Sins of Omission

William Lundigan

Of our 20th-century wars World War II stands alone.  In a sneak attack early on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese naval forces bombed Pearl Harbor.  As reports were broadcast throughout the day American shock turned to anger.  The following day Congress, with but one dissenting vote—pacifist Jeannette Rankin—declared war on Japan.  We were a nation united.  We were also a nation that still believed in itself, knew its history, and honored its heroes.  Perhaps we should not find it surprising that Hollywood got behind the war effort and actors got into the war.  William Lundigan was one of these.

The grandson of Irish immigrants, William Lundigan was born to Michael Francis and Martha Elizabeth (née O’Brien) Lundigan in Syracuse, New York, in 1914.  By the time little Bill came into the world, his father was a highly successful proprietor of a shoe store.  Bill excelled in school and from a young age also worked part-time in his father’s store.  Three younger brothers would follow a similar path.

Bill Lundigan attended Nottingham High School in Syracuse and starred in several sports, including football.  He also began acting in plays on the local radio station, WFBL.  He already had a voice rich in timbre and resonance and had a mellifluous delivery.  While in college at Syracuse University and majoring in pre-law, he...

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