Of all the the members of his family who did their part for the war effort, none did more than Lee Marvin himself. Dropping out of high school in Florida and enlisting in the Marines on August 12, 1942, the rare images below that he sent home, depict the raw recruit practicing his bayonet stance and his Marine salute on Parris Island as he he himself states in Lee Marvin: Point Blank.
When basic training was complete, he received advanced training that allowed the teenager to proudly showed of his class A uniform and well-earned sharpshooter medals he wrote about in Lee Marvin: Point Blank…
Once overseas and in the midst of the Marines Pacific island-hopping campaign, Marvin sported a mustache and a much more mature look in his eye than can only come from witnessing the horros of real war.
A rare moment of respite is shown below between skirmishes with the Japanese on such islands as Tarawa, Kweijalean, and Eniwetok, before the bloody battle of Saipan in June, 1942 which would almost take his life. Of the harrowing experience, he would simply tell his parents, “I have had my fill of war.” The bullet that nearly killed him resulted in a 13-month convolesence whilte the rest of his outfit was decimated on Iwo Jima, Pvt. Lee Marvin was given an honorable discharge in July, 1945.