Adolphe Jean Menjou
b. 18 Feb 1890 - d. 29 Oct 1963
(World War I, Ambulance Service)
In 1906, young Menjou's father, a hotel manager, disapproved of his boy's early interest in show business and him to Culver Military Academy in Indiana for his senior year of high school in the hopes of dissuading him from such a reckless and disreputable career. He went on to Cornell University where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and returned to his early interest of stage and screen work. World War I interrupted his fledgling career and he enlisted in to the US Army Ambulance Service in June of 1917.
In my search for information on his time in service, I uncovered a few Service Abstracts and can follow where he rose from Corporal to first Lieutenant on October 15, 1917 and again to Captain on May 11, 1918. He served overseas from June 7, 1918 to May 1, 1919. He was honorably discharged from the Army on May 10, 1919 and awarded the Italian War Service Ribbon.
Following his discharge, Menjou resumed his career and proceeded to appear in over 100 productions culminating with his 1958 performance of the ruthless General George Broulard in WWI war film, Paths of Glory. He toured with USO groups during World War II entertaining troops in England and participated at the Hollywood Canteen in California.
In 1947, Menjou shifted his focus to the defeat of Communism and its' associated politics. He cooperated with the House Committee on Un-American Activities in its creative witch hunt. Menjou was also a leading member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group formed to oppose communist influence in Hollywood thatincluded fellow Hollywood Republicans Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor and John Wayne.