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Thread: I didn't know this about Martha Raye...........!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix

    Thumbs up I didn't know this about Martha Raye...........!!

    Most of the old time entertainers were made out of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop.

    The following is from an Army Aviator friend who takes another trip down memory lane:

    Attachment 45866

    It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook ( CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear.

    There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF ( Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. 'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'.

    We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a 'Smart-Ass' USAF Captain said to Martha.... Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process,there would not be time for your show!

    To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said.....Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduse' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical, take me to your wounded. He said, yes mam'.... Follow me.

    Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.

    Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft. Bragg .

    Attachment 45867
    Last edited by Brent Dowell; 05-29-2010 at 01:08 AM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Cool story, Don. Here's a bit more info I found on her Wikipedia page:

    In appreciation of her work with the USO during World War II and subsequent wars, special consideration was given to bury her in Arlington National Cemetery upon her death, however, at her request, she was ultimately buried with full military honors in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft. Bragg. Although many sites trumpet the fact that Martha Raye was a full Colonel in the US Army Reserve and a Nurse, with a surgical specialty, these were just honorary titles. Ms. Raye was a lifelong entertainer and would not have had time to serve in the Army Reserve in addition to her TV, Radio, Stage and other entertainment commitments.
    She was definitely a trouper and a trooper.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I always liked her comedy and she had an incredible voice.

    I never knew about the other side of her. What an honor to be thought of the way the SF thought about her.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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