ARMED FORCES: Solitude & the Stars

In 1940 the artistic talent of Louis Patton, then twelve years old, attracted the attention of a West Hartford, Conn, newspaper. Though frail and shy, Louis seemed ambitious, told the paper that he was willing to try anything—"soda jerking, maybe"—to earn enough money for a trip to Hollywood, where he wanted to work for Walt Disney. Four years later, when he was 16, Louis dropped out of high school. Explained his father, Orall Patton: "Louis couldn't stand the drinking by the high-school boys, especially their breath."

For the next nine years Louis...

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