An Airman's Story: Staff Sergeant Charlton Heston

Born on October 4, 1923, in the suburbs outside Chicago, Staff Sergeant Charlton Heston spent his childhood in the woods of Northern Michigan, returning to the Chicago area later, graduating from New Trier High School and Northwestern University on a drama scholarship.

Staff Sergeant Charlton Heston joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944 in response to World War II, spending his enlistment as a radio operator and machine gunner for the 77th Bombardment squadron's B-25 Mitchells in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

After his enlistment ended, Staff Sergeant Sergeant Charlton Heston worked as a highly prolific actor, starring in more than 80 productions, including The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, and Planet of the Apes (1968 version). 

During his career, he was known for supporting the Civil Rights Movement, joining a picket line outside of a segregated Oklahoma City Theater showing El Cid. He was also spotted picketing segregated Oklahoma City restaurants during the same trip. Staff Sergeant Charlton Heston was also a vocal Second Amendment supporter.

On April 5, 2008, he died at home after several years of failing health.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

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