Mature Wants To Be Warrant Officer
By Louella Parsons
October 24, 1943
Hollywood - Victor Mature, thinner, handsomer and every inch a hero, in his new chief petty officer's uniform, paid his first visit in Hollywood to me. With Carol Schroeder, magazine editor, in tow, Vic telephoned me as soon as the Army cargo transport deposited him in town. Thirty minutes later he was in my office.
The hunk o' man has turned serious. He is so imbued with the spirit of his job in the Coast Guard and so eager to do it well that all else seems unimportant.
Vic wears a ribbon on his chest that shows how many foreign places he has been and what action he has seen.. The guy ... is interested in only one thing - to help get the war over and do his part.
... Victor Mature today is asking for only one thing and that is help for the boys who wear the uniform. He wants letters for them, credit for the Coast Guard and an appreciation of what they are enduring to make victory possible. He is not talking for Victor Mature either, but for the 164,000 boys in the Coast Guard.
I had heard that Victor was going to school so I asked him.
"No," he said, "my ambition is to be a warrant officer in the Coast Guard. That's the highest a non-commissioned man can get - and he earns it. Besides, I am a thoroughbred peasant and I belong with the men - that's where I will do the most good.
"I got steamed up when I came back from active duty (not only for myself, but for the kids who have been lost, or physically disabled) by some fresh guy saying: "Hey, you shallow-water guy."
"Do you know that members of the Coast Guard have been in every major battle and have often led the way?"
"What do you advise the girls to write to the boys overseas?" I asked.
"Just don't sign their letters 'As ever,'" he said. "That's a sign-off that none of them understand. Say "Love and kisses.' 'Fondly,' anything but don't say 'As ever.'"
"And by the way," said Vic, "do you know a girl for me to take out tonight?"
That - from the hunk 'o man - the Don Juan of Hollywood