Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CELEBRITY FACTS #3 - James Doohan Lost a Finger in the D-Day Invasion

James Montgomery "Jimmy" Doohan was a Canadian character and voice actor best known for his role as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the television and film series Star Trek. Doohan's characterization of the Scottish Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise was one of the most recognizable elements in the Star Trek franchise, and inspired many fans to pursue careers in engineering and other technical fields. He also made contributions behind the scenes; such as initial development of the Klingon and Vulcan languages.

At the beginning of the Second World War, Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and was a member of the 14th (Midland) Field Battery, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. He was sent to England in 1940 for training. He first saw combat landing at Juno Beach on D-Day. Shooting two snipers, Doohan led his men to higher ground through a field of anti-tank mines, where they took defensive positions for the night. Crossing between command posts at 11:30 that night, Doohan was hit by six rounds fired from a Bren Gun by a nervous Canadian sentry: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his right middle finger. The bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case given to him by his brother. His right middle finger had to be amputated, something he would conceal during his career as an actor.

While great efforts were taken in Star Trek to hide his missing finger, there are several episodes where one can witness it: Cat’s Paw; Day of the Dove; and The Lights of Zetar.  Also in a scene in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

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