Blue blood has flowed as red from Britain's war wounds as any other kind of blood. For Britain's peers understand one prerequisite for those who would rule a democratic empire—they know how to die for it. Of all England's foreign wars, World War I took the heaviest toll of blue blood. World War II's toll may be even heavier.
Latest aristocratic casualty is Lord Stuart, youthful heir to the Earldom of Castle Stuart, who died on the Italian front. Two years ago his elder, brother was killed in North Africa. Other aristocrats who have died in World War II:H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, 39, brother of King George VI. He was killed in an airplane crash, flying to Iceland (1942).
The Duke of Wellington, 31, sixth of his line, who was also a Netherlands prince, a Spanish grandee, a Portuguese count. He was killed in Italy last year. To a mess steward who doubted his identity, the Duke once explained: "It's the same name so many pubs have."
The Marquess of Hartington, 26, eldest son & heir of the tenth Duke of Devonshire, owner of a 20,000-acre estate, husband (for four months) of ex-Ambassador Joseph Kennedy's daughter, Kathleen. He was killed in France a month ago.
The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, 35, 20th of his line, who succeeded to the title as a child after his father's death in World War I. A man of many parts (Australian sheep rancher, sailor before the mast, rare-books collector, scientist), he became one of Britain's leading bomb-disposal experts, was blown to pieces (with seven of his staff) by a bomb three years ago.
Lord Lyell, 30, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for valor in North Africa last year. Lord Lyell lived as a Scottish laird, died in a bayonet grapple inside a German gun pit. He was the first peer to win Britain's highest award in World War II, the fifth ever to win it.
Lord Shuttleworth, 26, captain Royal Artillery, killed in action last year. The third Baron Shuttleworth, he was also the third of his family to die in battle. His father was killed in World War I; his brother was killed in the Battle of Britain.
Lord Clive, 38, a direct descendant of Cliveof India. One of the tallest men in the House of Lords, he sat there as17th Baron Darcy de Knayth, a peerage created by Edward III. A fighterpilot in the R.A.F., he was killed last year.
Lord David Douglas-Hamilton, 32, son of the 13th Duke of Hamilton, Scotland's No. 1 peer. A boxer who captained Oxford, he married Prunella Stack (Britain's "Perfect Girl"), with whom he toured Britain preaching physical fitness. Their son, born in July 1940, was a "perfect boy." Last August, Squadron Leader Douglas-Hamilton was shot down, killed.
Sir Robert Peel, 21, sixth baronet; ordinary seaman, Royal Navy. A descendant of the famed British Prime Minister who founded the London police force, he was drowned when Japanese planes dive-bombed and sank his ship in the Indian Ocean two years ago. His mother, comedienne Beatrice Lillie, learned backstage of her only son's death, went on with her show. She inherited his fortune of £150,000.
While the U.S. had no such aristocracy, it did have Hollywood Stars and Sports Stars risking their lives for their country. Only one, Glenn Miller, did not make it home alive. Here is an (admittedly) incomplete list of actors, producers, writers and athletes who served in WWII. Some were famous before they served, and others earned their fame only after the war.
Eddie Albert,USN, Well decorated for service in the Pacific
James Arness, US Army, Rifleman
Desidero A. Arnez, US Army-Special Services
Gene Autry, USAAF, flying over the Burma Road
Lew Ayers, Anti-war but served as a medic in the US Army in the Philippines
Robert "Bob" Barker, USN F4U Pilot
Richard Boone, USN TBF Flight Crewman
Ernest Borgnine, USN in 1935 serving 10 years, 4 in combat
Mel Brooks, US Army, Combat Engineers, Mine clearing and deactivation
Charles Bronson, USAAF - 25 combat missions
Raymond Burr, USN
Red Buttons, USAAF Cpl
Frank Capra, USAAF-FMPU Col
Art Carney US Army, Wounded on D Day
Gower Champion, U.S.C.G.
Julia Child, OSS
Lee J Cobb, USAAF-FMPU Cpl
William Conrad, USN F4U Pilot
Jackie Coogan, USAAF Glider Pilot; CBI theater
Jackie Cooper, USN
Bill Cosby, Navy, Gunners Mate 3rd Class, Honorary Chief Petty Officer
Joseph Cotten, USAAF-FMPU
Robert Cummings,USAAF, Flight instructor.
Tony Curtis, USN, Submariner
Sasebu "Sabu" Dastigur, USAAF B-24 Gunner
Jim Davis, U.S.C.G.
Joe Dimaggio, Baseball star, USAAF, Special Services
James Doohan, US Army
Kirk Douglas, USN
Eugene "Gene" Evans, US Army Sgt.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, USN, Worked with British Commandoes
Peter Falk, Merchant Marines
Norman Fell, USAAF B-25 Gunner
Bob Feller, Baseball star, USN, Combat in the Pacific
Henry Fonda, USN
Glenn Ford, USMC, Camera crew from Normandy thru Europe.
John Ford, USN - FMPU Capt.
Larry Forrester, RAF Fighter Pilot
Clark Gable, USAAF, Too old to be a pilot but went on many combat missions
George Gobel, USAAF B-26 Flight Instructor
Arthur Godfrey, U.S.C.G.
