Have you read the Book on Martha Raye?
Most of you are
too young to know her.
She was amazing.
If you like reading
you can contact Fortin.
It took Noonie Fortin 7 years
of collecting letters from VETS
etc to finish this book.
Martha Raye's Parents were Irish Catholic's and had a Vaudeville act.
She was almost born in a trunk.
I remember THE MARTHA RAY SHOW
She has TWO stars on the hollywood walk of fame.
Ray recieved the MEDAL of FREEDOM in 1993.
She died 1994 of pneumonia and Alzheimers. ( just like my Mom)
Most of the old time entertainers were made out of a lot sterner
stuff than today's crop of activists and whiners
I needed to share this::::
I met her in the 60's She was such a charming woman.
The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip
down memory lane:
It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying
dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku.
We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook
(CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.
All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear.
There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye,
with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues,
with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook,
and carrying the dead aboard.
'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'.
We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.
As we all started unloading our sad pax's,
a 'Smart Ass' USAF Captain said to Martha....
Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process,
there would not be time for your show!
To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said....
Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve,
and on this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse,
with a surgical specialty....now, take me to your wounded.
He said, 'yes ma'am.... Follow me.'
Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku,
she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Everyone involved appreciated her as an outstanding trouper and a caring person. During the Vietnam War, she was made an honorary Green Beret because she visited United States Army Special Forces in Vietnam without fanfare, and she helped out when things got bad in Special Forces A-Camps. As a result, she came to be known affectionately by the Green Berets as "Colonel Maggie.
Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.