World War II put everyone on the same playing field. For one of the first times in modern history, all eligible people were required to serve their time, no matter who they were. While celebrities of the era might have had a bad reputation, it didn’t stop them from stepping up and doing their bit for their country. These famous people got up close and personal with the battlefield, giving it their all during the Second World War.
- Christopher Lee
One of the best actors of his generation, Christopher Lee was no stranger to real life conflict. Having enrolled in the Royal Air Force in 1940, the actor played a huge part in defeating the German Army. There were no airs and graces put on for Lee, either, and over the course of his time, he gained a reputation for being one of the most skilled killers on the battlefield. His defining WWII moment came during the secret Luftwaffe airfield attacks. Along with his group of fellow soldiers, Lee flew through the skies ahead, showering down attacks on the Nazi camps set up below.
- Audrey Hepburn
While she might have gained a reputation for being a waif and a floozy on film, in real life, Audrey Hepburn was prepared to do anything for peace. Having moved to the Netherlands just after the outbreak of WWII, Hepburn was caught up in the Nazi occupation that followed shortly afterwards. With her family executed or sent to concentration camps, Hepburn dedicated herself to the resistance effort, running messages and holding secret recitals in order to raise money. Performing in the events, Hepburn collected crowds from all around, but spectators were forbidden from making a sound in fear of attracting the nearby Nazi troops.
- Julia Child
Despite having earned herself a reputation for her culinary efforts, Julia Child was about so much more than good food. Before she made her name on the foodie scene, Child worked as an intelligence officer during the war. While she initially volunteered at the OSS Headquarters in Washington, she soon worked her way up the ranks, entering into the Secret Intelligence Division. Working with top secret documentation, Child performed essential work to the war effort, helping to defeat the Nazi troops.
- Roald Dahl
One of the world’s best loved authors, Roald Dahl committed himself to the resistance effort during WWII. While he was writing some of his most popular children’s books, Dahl also served as a “flying ace” pilot for the British Air Force. The task was not without its dangers and after six months on the job, Dahl was eventually involved in a crash close to Egypt. Despite this, he still continued to the job after having recovered, flying on several more important missions in the following months.
5. Joe DiMaggio
Despite being one of the world’s most famous baseball stars at the time, Joe DiMaggio still did his bit for his country by signing up for the U.S. Army Force in 1943. At the height of World War II, DiMaggio was sure to come into contact with a great deal of conflict, but even that didn’t put the sportstar off the prospect. Despite his wanting to do his bit for his country, however, DiMaggio was granted privilege after privilege by the U.S. Army. After his demands to be put out on the field were turned down, he seemed to lose hope with the whole thing, never realizing his plans of combat.
6. Henry Fonda
While he was enjoying one of the most successful acting careers in the world at the time, Henry Fonda wasn’t content with merely staying behind the camera lens. Despite having acted out some of the most high octane scenes in cinema at the time, the star was determined to do his bit, stating “I don’t want to be in a fake war in the studio”. Fonda followed through on his promise, too, and in the heart of WWII, he set aside his Hollywood career to serve the United States.