In stark contrast to the reputation of Ted Williams as a bona fide war hero, The Smoking Gun today published U.S. Military documents that portray Joe DiMaggio (above, right) as “a deeply selfish soldier desperate for a wartime discharge”, despite the Yankee Clipper never seeing combat.

Major Emile Stoloff, chief of neuropsychiatry, and Major William G. Barrett detail DiMaggio™s frequent hospitalizations, brought about when the athlete would complain of abdominal pain. Though DiMaggio frequently contended that he suffered from an ulcer, Stoloff noted that œno evidence was found to support this œalleged history. Barrett referred to DiMaggio™s œnatural tendency to protect himself by adopting those diagnoses and opinions which would lead to release from his present unhappy situation.

Citing his purported peptic ulcer and œnervous condition, DiMaggio argued that these maladies warranted his immediate discharge. He was convinced, however, that military brass wanted to continue reaping the public relations benefits of having such a high profile athlete remain in the Army. With the country at war, DiMaggio, a staff sergeant, believed he had been œexploited by the Army and made œan exhibitionist, an apparent reference to the fact that DiMaggio played on Army baseball teams. As a result, he was œsomewhat bitter about this discrimination, Barrett reported.