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70 Years Ago: Joe DiMaggio Enlists

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Joe DiMaggioOn this date 70 years ago, the newest enlistee within the U.S. Army Air Force was none other than legendary New York Yankees’ center-fielder Joe DiMaggio.  At age 28, ‘The Yankee Clipper’ was in the prime of his career, already a seven-time world champion and only one year removed from his super-human 56-game hitting-streak.  Like fellow future hall-of-famers Ted Williams, Warren Spahn and Stan Musial, the number of records, pennants and championships DiMaggio might have amassed during his three seasons of wartime service remains a subject of frequent speculation and debate.  Assigned as a physical fitness instructor, DiMaggio repeatedly requested combat duty, even while his parents – first generation Italian immigrants – were classified as ‘enemy aliens’ by the United States’ government.  Though ‘Joltin’ Joe’ never saw combat, DiMaggio rose to the rank of sergeant before being discharged in September 1945, claiming six more world championships before his retirement as a Yankee in 1951.

This post by Collin Makamson, Red Ball Express Coordinator @ The National WWII Musuem

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