During the Second World War, while at the peak of his sporting career, Feller spent nearly four years in the Navy. He volunteered for the service immediately after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was initially assigned duty as a physical education instructor. However, he actively sought transfer to a combat position. Following gunnery training, he joined the newly-constructed battleship Alabama. As a member of her anti-aircraft gun team, he participated in combat action in the Pacific during the conflict's final two years. Feller left active duty in late 1945, shortly after World War II's conclusion.
By a 40mm quadruple anti-aircraft gun mount, probably on board USS Alabama (BB-60) in late 1942 or early 1943.
The original caption (released 5 March 1943) reads: "GUN CAPTAIN FELLER -- Bob Feller, one of the finest baseball pitchers of the era, is all set to do a different kind of pitching these days. As a Chief Specialist, he is the captain of a 40mm gun crew aboard one of Uncle Sam's new battleships. The former American Leaguer joined the U.S. Navy as a physical education instructor and later applied for Gunnery School. Subsequently he was assigned to sea duty and here he is -- grin and all -- beside his guns on a cold winter day."
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