Gene Autry and WWII
CALHOUN COUNTY MUSEUM
Gene Autry (1907 – 1998) has been my western hero for years, especially when I learned he served in WWII from 1942 to 1946. My interest was piqued again when I found an original western novel Gene Autry and the Thief River Outlaws by Bob Hamilton copyrighted 1944. I knew Autry was flying cargo aircraft in 1944 and so I purchased the $1.00 book. The book listed other patriotic books available for adults and kids, many using other famous names. Gene Autry was a very successful singer, actor and businessman at age thirty-fi ve when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Special Services (entertainment branch). He was also a civilian pilot. After much effort he transferred to the Army Air Corps and became an Army Flight Offi cer assigned to the Air Transport Command at Love Field, Texas. He was rated on Army Trainers, the C-104 Cargo Aircraft and the Consolidated C-109 Tanker (B-24 Liberator Bomber converted for fuel hauler).
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