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Bob Hope's Vietnam Christmas Tours

By Judith Johnson 
Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: December 23, 2009 
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Bob Hope was always the star and began each show by strutting on stage with his golf club, firing off jokes tailored to each base. And he always brought the outstanding glamour star from back home. On the 1967 tour, actress Raquel Welch joined Hope on stage to add a few crowd-pleasing dance moves to Bob's rendition of  "Dancin in the Streets." (All photos: National Archives)
Bob Hope was always the star and began each show by strutting on stage with his golf club, firing off jokes tailored to each base. And he always brought the outstanding glamour star from back home. On the 1967 tour, actress Raquel Welch joined Hope on stage to add a few crowd-pleasing dance moves to Bob's rendition of "Dancin in the Streets." (All photos: National Archives)

"And did you read where President Johnson just requested another $50 billion to cover the rising cost of the war? Wouldn't it be awful if we ran out of money and they repossessed the war?"

One of the few constants of the Vietnam War—one eagerly anticipated by American troops, that is—was the annual Bob Hope Christmas Show. From 1964 to 1972, Hope included South Vietnam on his annual trips to visit troops during the holiday season, a tradition that started for him during World War II. "Back in 1941, at March Field, California…I still remember fondly that first soldier audience," Hope once said. "I looked at them, they laughed at me, and it was love at first sight."

While only a small fraction of the 2.5 million troops who served in Southeast Asia actually got to attend Hope's performances, for those who did he managed to break the monotony, ease the loneliness and give the troops in combat zones across Vietnam a couple of hours of laughter—and a memory for a lifetime. Bob Hope's classic opening monologues of rapid-fire jokes always took jabs at the GIs and the specifics of the local situation.

Under a hot sun or a driving rain, his young audiences laughed and cheered the legendary comedian and his cast of singers, dancers and the musicians of Les Brown and his Band of Renown. Hope's shtick included a constant, sometimes bawdy banter with the other performers, taking plenty of shots at the absurdities of military life while conveying a real sense of how difficult it was for the troops to be away from home during the holidays.

Hope began taking his show on the road after the United States entered World War II and the United Service Organization (USO) started sending Hollywood and radio entertainers to perform for military audiences at bases in North Africa, Europe and the South Pacific. Already a giant movie and radio star, Hope traveled overseas six times, logging more than a million miles during World War II. At the outset of the Cold War in 1948, when the Soviets closed all ground travel from West Germany to Berlin, Hope's show followed the reserves sent by President Harry Truman to facilitate the airlift into the western sectors of Berlin. Later, Hope traveled to Korea in the early 1950s after North Korean troops invaded South Korea, and all during the 1950s his show played at military bases in Japan. By the 1960s, Hope's Christmas shows for troops overseas had become a fixture of America's traditional holiday season.

At Bien Hoa Air Base on Christmas Eve:
"I asked McNamara if we could come and he said, 'Why not, we've tried everything else!' "

As early as 1962, Hope wanted to go to Vietnam to perform for the growing contingent of American military advisers. Although planning moved at a steady pace for a 1963 show, the Pentagon ultimately pulled the plug on it because of what it considered too high a risk. Nevertheless, at age 61, Hope persisted and won approval for his first Vietnam shows in December 1964. With his new destination came a new twist to the shows: They would be filmed to be broadcast as holiday specials in early January of the next year.

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These filmed productions required a new level of effort in organization and execution to bring them to a new domestic audience. Hope remained the star and the driving force behind his tours. Other leading performers such as Connie Stevens, Ann-Margret and Joey Heatherton welcomed the opportunity to join him, despite the stress of travel into a far-flung war zone and the hardships they encountered there. Hope's Vietnam engagements were among the most dangerous ever for the funnyman and his entertainers.

On December 15, 1964, Hope's contingent left Los Angeles aboard a military transport aircraft large enough to carry the support staff and all the entertainers, including Les Brown and his band, the reigning Miss World, Anita Bryant, actresses Janis Paige and Jill St. John and comic actor Jerry Colonna, who had been part of Hope's group during World War II.

The tour covered 25,000 miles and included stops at Wake Island and Guam. They flew on to Korea for a performance in which Hope opened his monologue by labeling South Korea as "Vietnam North." He won thunderous applause when he cracked, "We had a little trouble landing in Seoul: Someone stole the runway."

Security was exceptionally tight for Bob Hope's first visit to Vietnam. Although the planners had made intricate arrangements through the offices of Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) prior to his December 24 landing, there had been no official announcements or confirmation of Hope's visit. And the locations of all his shows remained secret. Even Hope and his staff never knew the name of the base they were to perform at until they landed. Reporters noted that plans for Hope's visits to different areas were more secret than those for generals or Cabinet officials. Troops who made up the audiences were never told who would be visiting until the last minute.

Hope and his entourage were given stern warnings from MACV. While some were routine for any overseas travel—avoid all water and ice because none was safe to drink, and stay away from all milk products—the threats related to terrorism were especially serious. They were told to stay away from windows in restaurants and in their hotel rooms, and to keep their drapes closed. And a final caution: Drop to the floor when they heard an explosion. In spite of the dangers, the shows went on, but the sound of aircraft overhead during a performance always brought a startled look from Hope.

