The plot strands contain a heavy dose of melodrama: In Hawaii just before Pearl Harbor, Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift, left) refuses to participate in his company's boxing tournament, so his commanding officer, Captain Dana Holmes (Philip Ober), lays on the harassment and extra assignments to break him. Meanwhile Prewitt falls in love with a thinly-disguised prostitute named Lorena (Donna Reed), but she won't marry him because she's saving up for a "respectable" marriage.
What's gay in all that?
1. Dana's lack of interest in his wife; he has "affairs," and Karen states that they're with women, but we never see any. Plus his intense interest in boxing in general, and Prewitt in particular. When his superiors discover that he is abusing Prewitt, he is fired, and sadly takes the photos of hunky boxers down from his office wall.
3. Maggio (Frank Sinatra) was gay in the original novel, and in the movie, he seems not particularly interested in women. In fact, the only time he expresses interest, he's trying to horn in on Prewitt's evening with Lorena.
Prewitt is so distraught over Maggio's death that he kills Judson and then goes AWOL himself, only springing back into action when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
4. The homoromantic bond between Prewitt and Maggio is intensified by Montgomery Clift's personal conflict over being gay. One biography of Clift suggests that he was cast precisely to add some "ambiguity" to the character. Burt Lancaster was also rumored to be gay at the time.