In honor of those who served our country in the armed forces, this San Marino Tribune article continues a series of individual salutes to our courageous veterans.
By Mitch Lehman
During his illustrious career in entertainment and broadcasting that followed, Jack McQueen worked with such household names as Sinatra, John Wayne, Walter Cronkite and more, but in 1945 he was just “Private.”
After graduating from what was then known as Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte High School (housed in the current building Monrovia High School still occupies that was designed, ironically, by his father), McQueen enlisted in the United States Army. World War II was ending and a wet-behind-the-ears McQueen was shipped off to Fort Lewis, Wash. for training.
At this point, it’s probably important to add that McQueen has landed his first job in commercial radio as a junior reporter at a Los Angeles radio station while still in high school.
“They found out,” McQueen says sheepishly. “They dragged me in to do fights, basketball games, anything that happened on the base. One night, the head of Armed Forces Radio in Hollywood came to watch a basketball game and sat down right next to me at the broadcast table. It made me a little nervous. I thought he was there to check on me. After the game, he turned to me and said ‘How would you feel about going down to Los Angeles and being a part of Armed Forces Radio? We have a facility that broadcasts to the entire Pacific as well as overseas. I said, ‘yes, Major, that’s where I come from.’ My orders came through 30 days later.”
For the full story, see the print edition of the San Marino Tribune, or download the e-edition.