Hope's show schedule was a well-guarded secret on air bases or ships, until he touched down with his famous golf club.
Hope's show schedule was a well-guarded secret on air bases or ships, until he touched down with his famous golf club.
The first show in Vietnam, on Christmas Eve, began almost immediately upon landing at Bien Hoa air base, which the Viet Cong had bombed in November, destroying many aircraft. As soon as Hope reached the stage, he opened with a hearty "Hello, advisers! I asked Secretary McNamara if we could come and he said, 'Why not, we've tried everything else!' No, really, we're thrilled to be here in Sniper Valley. What a welcome I got at the airport…they thought I was a replacement."

Although a Communist attack was a real possibility, Hope appeared relaxed, swinging a golf club, which became a constant prop during his monologues. "I love the runway you have here," he quipped. "Great golfing country…even the runway has 18 holes."

After the show, the group moved to Saigon, where the dire warnings of danger literally exploded into reality. Hope and most of the performers stayed at the Caravelle Hotel, while Brown and members of the band stayed at the Continental Palace. Both were close to the Brinks Hotel, which served as a bachelor officers quarters for the Americans. That afternoon, a bomb flattened the Brinks, sent glass and other debris into some rooms of the Continental and shook the Caravelle. No one in the troupe was injured, but the explosion left all the hotels without water or electricity. True to form, Hope stitched this incident into his act at Tan Son Nhut the next day: "I want to thank General Westmoreland for that wonderful welcome yesterday. We opened with a bang!" And at the small outpost in the Mekong Delta, he joked: "A funny thing happened to me when I was driving through downtown Saigon to my hotel last night. We met a hotel going the other way."

Next up was a flight to Pleiku, a small helicopter base in the highlands near the border with North Vietnam, with heavy security in place for the visitors. Rumors had circulated that Hope's group was headed their way, but no one was sure until the airplane landed and Bob Hope walked onto the stage. "What a welcome," he declared. "Wherever we land we're met by thousands of cheering servicemen…they think it's Secretary McNamara with shut-down orders!"

Jill St. John did her stand-up routine with Hope, trading one-liners about her IQ and his golf score, and later in the show she performed the segment that became very popular with the servicemen, when they joined her on stage to dance the "Go-Go" to the beat of Les Brown's band.

At Da Nang, the tour's largest audience in Vietnam, Hope made light of the frequent changes in government that year: "Vietnam is a very democratic country, everyone gets to be president." As usual, he joked about military cutbacks and the aircraft he was forced to fly in: "It's one of the earlier jets…instead of afterburners, it has an oven and a bag of charcoal."

The last show on the 1964 Vietnam tour was at the seaside city of Nha Trang. At this and every performance, after a brief prayer from the chaplain, Anita Bryant closed the show by singing the first verse of "Silent Night," and asked the troops and other performers to join in on the second verse, a tradition that continued through all the show's years. The group left Vietnam on December 28 and flew to Clark Air Base in the Philippines for a show before heading home. Arriving back in Los Angeles on December 30, Hope told reporters, "This was the most exciting Christmas trip since 1943."

1964 NBC Broadcast:
"Let's face it…we're the Big Daddy of this world"

The 1964 trip set the pace and the pattern for all of Bob Hope's visits to American troops around the world for the next eight years. While the performers changed and the locations varied, Hope was always the star and began the shows by strutting on stage with his golf club in hand, firing off jokes tailored to each base. He always had the reigning Miss World and always tried to bring the troops the outstanding glamour star from back home. He started appearing onstage in military uniform shirts and jackets outlandishly decorated with patches, stripes, stars and insignias. And as the number of military personnel stationed in Vietnam grew each year, the tour's length expanded too.

Hope and his guest stars made stops at hospitals and on ships to visit with wounded servicemembers.
Hope and his guest stars made stops at hospitals and on ships to visit with wounded servicemembers.
All the shows were filmed live and later edited down to 90-minute television specials broadcast on NBC in January, sponsored by Chrysler and run commercial-free. The telecasts featured not only the entertainers, but also plenty of shots of the U.S. troops, including footage of the Christmas meals they shared together, and Hope's visits to the hospitals and hospital ships. At the end of the 1964 telecast, Hope displayed his more serious side:

"We want to thank Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara for making this Christmas trip possible….Let's face it, we're the Big Daddy of this world….I talked to a lot of our fighting men over here and even though they're putting up a great fight, against tremendous odds in this hide-and-seek war, they're not about to give up, because they know if they walk out of this bamboo obstacle course, it would be like saying to the commies, 'come and get it.' That's why they're laying their lives on the line everyday….And they said thank you….I don't think any of us ever had a better Christmas present."

For the 1965 tour, Hope's troupe flew for 22 hours in a C-141 and spent much of the flight in rehearsal. Stopping at Guam to refuel, the cast put on a full 2½ hour show.

