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News Archive: 2017

The Cowboy Is a Patriot: Gene Autry in World War II
Autry Museum Case

Posted July 20, 2017

The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California recently debuted a special case titled "The Cowboy Is a Patriot: Gene Autry in World War II."

July 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of Gene Autry's enlistment in the U.S. military during World War II. Before the war began, Autry was the iconic singing cowboy, entertaining millions through radio, records, film, and in-person performances. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, risking his life, sacrificing career opportunities, and lifting the morale of his fellow Americans. After the war, Autry would rebuild his career in a changing America. This new case features artifacts from Autry's military service, including his aviator helmet, goggles, and ID cards from his USO performances in the South Pacific near the end of the war.

The special case will be on view through the summer of 2018 in the museum's Imagination Gallery.

For more information on Gene Autry's service in World War II, read more on our website here.

More from the Autry Museum

Installation of the Autry Museum case
"The Cowboy Is a Patriot: Gene Autry in World War II."

Autry Museum design staff add the framed Gene Autry movie lobby card from Bells of Capistrano to the wall.

Gene Autry's service during World War II, both in uniform in the Army Air Corps and as a performer for the USO, are presented in this case.

The script and the transcription disc from the Gene Autry Melody Ranch radio show broadcast of July 26, 1942 are on display. Gene was sworn in to the Army Air Corp live on this radio show.

"The Cowboy is A Patriot: Gene Autry in World War II" case will be on view through the Summer of 2018 at the Autry Museum of the American West.

Gene Autry being sworn in to the Army Air Corp on July 26, 1942 live on his Melody Ranch radio show.

Cover of the 1943 songbook "Sgt. Gene Autry Presents His Favorite Patriotic and Hillbilly Songs."

When Gene was released from his military duties in the Army Air Corps he toured with a USO troupe in the South Pacific.


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