I've grown up hearing my dad tell me about the time he was in flight training school in Corpus Christi, Texas during World War II and he met Tyrone Power. My dad was a cadet and Power was, as dad recalls, a First Lieutenant. They were standing with a Captain and Power offered to buy my dad a Coke. Unfortunately, the room where the Cokes were was officer's only so my dad had to say no, but he's always liked that he was asked. Later that day when my dad was flying Power was flying in formation next to him.
In August 1942, Tyrone Power enlisted in the Marine Corps. He attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and then attended Officer's Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on June 2, 1943. Because he had already logged 180 solo hours as a pilot prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps, Tyrone Power was able to go through a short, intense flight training program at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, where he earned his wings and was promoted to First Lieutenant. Power arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina in July, 1944 and was assigned to VMR-352 as an R5C transport copilot. The squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California in October 1944. Power was reassigned to VMR-353 and joined them on Kwajalein in February 1945. He flew cargo and wounded Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa. He returned to the United States in November 1945 and he was released from active duty in January 1946. He was promoted to Captain in the reserves on May 8, 1951 but was not recalled for service in the Korean War.
In the June 2001 Marine Air Transporter newsletter, Jerry Taylor, a retired Marine Corps flight instructor, recalls memories of World War II. He speaks of training Tyrone Power as a pilot, saying, "He was an excellent student, never forgot a procedure I showed him or anything I told him." Others who served with him have commented that he was well-respected by those with whom he served. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Tyrone Power was a very handsome and talented man who died very young, age 44. It always makes me pause when I find out the age some of these people died. Their lives seemed so full and yet I've technically, year wise, outlived them. I guess that would be the true definition of a movie star. They shown brightly, no matter how briefly, and left behind a trail of stardust.
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I don't think we have many movie stars these days. We have actors and we have celebrities. Sometimes the actors are also celebrities. Sometimes actors end up as celebrities because they lose sight of their importance in the scheme of things. Lindsay Lohan started out as a good actress and then something went terribly wrong. I can't imagine anyone making a post card of her home. Perhaps a post card showing a map of L.A. with a dotted line showing all the clubs she went to in one night. That's a post card I can imagine. Sorry, I used to like the girl, but she'll never be a movie star. She's forever relegated to celebrity. She'll never match the luster of someone like Tyrone Power. Of course, in the days Power was working the studio system still existed so his personal identity was being defined by publicity departments. Perhaps a good thing. Lohan could do with a lot less publicity and instead a department to redefine her image because she's proven inept at doing it herself. Sad, very sad.