The American escalation had a direct influence on Hope's shows. Within a year, the number of American military bases had multiplied, troop levels increased eight-fold, to 180,000, and so had the size of Hope's audiences. Two fighter escorts accompanied the entertainers to Tan Son Nhut on Christmas Eve, and the cast was rushed to the site of the show. Hope took the stage and announced to the crowd of 12,000 that he had to "come to Vietnam to see his congressman," referring to the flood of members of Congress who made frequent jaunts to Vietnam at the time.

The troupe flew next to Cam Ranh Bay, where Hope, sauntering across the stage wagging his golf club, scolded the troops: "I don't know what you guys did to get here, but let that be a lesson to you!" Baking in the hot sun, the troops roared in agreement.

Joey Heatherton dances the "Watusi" with a serviceman aboard USS Roosevelt during the 1965 tour.
Joey Heatherton dances the "Watusi" with a serviceman aboard USS Roosevelt during the 1965 tour.
Hope looked relaxed and genuinely enthusiastic—even in the withering heat—when he delivered his monologue at Bien Hoa for the 173rd Airborne Brigade on Christmas Day. His guest star Carroll Baker, hot off the movie Harlow, bantered with him and Colonna, Kaye Stevens sang for the troops and Joey Heatherton danced the "Watusi" with servicemen who were brave enough to step up to the stage.

On their flight north to entertain the Marines at Chu Lai, Hope's plane lost an engine on the way, and they arrived late. Hope then set the mood, opening with: "Other bases here in South Vietnam invited me; this one dared me!" Later, at Da Nang, the monsoons caught up with them, and they performed through a heavy downpour. It was here that Hope had some serious reflections on what he was seeing among the troops he was meeting. After the show, Hope told an interviewer: "The kids here seem more optimistic than those at home. They have more confidence in our leaders."

Bob Hope performed 22 shows and visited five hospitals in 1965. Each show lasted more than two hours, and typically there were two performances a day. Every tour he made to South Vietnam drew the attention not only of American fighting forces, but of the enemy as well. It was not unusual for the Communists to fire on or attack a base shortly after the show ended. After each show at Pleiku in the Central Highlands, the Viet Cong would shell the area.

Christmas Tour 1966:
"The country is behind you 50 percent"

In 1966, for the first time in many years, Bob Hope's partner and friend since the tours in WWII, Jerry Colonna, was unable to join the troupe after suffering a stroke. Nevertheless, Hope's company, featuring guest stars Phyllis Diller and Heatherton, left Los Angeles on December 16, and by Christmas they were at Cu Chi. Actress Chris Noel, who was asked by Hope to join the show for this performance, arrived on a chopper in time to join him and the troops for a traditional turkey dinner in the mess. Noticing some men precariously perched on tall poles before the show began, Hope asked during his opening monologue, "How did you get up there? LSD?"

The tenor of the Christmas tour of 1966 reflected changing attitudes in the United States regarding the course of the war, and Hope's humor didn't shy away from it. He reassured the troops that "the country is behind you 50 percent." He then added, "I'm very happy to be here; I'm leaving tomorrow!"

While Hope largely kept his personal opinions out of his on-stage performances, he spoke freely with reporters off stage. At one stop, he announced he was definitely "hawkish" and expressed his desire that the "United States would move a little faster to end the war."

By Christmas 1967, the number of American military in South Vietnam had reached almost 500,000, resulting in ever-larger audiences and making Hope's appearances even more important for boosting morale. Joined on the tour by actresses Raquel Welch and Barbara McNair, Hope performed for 25,000 men and women at Long Binh who sat in a brutal sun while organizers fretted about security. He told the troops at Da Nang that Dow Chemical just got even with student protesters: "They came up with an asbestos draft card." During a visit with the wounded, Hope asked one soldier, "Did you see the show or were you already sick?"

The next year, as audiences swelled, Hope added former Los Angeles Rams player turned actor Rosie Grier to his entourage, and Ann-Margret, who was a hit in her minidress and go-go boots. At Cu Chi, they had to travel in a safety pod of three aircraft to get in, and Hope noted, "Every time we come here, there is action!"

Actress Ann-Margret joined Bob Hope's troupe for the 1968 tour.
Actress Ann-Margret joined Bob Hope's troupe for the 1968 tour.
At Cam Ranh Bay, where it poured rain, the ensemble donned hats and remained on stage. "We're not going to let this little rain shower bother us are we?" asked Hope. "Where's Billy Graham when you need him?" When a stagehand came to take Ann-Margret's fur out of the rain, Hope remarked, "Look at this…nothing gets saved but Ann-Margret's fur." They finished the show with "Silent Night," and the audience sat there in the rain and sang with them. "It was the only Christmas they had, and they weren't going to miss it," said Hope during the telecast.

The 1969 tour left Los Angeles and stopped off in Washington for a state dinner with President Richard Nixon and a rehearsal at the White House, where Hope and guest stars Connie Stevens, The  Golddiggers from The Dean Martin Show and astronaut Neil Armstrong—who just a few months before had become the first man on the moon—tried out their material before taking it to Vietnam.

As with all great comedians, dissecting contemporary culture, politics and changing societal mores was a Hope staple. Widespread recreational drug use in America and among troops in Vietnam had become a comedic target by 1970 and a part of Hope's routine. With all-star Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench as his foil, Hope chimed: "Where else can you spend eight months on grass and not get busted?"

