LCDR Eddy Duchin, orchestra leader.
Eddy Duchin entered the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving as a combat officer in a destroyer squadron in the Pacific.
Duchin enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and requested combat duty. Because he had perfect pitch, he was trained in the use of submarine-detecting devices at the Naval Training School at Northwestern University in Illinois and at a Submarine Chaser School. After a few months' service on patrol boats, he attended Sound School and was then assigned to Destroyer Escort work as a Sound Officer and took part in the D-Day operations off Normandy in 1944. His ship also participated in Third Fleet Pacific operations, including the Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions. After a course at the Commanding Officers' School at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Duchin was named Operations Officer for a destroyer squadron and, at the end of 1945, was discharged as a Lieutenant Commander.
After his discharge from the military, Duchin was unable to reclaim his former stardom in spite of a brave stab at a new radio show in 1949. On February 9, 1951, Eddy Duchin died at age 41 in New York City of acute myelogenous leukemia. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo: Eddy Duchin circa 1945