Crash Course: Little Known History – Marilyn Monroe


Little-known history that somehow got missed by the history books.

Pictured: July 1942,  A rare picture of 16 year old (Norma Jeane Mortenson) Marilyn Monroe along with husband James Dougherty, West Virginia

In 1943, during World War II, Dougherty enlisted in the Merchant Marine. He was initially stationed on Santa Catalina Island off California’s coast, and Monroe lived with him there in the town of Avalon for several months before he was shipped out to the Pacific. Frightened that he might not come back alive, Monroe begged him to try and get her pregnant before he left. Dougherty disagreed, feeling that she was too young to have a baby

While Dougherty served in the Merchant Marine, his wife began working in the Radioplane Munitions Factory, mainly spraying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspecting parachutes. The factory was owned by movie star Reginald Denney. During that time, David Conover of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ First Motion Picture Unit noticed her and snapped a series of photographs, none of which appeared in Yank magazine

In September 1946, Monroe filed for divorce. Dougherty, served with divorce papers while aboard a ship on the Yangtze river in China, reported that he tried to persuade his wife against the divorce upon his return, but she refused.