With steady troop withdrawals in the early '70s:
"Wonderful to be working with you leftovers!"

But even Bob Hope couldn't escape criticism in 1970 when he made references to drug use by the troops. NBC removed most of the drug jokes prior to its January broadcast. But, at a show at the 101st Airborne Division's base, Hope got huge laughs during his opening monologue when he said: "I hear you guys are interested in gardening here. Our security officers said a lot of you are growing your own grass. I was wondering how you guys managed to bomb Hanoi without planes!"

Hope never knew when the brass would show up, but every year Generals William Westmoreland, Creighton Abrams and Fred Weyand and Admiral John McCain would find him on stage somewhere to thank him and his crew.

Decades removed, Bob Hope's material still holds its own, and his jokes about military life ring as true now as they did then. Perhaps most jarring to today's viewers, however, are his apparent sexist references to women during the shows. Hope was a man of his time, referring to his female performers as "girls," frequently commenting on their measurements—nothing atypical for the era. His jokes were also harsh and sometimes negative about the countries where the troops were stationed.

The Bob Hope Christmas tours continued to go to Vietnam until 1972. On the last tour, the group spent less time in Vietnam because of the drastic decrease in the number of American troops by then. That year Hope greeted the Marines at Da Nang with, "Wonderful to be working for you leftovers!" But, he quickly added: "You guys are lucky because you get to go home, not like our representatives at the Paris Peace Talks."

While steady troop withdrawals meant smaller audiences, there was no less commitment and enthusiasm from the performers. And even though they spent less time in Vietnam, the grueling 1972 Christmas tour lasted more than two weeks with shows at bases in the Philippines, Singapore, Guam and a Christmas morning performance for 1,200 SeaBees at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The brass always managed to find Hope on stage somewhere, to thank him and his performers for bringing a bit of Christmas cheer to the troops.
The brass always managed to find Hope on stage somewhere, to thank him and his performers for bringing a bit of Christmas cheer to the troops.
Clearly, after nine consecutive Christmas trips to Vietnam, Hope was tired, and he was also suffering from a serious eye condition. In addition, he was increasingly criticized because of his vocal support for a war that much of the public had turned against. Vietnam tore the nation apart and Hope got caught in the fray. After more than three decades of making troops around the globe laugh during wartime and peacetime, he found himself defending his commitment. For those who saw him perform in Vietnam, his shows made them feel they were not forgotten in an unpopular war and that their sacrifices—in their war—were as important as the "Big One" in which their fathers fought.

During the final montage of photos and film of his last televised Vietnam Christmas special in 1972, Hope narrates film footage of Long Binh shot a year earlier, bustling with troops. "Well," he said, showing the new footage of a deserted Long Binh, overgrown with weeds, "this is how [it] looks now…and this is how it should be…all those happy, smiling, beautiful faces are gone. But most of them are really where they belong, home with their loved ones."

Judith Johnson recently retired as a professor and history department chair at Wichita State University. She is now working on a study of private contractors during the Vietnam War. For more on Hope, she recommends: Bob Hope, A Life in Comedy by William Robert Faith, and Five Women I Loved: Bob Hope's Vietnam Story by Bob Hope.

 


74 Responses to “Bob Hope's Vietnam Christmas Tours”


  1. 1
    kevin anderson says:

    What issue of Vietnam did the Bob Hope article appear in

  2. 2
    GeraldS says:

    The Bob Hope article is in the February 2010 edition of Vietnam magazine, which is the one currently on newsstands.

  3. 3
    Anthony McClure says:

    I had the real honor of attending two Hope Christmas Specials. The first was at the USAF base at Korat, Thailand, in 1966, and the second was at An Khe, South Vietnam in 1967. There is no way that any of us who were there or anny other Hope show has nothing less than respect and gratitude for him and the whole troupe. I will always have tears in my eyes when I remember singinf "Silent Night" with Anita. Bob Hope and the gang were one of the only bright parts in my back-to-back tours, and I will always be grateful for what they brought and the courage it took for them to do it. He had our back!

    • 3.1
      Ron Ramon says:

      Read your comments and was another one who attended two Hope Shows. First was at Korat Thiland in 1966 with Miss World from India I think and Raquel Welch, Korean Kittens and more. 388 TFW. Second was at Long Bien Viet Nam 1968 while I served my second tour I had volunteered for at the Bien Hoa Air Base 303 MMS. I have pictures of both but seeing others brings back many memories of friends and times past.
      Ron

    • 3.2
      Cam Rahn Nees says:

      Saw him in the 66 show in Cam Rahn Bay. The man was
      an American Patriot. His shows always took our minds off
      the surroundings and the goings on even if only for a little
      while. Phyllis was unreal as was the whole troupe of USO.
      Also saw Col. Maggie when she was there. She was the best.
      She loved the troops as much or more than Bob. When
      she passed away she was approved for burial in Arlington
      National Cemetary but her personal wishes were carried
      out and she was buried with her beloved 82 Airborne and SF's
      troops in Ft. Bragg, NC. She was buried with full military honors in the Post Cemetery as an honorary Colonel in the Marines and an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.
      I salute and thank all three of these great Americans and all
      the USO entertainers from the 1st show to today. Bless you
      all and Thanks for the Memories.

