Clint Eastwood was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He was sent to Ft Ord in California for basic training. While there he lucked into a position as a swimming instructor and was able to remain at Ft Ord. While there he also worked nights and weekends as a bouncer for the NCO club.
While returning from Seattle where he had been visiting his parents, Eastwood caught a ride on a Navy plane. While off the coast of San Francisco, the plane developed engine trouble and was forced to make a water landing. Eastwood had no choice but to swim over a mile through the tide to shore.
After his time in the Army, Eastwood attended L.A. City College and studied drama under the GI Bill. This led to his first contract with Universal Studio, and then on to his long and distinguished career in Hollywood.