John Wayne as Davy Crockett in The Alamo, (1960)

Wayne was a draft dodger. A phony hero.

No, John Wayne was not a draft dodger.  He was 34 years old at that time, with four children, and was an up-and-coming star when he really needed the money.  Plus, he went on to make great movies that did more for America than he ever could have done on the front lines.  (Hat-tip “New Frontier”)

To set the record straight, John Wayne did not “dodge the draft.” In fact, he was classified as “3-A” and he received a deferment due to his age and his dependents. Granted, he could have appealed the deferment, but he did not. And it is also important to note that he did not file for a deferment. It was Herbert Yates, the president of Republic Studios who filed (repeatedly) for a deferment, and he did not do so on behalf of Wayne. He did so in order to keep Wayne making pictures at Republic. I would also like to point out that it is incorrect to say, as some do, that Wayne “stayed behind and didn’t do his part.” The fact is, that Wayne received orders from the War Department to provide intelligence reports during his USO tours and visits to the troops near the front lines in the South Pacific, and he received two citations for his work during World War Two, one from the “War Agencies of the Government of the United States” for “Outstanding Service in World War II”; and the other from Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan for “Honorably Serving the United States of America as a Member of The Office of Strategic Services” in 1945 (The Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, was the forerunner of the CIA). So, no, John Wayne was not a “draft dodger,” and yes, he did serve his country during World War Two.