    • 3.3
      Howard Miller says:

      I also had the pleasure of seeing two Bob Hope shows. The first one was at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam with Rosy Grier and Ann-Margaret. The second was the following year, 1969. I was at CCK AB in Taiwan. It was especially important to me because he brought Neil Armstrong with him, just 5 months after his Moon landing.
      I'll always be grateful to Bob Hope for his shows. It's very hard to explain how good it was to have such heady entertainment in the middle of such a grim business. I've never stopped believing that he was doing the shows for us first and foremost.

      • 3.3.1
        CW2 LaDue says:

        Howard Miller,
        When you mentioned CCK AB, in Taiwan, did you mean Kung Kuan AB, down by Taichung? Just wondering.

  4. 4
    Al says:

    I saw Bob Hope in Lai Khe in 67 or 68 and hewas great with Raquel Welch and others, he is the greatest thing to come out of England with Tony Blair running a close second. Black Lion Sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 5
    steve gray says:

    In 1969 I had just returned to Cu Chi base camp from an extended stay in the hospital.I had good timing, the Bob Hope show was in camp. That show did me a lot of good, and for a while there was no war. A very brave man, that Bob Hope. He is greatly missed, but also fondly remembered.

  6. 6
    Tim Phillips, 1stSgt, USMC Retired says:

    I saw Bob Hope's Christmas show in Da Nang in 1967. He may have wanted the Grunts to sit down front, but I had 11 months in Vietnam at the time and I was so far up on Freedom Hill that Ann Margaret looked like a four inch animated doll to the few of us from Alpha 1/7 of the 1st Marine Division who were allowed to attend the show. There were some wounded men down front, but most of the men in front of us were pogues from the rear who really had no reason to be there in the first place. We protected their sorry asses and they got all the bennies. Marine Grunts in Vietnam had it very hard, but that is the subject for another time.

    • 6.1
      Cheryl A. Feldman says:

      Sorry to hear you were in the nose bleed section. My husband was one of the injured grunts who got to be in the front with other wounded marines. To my surprise at the Bob Hope Christmas Special 1967 we got to see him on television. Just yesterday, I found the footage of that special with him in it and ordered the DVD. Needless to say. Bob Hope thanks for the memories…

      • 6.1.1
        Brenda Wayne Wyatt says:

        Could you pleae email that to me. My computer has been torn up. Got a new one

    • 6.2
      Daniel sullivan l/cpl. USMC says:

      I was under the leadership of 1stSgt. Phillips at his last duty station at marine barracks 8th&I. Top, you were the best and should have been the SgtMaj. Intead of retired. You training of us became effective tools for me in Iraq In 2007. God bless you Top, and I am forever grateful for your guidance of this young marine. SEMPER FIDELIS.

  7. 7
    Les Norlin says:

    My father and life long hero was the billotiing chief of the Brinks when this bombing occured. Let's get something clear on this subject, and that is what really led to this attack being succesful. Bob Hope was so worried about security that my dads marine guards were pulled off the Brinks to provide security for Hope. South Vietnamese soldiers were guarding the Brinks and they just did not do their job. The marines would have properly inspected the car and not allowed it in the parking area. You could not be sure that the South Vietnamese soldiers were not viet cong. My father had just walked from the Brinks to the Ambassador 5 minutes before the explosion and was sitting in a chair when the explosion occured. The airconditioning unit in the window was thrown into the room and the chair he was sitting on was lifted into the air from the concusion. The way Bope hope commented on the Brinks flying by doesn't cut it. My dad was super upset when Hopes Troops asked my dad to help them get liquor during this crisis. My dad knew the lieutenant who died in this exposion. Dad was not a big fan of Bob Hope to begin with, and after this incident he thougt Hope was a real jerk. When Hope and his troops left their hotel they owed $10,000 in expenses and did not pay. Since this happened you could not pay me enough money to watch a Bop Hope Movie. I was only 9 years old at the time.,Chief Les Norlin was in Saigon for 1 year, till Dec of 1965. He went back for 6 months on the destroyer escort Keyes. He retired after this, having served during WWII, Korea, and Viet-Nam. The people running the show were not doing the job. The Navy was no longer what it should be. After my sophmore year at Millikan High School I received a letter from the naval academy at Annapolis, saying that I had a chance to go there. I never considered going and what happened at the Brinks and the way the Viet-Nam confict was being handled led to my decision. not to go. God bless the men and women who fight the fight for our country. Never compromise their safety

    • 7.1
      Joe Sobecki says:

      When Bob Hope landed at Tan Son Nhut airport on 12/24/64, I was there along with a buddy assigned to escort any of his technicians, who wanted to, tour the 'safe areas' of Saigon. It was a thrill being a young PFC draftee to see Hope and his company land and debark from their aircraft. Hope and the stars rode away in individual sedans were the technicians and us rode in a Navy grey school bus. Before we left the airport, the Brinks was attacked. Our mission changed as we now searched the Majestic Hotel where the technicians were staying for explosives even though we had no idea what to look for. Survivors of the Brinks were also billeted at the Majestic. The next day Bob Hope's show was a hit and he did joke about "a hotel leaving town" as he came in. The crowd laughed. Hope and his troupe stayed at French Hotels and the tab should have been picked up by the USO. Hope worked with the USO. He risked his life for decades to entertain the troops. God bless his soul.

