Lesser Known Facts About World War II

Yogi Berra in the US Navy. Bronx Pinstripes

4. Yogi Berra Quit Baseball to Join the Navy

An 18 time All Star and 10 time World Series winner (more than any other player in MLB history), Yogi Berra is one of only five players to have ever won the American League MVP three times. After his playing days were over, Berra went into coaching and managing. Between 1947 and 1981, Berra was a player, coach, or manager, in every New York team that made it to the World Series. All in all, he appeared in 22 World Series, and won 13 of them. Less known about Yogi Berra is that he took a break from baseball to fight in WWII.

The New York Yankees signed up Yogi Berra in 1942, but he decided to trade in the white jersey with blue pinstripes for navy blue, and joined the US Navy. He ended up serving as a gunner’s mate aboard the USS Bayfield, an attack transport. On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, Berra served on detached duty aboard a Navy rocket boat, lobbing missiles and firing machine guns at German positions on Omaha Beach. He was also sent to Utah Beach, to support the GIs there. Berra’s craft came under enemy fire, but luckily for him and for baseball, he escaped injury.

Advertisement