English II PAP
September 21, 2011
Celebrity Roles in World War II
Lights. Camera. Action! The celebrities of Hollywood, California were enjoying a life of luxury in the year 1939. Whether they were starring in an upcoming picture, performing a newly written song, or throwing the party of the year, these famous socialites were living the life. But all of that changed on December 8th, 1941 when the United States declared war a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was the United State’s official entry into World War II.
Soldiers were the major contributors to the war, but they were not the only ones; celebrities also helped win the war. Julia Child is one example of a celebrity who contributed to the war effort. After finding out she was too tall to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) she began her career as a typist for the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) at its headquarters in Washington D.C. Because she was so educated and experienced, she was not like the other typists at the OSS. Julia Child worked as a top secret researcher working directly for the head of the OSS, General William J. Donovan. After being posted in Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), she registered, cataloged and channeled a great amount of classified communications for the OSS’s clandestine stations in Asia. Child later received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service after being posted in China as head of the Registry in the OSS Secretariat due to her hard work and her many virtues. With her contribution, America was more capable of winning the war.
Another American hero and Hollywood celebrity was James Stewart. He was most well known for his role in the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in 1939; he won the Best Actor Award for this role. After receiving his Commercial Pilot’s certificate in 1938, he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1940 at age 36. He was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base and trained...