  8. 8
    Wayne Guffy, CW4, USA (Ret.) says:

    I was assigned to the 118th Assault Helicopter Company at Bien Hoa Air Base in 1970-71. I was the Unit Duty Officer on Christmas Eve 1970, so I was off duty on Christmas Day. I was sleeping that morning, when a buddy knocked on my door. I thought that someone was sick and a replacement pilot was needed. I responded with, "I had duty last night and I'm not flying today". His response was, "A truck is leaving for Long Bien to see the Bob Hope Show, If you want to go, you had better have your a– at the orderly room in 30 minutes". Needless to say, I got out of bed, dressed, grabbed my Super 8 movie camera and hoofed it over to the orderly room. I rode in a "Deuce and a half" to Long Bien, arriving approximately an hour prior to the start of the show. I watched Bob Hope arrive in a black Chrysler. Besides Bob, I was able to see Les Brown and the Band of Renown, Johnny Bench, Lola Falana, Miss World 1970 (Jennifer Hosten), Gloria Loring, The Golddiggers and The Ding-A-Ling Sisters. I had a great time! I will always have fond memories of Bob Hope. He brought a little bit of the USA to me and countless other GIs.

  9. 9
    Fred Taute says:

    I had the honor see the Bob Hope show at Chu Lai in 67. Barbara McNair's rendition of Silent Night left everyone teary eyed. Even today, tears fill my eyes when I hear it and I remember that day. Bob Hope thanked us when no one else would. Bob told corny jokes but he was a hero never to be forgotten.

  10. 10
    robert davis says:

    I saw Bob Hope in Da Nang in 1967 and would not have missed it for the world.

  11. 11
    Everett Wiedersberg says:

    On the morning of December 28th, 1968, we were informed of the Bob Hope Show being done in Dong Tam that day. An Army cook died from a food disease and we all had to get a Gamma Globolin shot in the buttocks before we could go. We waited for many hours sitting on our sore butts and it was well worth it. I was in the Navy on a Monitor gunboat and Dong Tam was divided in two sections; one was the Army side and the other was the Navy side. We enjoyed all of the festivities provided to us that day immensely with "Rosie" Greer ( The Refrigerator ) and the beautiful and talented Ms. Anne Margret and the rest of the troupe. I was home by January 19th, 1969, and saw the Bob Hope Special on TV and saw myself and the rest of these great guys I served with; all over again. I truly loved it.The VC tried to do some rockets that day and the helos and jets did their thing to them on the other side of the Mekong River. I would love to see this special again.

    • 11.1
      Cam Rahn Nees says:

      Rosie Grier was not called "The Refrigerator". The "Refrigerator"
      was William Perry who played for the Chicago Bears.
      Rosie played first for the NY Giants and then the LA Rams
      and was one of the "Fearsome Foursome" with Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, and Lamar Lundy.

      I watched Rosie play for the Giants in Yankee Stadium from
      1958 through 1961 while I was in HS. Oh them "Jints".

  12. 12
    Don Scrivner says:

    Christmas Day 1970 – Long Bien: Along with my buddies, Chuck H., Bob A., and Chuck B., we trucked it to Bob Hope's 1970 Christmas Day show. Bob Hope, Johnny Bench, Lola Falana, Miss World, the Golddiggers, etc. all help make that Christmas one that will remain in our memories forever. I shall never forget how many thousands of troops were present in the 100 degree heat, nor how many of the troops were transported to the show from the hospital wards in just their blue gowns…..many attached to IV's. The love that day was so strong, and given both to and from Bob Hope and the troops.

    At that time, little did we know that when NBC showed aired the show to America's television audience one month later that my buddies and I would be recognized by family and friends as cheering wildly in appreciation of Bob Hope and what he offered to make our Christmas day special.

  13. 13
    Brenda Wayne Wyatt says:

    I had just arrived on Guam after sleeping on a park bench in Hawaii. Had $19 in my pocket. Ended up on a flight of people visiting the troups. I sat beside the Secretary of Defense, althought I was 19 at that time, did not know it was a big deal. My husband had told me not to come, no housing. Well The Secretary of Defense made the plane wait on Guam until my husband arrived. He told me if he did not come he would make sure I got home safely. Needless to say he did come. Also, so the USA tour of Bob Hope when Raquel Welsh was with him. I was only 19. My husband Rodney A Wyatt was a jet engine mechanic. We ended up living in Agana and I worked at the Bank of America there. Was a great and happy year in my life. I was close enough to touch him almost. Anywho, I was about the only woman there other than the show.
    Thanks for all your work Bob Hope
    Regards,
    Brenda Wayne Wyatt

  14. 14
    Bob Mack says:

    I attended the '67 show at Cam Ranh Bay. Sat so far back, it was hard to see, but that didn't matter. 43 years later, I was closer, thanks to YouTube. They don't make 'em like ol' Ski Nose anymore. RIP, Bob. Vets don't forget.

