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Harry Dean StantonHollywood's Zen Rebel$
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Joseph B. Atkins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180106

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180106.001.0001

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“Riding a Stick of Dynamite”

“Riding a Stick of Dynamite”

(p.27) 2 “Riding a Stick of Dynamite”
Harry Dean Stanton

Joseph B. Atkins

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter details Harry Dean's military service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was one of several actors who served in the South Pacific, including Lee Van Cleef, Lee Marvin, and Harry Dean's future acting teacher Jeff Corey. Following a description of life in Navy boot camp, the chapter discusses service on an LST (landing ship, tank), which Harry Dean described as "riding a stick of dynamite." He was ship's cook on the hardware-carrying USS LST-970, which saw service in the Battle of Okinawa -- the last major battle of the war -- and faced the death-defying missions of Japan's kamikaze pilots. The Navy lost more ships in this battle than at any other time in its history. "I was damn lucky I didn't get blown up or killed," Harry Dean said about the experience.

Keywords:   South Pacific, U.S. Navy, LST, Okinawa, Kamikaze, World War II

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