Walter Grauman, USAAF B-25 Pilot 12th AF
Hank Greenberg, Baseball star, USAAF, Captain
Dashiell Hammett US Army Signal Corps
Red Harper, U.S.C.G.
Mitchell Healy, USAF Lt Bombardier
Van Heflin, USAAF-FMPU Lt
George Roy Hill, USMC F4U Pilot
Tom Harmon, USAAF, Burma Road, MIA for 30 days, WIA
Sterling Hayden, USMC, With the Yugoslav partisans
Van Heflin, US Army, Artillery officer
Charleton Heston, USAAF, Gunner on Bombers
William Holden, USAAF-FMPU
Tim Holt, USAAF Lt B-29 Bombardier
Dennis Hopper, U.S.C.G.
Ralph Houk, Baseball star, US Army, Tanks in Europe
Rock Hudson, (Roy Fitzgerald), USN
Russell Johnson, USAAF Lt Bombardier
Ken Kavanaugh, USAAF, Bomber Pilot
William Keighley, USAAF Command Staff 8th AF
Brian Keith, USN, Rear Gunner
Gene Kelly, USN, Documentaries for the Navy.
Ralph Kiner, USN, Bomber Pilot.
Arthur Kennedy, USAAF-FMPU
George Kennedy, USAAF Armed Services Radio
Norman Krasna, USAAF-FMPU
Alan Ladd, USAAF-FMPU Sgt
Arthur Lake, U.S.C.G.
Burt Lancaster, US Army Special Services
Tom Landry, later a Football Coach. USAAF after his brother was KIA
Harold Livingston, USAAF C-46 Pilot 8th AF
Joe Louis, Heavy-Weight Boxing Champ, US Army, Special Services.
Jock Mahoney, USMC F4U Pilot Instructor
Karl Malden, USAAF Cpl 8th AF
Lee Marvin, USMC, WIA.
Walter Matthau, USAAF SSgt 8th AF; 435 BG
Victor Mature, U.S.C.G.
Kevin McCarthy, USAAF Sgt
Ed McMahon, USMC, Flight Officer instructor
Harold McNear, USN
Gary Merrill, USAAF B-24 Air Crew
Ray Milland, USAAF Flight Instructor
Glenn Miller, US Army Maj Special Services (KIA)
Cameron Mitchell, USAAF Lt Bombardier
George Montgomery, USAAF FMPU
Robert Montgomery, USN, On PT boats and Destroyers
Clayton Moore USAAF FMPU
Wayne Morris, USN, Flew 57 combat missions, Fighter Pilot, Pacific
Audie Murphy, US Army, America's most highly decorated soldier in WWII
Stan Musial, baseball star, USN
Barry Nelson, USAAF Sgt
Paul Newman, USN TBM Crewman
Hugh O'Brian, USMC, Drill Instructor
Edmond O'Brien, USAAF Cpl
Laurence Olivier, RNAS Utility Pilot with 757 Sqn
Jack Palahnuik, USAAF B-24 Pilot
Jack Palance, USAAF, Badly injured and medically discharged
Sam Peckinpah, USMC
Sidney Poitier, USN, (under age)
Tom Poston, USN Pilot
Tyrone Power, USMC, Fighter Pilot
Robert Preston, USAAF Intelligence Officer 9th AF
Gene Raymond, USAAF Intelligence 8th AF; 97 BG
Ronald Reagan, US Army Reserves (bad eyesight), Made Training Films
Pee Wee Reese, baseball star, USN, Special Services
George Reeves, USAAF Sgt 8th AF
Lowell Rich, USAAF B-29 Navigator
Ralph Richardson, RNAS pilot 757 Sqn
Cliff Robertson, USN
Dale Robertson, USAF Pilot ATC
Jackie Robinson, baseball star, US Army
Gene Roddenberry, USAAF C-46 Pilot 8th AF
Andy Rooney, Correspondent Stars and Stripes
Mickey Rooney, US Army Special Services
Dan Rowan, USAAF, Pilot in the Pacific
Martin Ritt, USAAF PFC
Robert Ryan, USMC, Drill Instructor
George C. Scott
Peter Sellers, RAF Ground Crew
Richard B. "Red" Skelton, US Army Special Services
Enos Slaughter, USAAF
Kent Smith, USAAF-FMPU
Robert Stack, USN Aerial Gunner
Rod Steiger, USN
Craig Stevens, USAAF-FMPU
George Stevens, USAAF-FMPU
Jimmy Stewart, USAAF, Flew 20 Combat Missions in Europe
Ralph Story, USAAF P-51 Pilot 9th AF
John Sturges, USAAF-FMPU
Don Taylor, USAAF-FMPU
Robert Taylor, USAAF Flight Instructor
David Tomlinson, RAF Flight Instructor
Jack Warner, USAAF-FMPU LtCol
Dennis Weaver, USN F4U Fighter Pilot
Ted Williams, USMC, Flight Instructor
Woody Woodbury, USMC Fighter Pilot
William Wyler, USAAF-FMPU LtCol
Darryl F Zanuck, USAAF-FMPU Col