Dick Van Dyke, solidly 18 years old at that point, made good on his plans to join the U.S. military’s efforts in World War II, and in 1944 enlisted with the Army Air Forces, according to The Washington Post. Already a seasoned performer thanks to his participation in high school drama and choir, Van Dyke was assigned to a soldier entertainment division, as the Armed Forces figured that would best utilize the young man’s skills and strengths.
However, in order to join the fighting overseas, Van Dyke had to leave high school earlier. He permanently departed Danville High School in March 1944, during his senior year and just a few months before his impending graduation. When the war ended, Van Dyke returned to the U.S. and began his career in entertainment, which never really stopped. As a result, he never officially completed high school.
Finally, in 2004, 78-year-old Van Dyke received his diploma. According to The News-Gazette, Van Dyke received his certificate of graduation from Danville High School at the end of a homecoming weekend celebrating the actor, now a member of the class of 1944.