Actor Lee Marvin Giving Tribute to the Heroism of Fellow Marine Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo)–Fiction!
Summary of 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.
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.
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.”