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France Honors Charles Durning

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France Honors Charles Durning

PostAuthor: Jim » May 1st, 2008, 7:03 am

Tuesday 4.22.08 »
France honors Charles Durning
Kevin Roderick
Actor Charles Durning landed on Normandy's Omaha Beach as a 17-year-old Army Ranger in June 1944. Before leaving Europe, he was wounded three times and awarded three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. He will receive France's highest honor, the National Order of the Legion of Honor, in a ceremony tonight at the French government's residence in Beverly Hills. From the official release:

In late June 1944, Charles was seriously wounded by a mine at Les Mare des Mares, France and spent almost 6 months recovering. When the German Ardennes offensive broke out in December 1944, he was rushed to the front lines and suffered severe bayonet wounds in hand to hand combat. On December 16th his unit was overrun and captured in Belgium by an SS Panzer Unit that was taking no prisoners. PFC Durning was one of only a few soldiers to escape and survive the subsequent notorious Malmedy massacre. With the 398th Infantry Regiment he moved into Germany where he was again seriously wounded in March 1945 and evacuated to the United States where he was discharged in January 1946.
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His significant honors include Academy Award Best Supporting Actor Nominations in 1982 and 1983, six Emmy Award Nominations, a Tony Award win in 1991 in the Best Actor-Play category, and 4 Golden Globe Nominations including a win in 1991 for Best Supporting Actor. In January 2008 he was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.


http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2008/ ... es_dur.php

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001164/bio
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PostAuthor: Sleepy Doc » May 1st, 2008, 12:42 pm

If you look in the dictionary under ""Man, (the motherfuckin')" , Charlie Durning is close to the top of the list.

I have always felt he is one of the greatest and versatile actors our country has, but I never knew about his wartime service until I saw a biography program on him. From what I understand he is a very gracious and modest person as well.


A more deserving person would be hard to find.
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PostAuthor: minus25 » May 1st, 2008, 11:07 pm

Just an idea, but would Mr. Durning qualify as a RHOF nominee?
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PostAuthor: Tater Nuts » May 2nd, 2008, 5:03 am

minus25 wrote:Just an idea, but would Mr. Durning qualify as a RHOF nominee?


Nah, he's actually done shit, actor nominees just have to pretend to have done shit, like Tom Hanks. :D
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PostAuthor: RANGER513 » May 2nd, 2008, 6:05 am

Obviously this man is a stud ........

but who really wants to be rewarded by France ???? :shock:

What do they give out ? A white flag medal with " R " device for retreating !!!!!????? :lol:
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PostAuthor: Flesh Thorn » May 2nd, 2008, 6:29 am

I really enjoyed Ranger Charles Durning as Pappy O'Daniel in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
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PostAuthor: Silverback » May 2nd, 2008, 6:41 am

Flesh Thorn wrote:I really enjoyed Ranger Charles Durning as Pappy O'Daniel in O Brother, Where Art Thou?


One of my favorite movies!
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PostAuthor: RGR Mac » May 2nd, 2008, 8:03 am

Silverback wrote:
Flesh Thorn wrote:I really enjoyed Ranger Charles Durning as Pappy O'Daniel in O Brother, Where Art Thou?


One of my favorite movies!


"We're in a tight spot"

I thought he was in the 29th ID, not a Ranger unit?
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PostAuthor: Flesh Thorn » May 2nd, 2008, 8:29 am

PFC Charles Durning, 85, of Los Angeles, California, served during World War II with the US Army Rangers, with a Field Artillery unit and with the 398th Infantry Regiment. Following US Army induction in January 1943 and basic training he was deployed to England in February 1944. Charles landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day 1944 early in the day as part of an Army Ranger Battalion, alongside the 1st Infantry Division. Although his unit suffered severe casualties he managed to reach safety. In late June 1944, Charles was seriously wounded by a mine at Les Mare des Mares, France and spent almost 6 months recovering. When the German Ardennes offensive broke out in December 1944, he was rushed to the front lines and suffered severe bayonet wounds in hand to hand combat. On December 16th his unit was overrun and captured in Belgium by an SS Panzer Unit that was taking no prisoners. PFC Durning was one of only a few soldiers to escape and survive the subsequent notorious Malmedy massacre. With the 398th Infantry Regiment he moved into Germany where he was again seriously wounded in March 1945 and evacuated to the United States. Charles Durning’s significant decorations include the Silver Star, awarded for valor in the Ardennes in December 1944, and the Purple Heart. After spending considerable time recovering from his wartime injuries, he was discharged at Fort Dix, New Jersey in January 1946.


http://westlaonline.com/wcnp_article.php?articleid=5
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PostAuthor: Jim » May 2nd, 2008, 9:44 am

Flesh Thorn wrote:
PFC Charles Durning, 85, of Los Angeles, California, served during World War II with the US Army Rangers, with a Field Artillery unit and with the 398th Infantry Regiment. Following US Army induction in January 1943 and basic training he was deployed to England in February 1944. Charles landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day 1944 early in the day as part of an Army Ranger Battalion, alongside the 1st Infantry Division. Although his unit suffered severe casualties he managed to reach safety. In late June 1944, Charles was seriously wounded by a mine at Les Mare des Mares, France and spent almost 6 months recovering. When the German Ardennes offensive broke out in December 1944, he was rushed to the front lines and suffered severe bayonet wounds in hand to hand combat. On December 16th his unit was overrun and captured in Belgium by an SS Panzer Unit that was taking no prisoners. PFC Durning was one of only a few soldiers to escape and survive the subsequent notorious Malmedy massacre. With the 398th Infantry Regiment he moved into Germany where he was again seriously wounded in March 1945 and evacuated to the United States. Charles Durning’s significant decorations include the Silver Star, awarded for valor in the Ardennes in December 1944, and the Purple Heart. After spending considerable time recovering from his wartime injuries, he was discharged at Fort Dix, New Jersey in January 1946.


http://westlaonline.com/wcnp_article.php?articleid=5


That would mean Durning was in 2d Ranger Battalion, which supported 1st Infantry Division. 5th Ranger Battalion was aligned with the 29th Infantry Division.
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PostAuthor: Flesh Thorn » May 2nd, 2008, 10:24 am

So there is probably a unit roster floating around for 2nd Ranger Battalion for D Day ?
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PostAuthor: minus25 » May 2nd, 2008, 10:35 am

There is a roster in Col. Robert Black's "The Battalion", Durning's name is not listed
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PostAuthor: Tater Nuts » May 2nd, 2008, 10:57 am

Before this award hit the press, I find many mentions of his heroism during WW2 but not one mention of his Ranger status. I suspect that somehow, probably not by Durning himself, the Ranger bit was added for cool factor by the press or possibly the French.
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PostAuthor: minus25 » May 2nd, 2008, 11:09 am

I just checked the appendix in Black's "Rangers in World War II" which has a roster for all the WWII Ranger Battalion's and Durning's name is not listed.
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PostAuthor: Jim » May 2nd, 2008, 11:23 am

I've noted a number of contradictions in the Durning story, but The words of Ronald Reagan on the 50th year celebration of D-Day still resound:

http://darbysrangers.tripod.com/id110.htm
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