James Arness (Gunsmoke) As a private in the famed Third Infantry Division he earned a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Because of his stature, he was chosen to be first off the landing craft (to test the depth of the water) when his division landed at Anzio, Italy. He was subsequently wounded by enemy machine gun fire and spent eighteen months recovering in overseas and stateside hospitals. On a personal note, My Dad, Arness and Audie Murphy all served together in Italy. Different companies.