Marvel Creator Wounded in World War II

The new Marvel’s film, Captain Marvel, will open with a tribute to Stan Lee. Together with Jack Kirby he created almost all the Marvel comics. Kirby was the only one that served as infantryman on the battlefields in Europe.

In 1943 Kirby was drafted into the United States Army (Service Number: 32966619). He followed his basic training and joined F Company of the 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division in Europe in their drive through France. In September 1944 the men of the division received the mission to take the fortified town of Metz.

This proved to be the deadliest task of the Division throughout the war and Kirby witnessed it all by himself. From September 8 to 10, the 11th his regiment made a crossing over the Moselle River at the village of Dornot to the village of Corny. Unexpected, the Germans had set a trap for them. Kirby found himself on hell on earth.

Information from Hospital Admission Cards (NARA)

The men who made it across the Moselle were trapped in a patch of woods named after its shape: The Horseshoe Woods. Somewhere between the 8th and 14th of November, Kirby was wounded by bullet in his shoulderblade. He was treated at the battalion’s aid station to continue the fight. However, it was a cold month and the Moselle river was flooding. On November 14, Kirby was taken off the line with trench foot. It wasn’t until July ’45 that he was discharged from the hospital.

A couple of years ago a memorial was erected by the Thanks GI’s assocation
on the location where Kirby once fought. True Marvel fans might’ve recognized the war’s influence on Kirby’s work. However, for the rest of the people this information will give new understanding to the works of Captain America, Hulk and many other well known Marvel characters that were created by Kirby.

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