The Baseball Hall of Famer smashed 521 home runs during his career in spite of missing nearly five full seasons to serve in the military. During World War II, the Boston Red Sox slugger trained as a pilot and gunner but did not see any combat. After playing just six games of the 1952 season—and homering in his last at bat—Williams was recalled for military service and deployed to Korea. Williams flew 39 combat missions as a Marine Corps pilot, including several as Glenn’s wingman. The 16-time All Star’s plane was hit by enemy gunfire at least three times, and he was lucky to survive a wheels-up “belly” landing after one of his missions. Williams was formally discharged following the cease-fire in July 1953 with three air medals.
We honor you, Ted Williams.