Wayne Never Served in WW2

Although appearing in many war films and frequently being eulogized as an "American hero," Wayne never served in the Armed Forces, although he made an effort to, and he was greatly patriotic. Between 1940, when the military draft was reinstated and the end of World War II in 1945, he remained in Hollywood and made 21 movies. (Among them was Cecil B. DeMille's Reap the Wild Wind (1942), in which he portrayed one of the few less-than-honorable characters in his career.) He was of draft age (34) at the time of Pearl Harbor in 1941, but asked for and received a deferral for family dependency, a classification of 3-A. This was later changed to a deferment in the national interest, 2-A.

john wayne

John Wayne and other famous cowboys


Rounding up some wild horses

Wayne appeared in many strong masculine ("macho") roles in western films and war films, but he also had a down-to-earth sense of humour which allowed him to appear in a pink bunny suit for an episode of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, as well as in comedy movies. According to the Internet Movie Database Wayne played the male lead in 142 of his film appearances, an as yet unsurpassed record. One of Wayne's best roles was ironically in one of the few films he made that wasn't a Western or war picture. The film was The High And The Mighty released in 1954. The movie was directed by William Wellman and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. Wayne played the co-pilot of a plane that develops serious engine problems in flight. His portrayal of the heroic airman won widespread acclaim. Sadly, this film has not been seen for many years due to lawsuits and copyright issues with Wayne's estate. The film co-starred Robert Stack and Jan Sterling.