Born on March 24th, 1930
From Beech Grove, Indiana
In Mississippi at the turn of the 20th century, 11-year-old Lucius McCaslin (Mitch Vogel) embarks on a journey he will remember for years to come. When Lucius' grandfather, Boss (Will Geer), buys an automobile, local handyman Boon (Steve McQueen) chomps at the bit to get behind the wheel. He gets the chance when Boss takes the train on an out-of-town trip. Approaching the impressionable Lucius, Boon is able to talk the youngster into a road trip with him and his friend Ned (Rupert Crosse).
In 1926, the USS San Pablo patrols the Yangtze River during the clashes between Chiang Kai-shek's communists and Chinese warlords. Eight-year veteran machinist Jake Holman (Steve McQueen), new to the self-named "sand pebbles" crew, immediately draws deep suspicion due to his independent streak. Ordered to protect Americans, including schoolteacher Shirley Eckhart (Candice Bergen), Jake and the gunboat crew are unwittingly drawn into a bitter nationalistic feud that holds grim consequences.