The Vietnam War is not over for some folks. We have documentaries that have examined the conflict, and movies that remind us about what our troops lived through during the 1960s. One of those movies starred a brilliant actor who lived in San Francisco for many years.
Robin Williams played Adrian Cronauer, a United States Air Force sergeant who was a radio personality and disc jockey in Vietnam in 1965 through 1966. Here is the trailer of the movie that was released in 1987:
Williams first performance took place at the Holy City Zoo in the mid-1970s, where he worked his way up from tending bar to getting on stage. This was one of the first a comedy clubs in San Francisco that helped fuel the City’s comedy renaissance. Sadly, Williams left us in August of 2014. He was 63 years old.
Adrian Cronauer co-wrote the original story for Good Morning, Vietnam. In addition to his radio credentials, he earned a law degree and practiced information and communications law. He also worked on behalf of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency- http://www.dpaa.mil – giving families information about activities to locate MIAs.
As recently as December 10, 2015, Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy D. Hill, 21, of Wichita, Kansas was identified. On January 21, 1968, the helicopter he was in with five other soldiers was struck by enemy fire and crashed in Vietnam. His remains were returned to his family for burial with full military honors. There are more than 1,600 American service members that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
Here is Cronauer explaining his work and giving us his famous greeting: