Close

Sun Subscriber Website Login






Please wait....
 
News Story
Updated: 02/10/2014 08:00:00AM

Gumley ‘died’ in John Wayne’s arms while making the ‘Sands of Iwo Jima’

Share this story:


SUN PHOTO BY DON MOORE

Leon Gumley of Sarasota looks at a movie poster on his living room wall advertising "Sands of Iwo Jima" in which he played with John Wayne after being a glider pilot in World War II.

SUN PHOTO BY DON MOORE

Leon Gumley today at 93.

By DON MOORE

Text Size:


Leon Gumley “died” in John Wayne’s arms as they fought their way up Mount Suribachi in the closing minutes of the 1949 World War II movie “Sands of Iwo Jima.” He played Marine Private Sid Stein and Wayne was Sgt. John Striker, the hero, who was also killed by a Japanese sniper’s bullet during the closing scene of the movie.

In reality, Gumley was a glider pilot during the Second World War who probably saved his own life, he maintains, by cracking up two planes while learning to fly in Texas 65 years ago. He never made it into battle with his glider. He stayed stateside until late in the war when gliders were of no more use to the invading Allied forces. At that point he switched and became a gunnery officer on a B-­29 “Super Fortress” and was in training in Fort Myers when the war ended.

You are currently not logged in
By logging in you can see the full story.

Subscribe to 
							the E-Edition
Get the Sun Delivered


ADVERTISEMENT