  15. 15
    Randy Williams says:

    I also saw Bob Hope at CCK as that base supplied the C-130 aircraft that ferried him and the performers all over SE Asia. I almost missed it. I was an Avionics Tech that repaired and rebuilt the Doppler radar systems and altimeters that were on the Hercules and I was out on the flight-line repairing a C-130.

  16. 16
    Robert Bob Bigley says:

    I was with the 11th armored cav outside the barb wire in Ben Hoa when he was doing his show for the xmas time. My grand son at his school did a xmas play based on Bob's shows. It brought back great memories some of which I was a part of. This was one performer i will never forget Thanks For The Memories

  17. 17
    Richard Futrell says:

    I was at the first show in Vietnam at Bien Hoa in 1964. I was in food service and told to fix lunch fo BobHope and his crew. I remimber it was fired chicken and the fixings. Bob sent word it was some of the best fried chicken he ever had. I'm proud of that and then went to see his show. Thanks to a Great Man and group of cast it is something I will never forget. He is someone that cann't be repalced to millions of G.I.'s.

  18. 18
    Lt. Mac says:

    We got word a few hours before the show that Bob Hope was going to be at the 25th Division basecamp over at Chu Chi, I was so close to going home that I debated whether to go or not, finally had a feeling I might regret it if I didn't go. I've searched the internet for years for a recording of Ann Margret singing Silent Night that Christmas 1968. The whole show was good, but I'll never forget Ann Margret singing Silent Night to a bunch of GIs sitting there on the ground with M-16s and Claymore bags filled with grenades. There was only silence after she sang. It was nice of her to do that for us.

  19. 19
    CW2 LaDue says:

    I saw the '66 show at An Khe. (My Dad saw him during WWII). I was assigned to fly in the 6 ship RRF (Ready Reaction Force) that day and initially we weren't going to be allowed to go. Eventually, we got the go ahead and flew a low pass over the crowd not long before the show started and landed not far away. I stood by the road as the entertainers drove by in jeeps. I got my Instamatic out, but the only one I got a clear picture of was Phyllis Diller. :-( I was hoping for a shot of Joey Heatherton or Miss World. :-) I've love to hear from any of the 1st Cav guys that were there that day. I've looked for film clips for that year, but the only ones I've seen were from other sites. Great show and I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to see it.

  20. 20
    Dennis Wargo says:

    Had the honor of seeing two Bob Hope shows in DaNang…1966 (Joey Heatherton) and 1967 (Raquel Welch)….Thank you BOB…USMC

  21. 21
    PETE LAVIGNE says:

    I WAS ALSO AT DONG TAM ON DEC 28TH 1968 MEKONG DELTA WHEN BOB HOPE CAME . I REMEMBER THE SHOW QUITE WELL. THERE WERE HELECOPTERS VERY CLOSE SHOOTING UP SOME VC MORTER TUBES GETTING SET UP, IT STARTLED BOB HOPE AND HE SAID , WHAT IN HE$& IS GOING ON.I WAS FORTUNATE TO GET SOME CLOSE UP PICTURES OF BOB HOPE AND ANN MARGRET.. I REMEMBER SEEING PICTURES OF BOB HOPE IN WW11 WHICH DAD SAW NOW I WAS SEEING HIM IN VIETNAM.. I LEFT COUNTRY ONE MOUNTH LATER AFTER MY TOUR. HELLO BILL AND ROB.

  22. 22
    Al Jokela says:

    I was in the 552 MP Company Plantation Base Camp next to Long Binh in 1971 into 1972. The Bob Hope Show was coming to Long Binh and they asked for volunteers to provide security for the show. I volunteered. Everyone laughed at me for volunteering as they suggested I would be pulling gun jeep patrols on the perimeter. I reported to Long Binh still thinking that maybe I would be guarding the perimeter. It turned out that I was stationed at the base of the stage and met all the members of the show that were traveling and were to perform with Hope. What an experience!!
    I met Jim Nabors, Vida Blue, and Phyllis George. The one thing that stands out in my mind as I was standing there was when a LT Gen came on the stage and was being booed by the troops. His comment was "Guess you did not come here to see me but who did you come to see? A couple of thousand GI's screamed Bob Hope!!
    Nearly 30 years later I saw the taping of that show but was unable to find myself. They did show the segment of the General asking the question "Who do you want to see?" Never showed any of the GI's booing.

    • 22.1
      Jerry D says:

      I was assighned to the mini-gun shop at Can Rahn Bay when they ask if anyone wanted to go see Bob Hope at Bien Hoa.Icouldnt believe I would have a chance.I had always watched the xmas tours on tv every and wondered what it be like to be part of the experience.I got on a c-130 and went.When I got to the amphitheater and saw all the excitement,my adrenalin was pumping.Ifound a seat about half way up on the left side facing the stage.Some guys had a couple of frisbies throwing them and passing them on.The memory of what happened next will stick out in mind forever.It seems like yesterday;wounded GI's in hospital gowns and in beds were being escorted to the front of the theater for up front seats.Everyone was standing and cheering them and I was proud to be part of it.

