How did James Doohan (Scotty in "Star Trek") lose a finger in real life?
James Montgomery Doohan (1920-2005) was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
He served in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. He also served as a pilot and saw combat in Europe during World War II, including the D-Day invasion of Normandy, in which he was wounded, apparently by friendly fire.
Shooting two snipers, at Juno Beach, Doohan led his men to higher ground through a field of anti-tank mines, where they took defensive positions for the night.
Crossing between command posts at 23:30 that night, Doohan was hit by six rounds fired from a Bren gun by a nervous Canadian sentry: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his right middle finger.
The bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case given to him by his brother but his right middle finger had to be amputated, something he would conceal on-screen during most of his career as an actor.
He was among many World War II veterans to publicly thank Steven Spielberg for not holding back on the intensity of the Normandy Invasion scene in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998).