Clint Eastwood: The Wild Story of How He Survived a Plane Crash Into Shark-Infested Waters

by Samantha Whidden
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Although he is known for his successful Hollywood career, Clint Eastwood’s acting talents were almost never discovered. 

According to War History Online, Clint Eastwood actually survived a plane crash in shark-infected waters. This was all during his time in the U.S. Army. The now actor was drafted into the military branch for the Korean War in 1951. He was then sent to Ford Ord, California to complete basic training and where he worked as a swim instructor as well as a bouncer at the NCO club. 

While returning to California after a visit with his parents in Seattle, Clint Eastwood flew on a U.S. Navy AD-1Q Skyraider. The airliner was heading to Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. However, during the flight, Eastwood and pilot Lt. Francis Coleman Anderson’s aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Point Reyes. The duo notably survived because they had access to a life raft and managed to swim in the cold water. 

Clint Eastwood spoke about the incident by stating, “In those days, you could wear your uniform and get a free flight. One the way back, they had one plane, a Douglas AD. Sort of a torpedo bomber of the World War II vintage, and I thought I’d hitch on that. Everything went wrong. Radios went out. Oxygen ran out. And finally, we ran out of fuel up around Point Reyes, California, and went into the ocean. So we went swimming.”

Clint Eastwood further recalled that the event took place in late October or early November and the water was very cold. “Found out many years later that it was a white shark breeding ground, but I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time or I’d have just died,” he noted. 

Clint Eastwood Responds to Whether or Not His Film ‘American Sniper’ Glorified War 

While speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Clint Eastwood discussed his 2014 film “American Sniper” and if the film actually glorifies war. 

“I think it’s nice for veterans,” Clint Eastwood explained. “Because it shows what they go through, and that life — and the wives and families of veterans. It has a great indication of the stresses they are under. And I think that all adds up to kind of an anti-war [message].”

When asked if he considers himself anti-war, Clint Eastwood answered, “Yes. I’ve done war movies because they’re always loaded with drama and conflict. But as far as actual participation … it’s one of those things that should be done with a lot of thought, if it needs to be done. Self-protection is a very important thing for nations, but I just don’t like to see it.”

Clint Eastwood went on to add that he wasn’t a big fan of going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Outsider.com