Actor Lee Marvin
Giving Tribute to the Heroism of Fellow Marine Bob Keeshan (Captain
Summary of the eRumor: The message says that Lee Marvin appeared
on the Tonight Show in the 70's when host Johnny Carson brought up
Marvin's record in the Marines. Carson said people may not
have known that Marvin fought in Iwo Jima, one of the best known
battles of World War II, and was awarded the Navy Cross.
Marvin then tells a story of heroism in battle about the bravest man
he ever knew who was also awarded the Navy Cross...Bob Keeshan who
later became best known as Captain Kangaroo.
The Truth: This story almost complete fabrication.
Lee Marvin and Bob Keeshan did both serve in the Marines.
Before his death in January, 2004, we checked with Bob Keeshan, who
was living in Vermont, and he
said he never served at Iwo Jima, was not presented with the Navy
Cross and, in fact, never saw combat.
There is no record of Lee Marvin at Iwo Jima or winning the Navy
Cross. According to a biography that we have on file at
TruthOrFiction.com, Marvin did see a lot of action in the Pacific
participating in the invasions at Kwajalein and Eniwetok and was
wounded in Saipan, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Marvin is buried in Arlington Cemetery.
In March, 2008, somebody combined the stories of Captain Kangaroo, Lee
Marvin, and another about the popular children's television personality
Mr. Rogers into a single email---saying that all three of them were war
heroes. CLICK HERE for the
eRumor about Mr. Rogers.
(Last updated 3/26/08)
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Dialog From a Tonight Show circa '70's ... Johnny
Carson ... His guest was Lee Marvin.
Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are
unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima ...
and that during the course of that action you earned the Navy Cross and
were severely wounded."
And you know how Lee was ...
"Yeah, yeah ... I got shot square in the ass and
they gave me the cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up
Suribachi ... bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys
gettin' shot hauling you down. But Johnny, at Iwo I served under the
bravest man I ever knew ... We both got the Cross the same day but what
he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison. The dumb
bastard actually stood up on Red Beach and directed his troops to move
forward and get the hell off the beach. That Sergeant and I have been
life long friends.
"When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the
Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me lying on my belly on the
litter ..."Where'd they get you Lee?"... "Well Bob ... if
you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the
outhouse."....."Johnny, I'm not lying ... Sergeant Keeshan was
the bravest man I ever. Knew ... Bob Keeshan ...You and the world know
him as Captain Kangaroo."