RIP, Ed McMahon

I knew Ed McMahon was a Marine, but not the details. This post gives some details of his service. (I got the text as part of an email blitz from a friend. I am not 100% sure of its veracity, but take it with that caveat). Col. McMahon was quite a guy, and he did more that is worthy of respect than Michael, or even Farrah.

He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He never got to fly his fighter aircraft, but he saw his share of raw combat. He flew the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, which is a single engine slow-moving unarmed plane. He functioned as an artillery spotter for the Marine batteries on the ground and as a forward controller for the Navy & Marine fighter / bombers who flew in on fast moving jet engines, bombed the area and were gone in seconds. Captain Ed was still circling the enemy looking for more targets, all the time taking North Korean and Chinese ground fire.


I grew up on The Johnny Carson show. I was half comatose in high school from sleep-deprivation since I watched Johnny (which ended at 1:00 a.m.) and then often watched Tom Snyder on the Tomorrow Show (which ended at 2:00 a.m.) then I had to be up and out the door by 7:30 a.m. for school. This was good training for a lifetime of sleep deprivation. Johnny, Ed, Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra were part of my daily routine. Yet another link to a very different world now broken.

This belated obituary is out of respect for Col. McMahon’s service to our country. Rest in Peace, sir.

2 thoughts on “RIP, Ed McMahon”

  1. I can’t help but think that the military experiences of that generation in WWII and Korea gave them a broader and more practical view of the world than their successors. Up until the the 1970’s, most of the major talents in entertainment industry had at least served in the military and a lot of them had seen combat. Today, no one in the entertainment industry has ever served much less seen the elephant. There isn’t any major stars like Jimmy Stewart left in Hollywood.

    I think this explains why Hollywood and other related fields fall so readily for anti-military, anti-democracy political mythologies. All they actually know of such affairs comes from, well, movies.

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