Theodore's World: James Garner R.I.P Korean War Vet, Two Time Purple Heart Recipient and Legendary Actor and a Friend of Ours

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July 21, 2014

James Garner R.I.P Korean War Vet, Two Time Purple Heart Recipient and Legendary Actor and a Friend of Ours

James Garner, 5th Regimental Combat Team veteran dies at age 86

James Garner was also a veteran of the Korean War and two-time recipient of the Purple Heart. Garner’s first injury was to the face and hand from an enemy mortar round.

Always one for a good laugh, even on himself, Garner no doubt cracked a few jokes about his second injury from “friendly fire. “ Diving headfirst into a foxhole on April 23, 1951, the handsome Soldier was hit in the butt as rounds flew from a U.S. fighter jet overhead. It wasn’t until 32 years later that the government saw fit to award Garner the second Purple Heart.

Prior to being in the Army, James Garner was a Merchant Mariner, a job for which he was apparently very well suited, minus the part about not being able to overcome chronic seasickness. After leaving the Merchant Marines, he joined the National Guard, but after just seven months he was deployed to Korea as a Soldier in the Regular Army. He served with the 5th Regimental Combat Team a regiment of the United States Army infantry established in 1808 and continues to this day. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment deployed in February 2014, to Herat Province, Afghanistan.

Best known to older fans as Bret Maverick in TV western series "Maverick" , James Garner entertained younger fans with his more recent big screen roles in "Victor/Victoria," "Space Cowboys" and "The Notebook." Somewhere in between, are dozens of episodes of “The Rockford Files” which, although officially ended in 1980, are still in syndication due to immense popularity.

In one of the true love stories in Hollywood, James Garner and Lois Clarke Garner were married in 1956 until his death yesterday. Although James Garner suffered a stroke in 2008 and was reportedly in poor health recently, news reports say he died of natural causes.

Wild Thing's comment..............

Nick worked with James Garner many times. He was a friend of ours and he was truly a very kind and funny man.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 21, 2014 12:55 AM


One wonderful AMERICAN has left US too soon! He was not a Hollyweirdo.

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at July 21, 2014 05:41 AM

I met James Garner at my post in Camau South Vietnam in 1967. He volunteered to make "handshake" tours to smaller posts in the Delta. He was truely a gentleman more interested in asking about us than in promoting himself. Both before and after I met James Garner I thought of him as a gentleman and very entertaining actor.

War veterans such as Garner, Ernest Borgnine and James Arness offered lots of good clean entertainment to their American audiences in the 60's and 70's.

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at July 21, 2014 01:26 PM

Darth I agree, he was one of the good guys and not a weirdo.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2014 11:52 PM

Tom thank you for sharing about meeting him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 21, 2014 11:54 PM

When I was stationed in ~MBAFB~ SC and ~SPANG~ West Germany (A-10 / F-4 support mission) our pilots came from your necks of the woods in Southeast Asia from 1966-1973 ! THEY were truly of THE RIGHT STUFF and before MB had the A-10's they had the A-7D Corsairs and F-100 Super Sabres who were also TDY in SE Asia! HAIL to the 354th TFW Green Demons and Hawks and Panthers (353rd).

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at July 22, 2014 08:22 AM