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Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Official U.S. Navy photograph, ca. 1945 & Newspaper Article, 1990

ephemera
Photograph 8 x 10 inches
Notes: Photo shows Douglas Fairbanks Jr. aboard a battleship on North Atlantic convoy duty. Verso Reads: "Released Official Navy Photograph. If Published credit line must read OFFICIAL U.S. NAVY PHOTOGRAPH"
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Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr., KBE, DSC (December 9, 1909 – May 7, 2000), was an American actor and producer, and a decorated naval officer of World War II. He is best known for starring in such films as The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), Gunga Din (1939) and The Corsican Brothers (1941). He was the son of actor Douglas Fairbanks and was once married to Joan Crawford.

Although celebrated as an actor, Fairbanks was commissioned as a reserve officer in the United States Navy when the United States entered World War II and was assigned to Lord Mountbatten's Commando staff in the United Kingdom.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him special envoy to South America. Fairbanks served on the cruiser USS Wichita during the disastrous Convoy PQ 17 operation.

Having witnessed (and participated in) British training and cross-Channel harassment operations emphasizing the military art of deception, Fairbanks attained a depth of understanding and appreciation of military deception then unheard of in the United States Navy.

For his planning the diversion-deception operations and his part in the amphibious assault on Southern France, Lieutenant Commander Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy's Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French Légion d'honneur and the Croix de guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross.

Fairbanks was also awarded the Silver Star for valour displayed while serving on PT boats and in 1942 made an Officer the National Order of the Southern Cross, conferred by the Brazilian government.

Among his other exploits was the sinking of the corvette UJ-6083 (formerly the Regia Marina Gabbiano-class Capriolo) while in command of a mixed division of American PT Boats and British Insect-class gunboats plus assorted other small craft. Fairbanks commanded from HMS Aphis.

Fairbanks stayed in the US Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired as a captain in 1954.

Lot Name
Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Official U.S. Navy photograph, ca. 1945 & Newspaper Article, 1990
Media
ephemera
Size
2 pieces
Date
ca.1945, 1990
Estimate
$20- 30

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