. Mr Lee then from a standing position in the house proceeded to shoot the eye out of a squirrel without breaking any glass. Joe paced the shot at 42 yds.!
live seen the birdhouse at his old house at pinkeneys Green, and I would have needed a telescopic and a rest.
 
He was.
Lee was a well known 'raconteur' even in a profession which is full of them.
His main claim was that he had served with Popski's Private Army but even decades after the war, if ever asked to elaborate, it was a case of "Sorry, old man, Official Secrets Act, can't say more"

A walt; really?

'Christopher Lee first enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in decoding German cyphers.

'He was then posted to North Africa where he was based with the precursor of the SAS, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

'While leapfrogging from Egypt across Tobruk to Benghazi, Lee moved behind enemy lines from base to base sabotaging Luftwaffe planes and airfields along the way.

'After the Axis surrender in 1943, Lee was seconded to the Army during an officer swap scheme, where he officiated the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during The Battle of Monte Cassino.

'After working with the LRDG, Lee was assigned to the Special Operations Executive, conducting espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers.

'For the final few months of his service Lee, fluent in several languages including French and German, was tasked with tracking down Nazi war criminals alongside the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. He saw Nazi concentration camps first-hand.

'Of his time within the organisation, Lee said "We were given dossiers of what they'd done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority". Lee then retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

'Although his service records remain classified and Lee himself was reluctant to discuss anything about his service, after his retirement he'd been individually decorated for battlefield bravery by the Czech, Yugoslav, British, and Polish governments.

'He was also on personal terms with Josip Broz Tito, presumably after their mutual involvement with the Partisan resistance movement (widely cited as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe).'


 
A walt; really?

'Christopher Lee first enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in decoding German cyphers.

'He was then posted to North Africa where he was based with the precursor of the SAS, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

'While leapfrogging from Egypt across Tobruk to Benghazi, Lee moved behind enemy lines from base to base sabotaging Luftwaffe planes and airfields along the way.

'After the Axis surrender in 1943, Lee was seconded to the Army during an officer swap scheme, where he officiated the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during The Battle of Monte Cassino.

'After working with the LRDG, Lee was assigned to the Special Operations Executive, conducting espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers.

'For the final few months of his service Lee, fluent in several languages including French and German, was tasked with tracking down Nazi war criminals alongside the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. He saw Nazi concentration camps first-hand.

'Of his time within the organisation, Lee said "We were given dossiers of what they'd done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority". Lee then retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

'Although his service records remain classified and Lee himself was reluctant to discuss anything about his service, after his retirement he'd been individually decorated for battlefield bravery by the Czech, Yugoslav, British, and Polish governments.

'He was also on personal terms with Josip Broz Tito, presumably after their mutual involvement with the Partisan resistance movement (widely cited as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe).'


That figures, Brig Vandeleur struck me as the kind of man who wouldn’t entertain bulls#tters.
 
That figures, Brig Vandeleur struck me as the kind of man who wouldn’t entertain bulls#tters.

I think the point of contention is whether Sir Christopher Lee ever said that he was a member of the LRDG/SAS, rather than that he served with them. That the media may have interpreted an utterance of the latter as meaning the former is a fault of the media, though that he didn't clarify the issue does show a measure of willingness to accept the embellishment of his service record.
 
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Karl Malden was 8th AF
Technically a propaganda film, the credits show the USAF got full cooperation
 
18 year old Cpl Mel Brooks, came ashore in Normandy with a mine detector and, cleared mines on the beach,under fire.

He was also in Bastogne fighting alongside the 101st Airborne during the 5 day siege.

He's also a very funny man !
 

Awol

LE
A walt; really?

'Christopher Lee first enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in decoding German cyphers.

'He was then posted to North Africa where he was based with the precursor of the SAS, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

'While leapfrogging from Egypt across Tobruk to Benghazi, Lee moved behind enemy lines from base to base sabotaging Luftwaffe planes and airfields along the way.

'After the Axis surrender in 1943, Lee was seconded to the Army during an officer swap scheme, where he officiated the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during The Battle of Monte Cassino.

'After working with the LRDG, Lee was assigned to the Special Operations Executive, conducting espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers.

'For the final few months of his service Lee, fluent in several languages including French and German, was tasked with tracking down Nazi war criminals alongside the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. He saw Nazi concentration camps first-hand.

'Of his time within the organisation, Lee said "We were given dossiers of what they'd done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority". Lee then retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

'Although his service records remain classified and Lee himself was reluctant to discuss anything about his service, after his retirement he'd been individually decorated for battlefield bravery by the Czech, Yugoslav, British, and Polish governments.

'He was also on personal terms with Josip Broz Tito, presumably after their mutual involvement with the Partisan resistance movement (widely cited as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe).'


So after all that, he wasn’t promoted at all?
 
'
I think the point of contention is whether Sir Christopher Lee ever said that he was a member of the LRDG/SAS, rather than that he served with them. That the media may have interpreted an utterance of the latter as meaning the former is a fault of the media, though that he didn't clarify the issue does show a measure of willingness to accept the embellishment of his service record.
I think the interview in which Mr Lee produces the SAS 'evidence' may be on You-Tube. A July 2015 piece in the Spectator by Gavin Mortimer strongly indicates he 'embellished' details of his wartime service.
 
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So after all that, he wasn’t promoted at all?

Not sure what you mean. He joined the RAF as a cadet, was medically washed out of pilot training so became an Aircraftsman, was promoted LAC, commissioned as a Pilot Officer and retired in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.
 

Awol

LE
Not sure what you mean. He joined the RAF as a cadet, was medically washed out of pilot training so became an Aircraftsman, was promoted LAC, commissioned as a Pilot Officer and retired in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.
Fair enough, but the post I was quoting said he joined as an officer which means he was promoted just the once, which considering his achievements, seemed odd.
 

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