Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was a professional baseball player and manager, playing left field for the Boston Red Sox and managing the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
In January 1942, Williams was drafted into the military, being classified 1-A, physically fit for duty. A friend suggested that since he was the sole support of his mother, he should petition the draft board to be reclassified 3-A. The board rejected the request and his attorney got involved. They went up the chain and, ten days later, he was classified 3-A. This set off a negative reaction from the American public and his sponsor, Quaker Oats, cancelled his contract. As a result of all the negative publicity, Ted Williams enlisted in the Navy Reserve on May 22, 1942. In January 1943, he went on active duty, swithched to the Marine Corps and was sent to Pensacola, Florida. Upon graduating his training he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant as a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps on May 2, 1944.
Williams was discharged from the Marine Corps on January 28, 1946 in time for spring training with the Red Sox. He continued to play ball until he was recalled from inactive reserves on January 9, 1952. He passed his physical on April 2nd, and was activated and promoted to the rank of Captain and sent to Korea. He returned from Korea and rejoined the Red sox in August of 1953. He played ball until 1960 when he retired as an active player.
In Korea, Williams was assigned to VMF-311, Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), based at the K-3 airfield in Pohang, South Korea. He completed 39 missions before being withdrawn from flight status as a result of pneumonia and an ear infection. This was the same unit that John Glenn was a member and Williams flew as Glenn's wingman for the last half of his missions.
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