Something I didn’t know about (the late) Ed McMahon

| June 23, 2009
Ed McMahon -- veteran of two wars

Ed McMahon -- veteran of two wars

He served in two wars (WW II and Korea), flew 85 combat missions in Korea, and achieved the rank of Colonel in the USMC:

When the United States began gearing up for World War II, McMahon wanted to become a Marine fighter pilot. Since the Navy’s V-5 program required two years of college, he enrolled in Boston College. When the Navy relaxed the two-year requirement, McMahon dropped out of school and signed up. In early 1943, he first went to a civilian-run Wartime Training School in Texarkana where the Navy evaluated cadets’ potential by checking them out in a Piper Cub. Then came the three-month Preflight School at Athens, Georgia. McMahon received primary training at Dallas and intermediate training at Pensacola. McMahon received the single engine carrier syllabus and was assigned to the Marines. After receiving his commission and wings in early 1945, McMahon was sent to the Corsair Operational Training Unit at Lee Field, Green Cove Springs, Florida. Upon completion of training, he was “plowed back” and became an instructor in the same unit. On the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, McMahon received orders to join the Marine carrier program on the West Coast. His orders were cancelled and he returned to civilian life.

After McMahon graduated from Catholic University, he got a job in television in Philadelphia. In two years, he had become Philadelphia’s top TV personality. In 1952, McMahon got his big break when he was offered a job in New York with CBS; however, he was recalled into the Marine Corps due to the Korean War. After several months of training at Miami and El Toro, McMahon arrived in Korea in February 1953. He flew 85 artillery-spotting missions in the Cessna OE Bird Dog before returning home in September 1953. . . . McMahon remained active in the Marine Reserves retiring as a full colonel in 1966.

Makes me look at him in a whole new light.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Military, Obituary, Television

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.