John Wayne was once seen as the quintessential all-American male. Yet his legacy has changed over the years, particular after old interviews have been seen by modern audiences. But even back in his heyday, a particular question had been posed about the man. Why didn’t he serve in World War II?
In the ’40s, men who were considered “draft dodgers” could well expect their peers to look down on them. And throughout his career, Wayne was surrounded by people who had enlisted and done their part for the war effort. Clark Gable, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart were just some of them.
But was Wayne really a draft dodger? Lots of different information about the actor’s actions during the war era has come out over the years. Perhaps he did want to serve, but he couldn’t? Or maybe he enjoyed the Hollywood lifestyle so much that leaving it for the military was unthinkable to him? As with many things surrounding Wayne, it’s controversial.