  23. 23
    Bob Quinn says:

    I saw the Bob Hope USO Tour Show at Qui Nhon in 1966 while temporarily attached to the 92nd Aviation Co. I was in the USAF transitioning the CV-2 Caribou to the Air Force. Phyliss Diller, Joey Heatherton and the Korean Kittens were among the many entertainers. It was a great show. Bob Hope was amazing. May he rest in peace.
    People that have not been in a similar situation will never know what selfless acts of as the USO Tour entertainers mean to service personnel away from home.

  24. 24

    [...] Bob Hope will be in An Khe the 25th.  I don’t know if I’ll get to go in or not, but I’m going to try.  Sure would like to see the show. [...]

  25. 25
    weazle says:

    It was the one of the best christmas seeing the bob hope christmas
    show in da nang lola falana put on the best show i ever saw.
    fat city 1970-1971

  26. 26
    sutton says:

    One of the fondest memories I'll ever have in my life was seeing Bob, Ann Margaret, Penelope Plummer (Miss World), the Golddiggers, Rosie Greer and Les Brown in Da Nang in 1968. Not only did I fall madly in love with Ann Margaret, but also with Bob Hope for giving so much to us. He was one of the few entertainers who cared about us, unlike Jane *** Fonda! Does anyone remember the exact date of that Da Nang show in '68?

  27. 27
    Hoshi says:

    I also saw the 1968 show. It was on Christmas eve aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock CVA-19. After the show I sat 3 rows behind them at midnight mass. The most memorable Christmas ever. Mr. Hope "Thanks for the memory".

  28. 28
    Tom Nelson says:

    I always said "Bob Hope saved me from getting a broken Leg".
    I stayed till the end of the show,which made me late for the helicopter mission I was to be on in 1964. My replacement receive a broken leg when the helicopter's rough landing through him out and the ski landed on his leg.

  29. 29
    Byron Cooke says:

    I will always be thankful for Bob taking the time and effort to come to Bien Hoa in 1965. Joey sure did look good.

    • 29.1
      Linda_Reaux says:

      Hello All,

      I am posting in hopes of reaching out to my grandfather. I have never met him and he left before my mother turned 5. My mother writes,"My father's name Dick(Richard) was a German of American Army Co Ist Tour 1965 base Bien Hoa Chief cook and driver support….His friends are Durb, Durffy, Jeffy, and Chuck of Officer Army Compound base Gate 199 SUPCOM.T.M.PO 96491, Platoon Bien Hoa and Long Binh." Would anyone have any insight of where I can look to find him?

      Thank you very much.

  30. 30
    Frank Mercer says:

    I was at Udorn RTAFB from 9/66 – 9/67 and really enjoyed the Bob Hope show in 1966. I had just returned from a week in Laos (up North as a crew chief for the Jolly Greens air rescue. I was glad to make it back before the Bob Hope sow.

  31. 31
    Tom Harmon says:

    I saw Bob Hope show in 67 at Pleiku, the show at the 4th I'D,
    Great show, laughed my ass off!

  32. 32
    Jack Reneau says:

    I attended the 1967 show at Cu Chi. I really enjoyed the show and appreciated what Bob Hope, Raquel Welch, Barbara McNair, and the others did for us troops. They didn't have to be there. The next day, I got Hope's and General Westmoreland's autographs on a $1 MPC bill at the Saigon Hospital where I volunteered on my time off to help wounded servicemen. I treasure the experience and their autographs to this day. I was upfront in the third row next to the stage.

  33. 33
    Juan Tresdoce says:

    I saw the Bob Hope Show in December 1970 just south of the DMZ in South Korea. It was such a wonderful event for American military personnel (I was USAF enlisted) to see. Bob Hope is truly one of the greatest Americans ever. The celebrities and others who joined him in the staging of the shows over the decades are truly to be thanked for their service to the United States military. I became even more impressed over the years as I reflected back on what I had been privileged to be a part of. In my opinion there should be a statue in Washington honoring Bob Hope, and I think many veterans would agree, and they would contribute towards the making of that statue. I know the veterans of the "Vietnam Era" were not recipients of "Welcome Home" when we came back to the United States. We are glad to see that has changed for today's troops. But Bob Hope, and the people with him, were really great to see.

  34. 34
    CW2 LaDue says:

    The suggestion that there be a statue honoring Bob Hope's unselfish contributions to U.S. troops is a terrific idea. Every year for 40+ years he spent his Christmas' entertaining "his boys". It's the least we could do to say "Thanks for the memories".

  35. 35
    Ron Hill-General Abrams Staff Vietnam says:

    I am sure General Abrams would not agree with your remarks CW2 LaDue. We experienced a different opinion, of course this is the inside working folks…not out during the show with the troops. Bob Home made millions off of his shows…this was a money making tour…he learned to use the system and demand awards and favors. Here is from his Secretary.

    "Jan King – Bob Hope's Secretary

    Jan King, Bob Hope’s former personal secretary died Jan. 6, her niece said Thursday. She was 90.

    The Palm Springs Desert Sun (I subscribe) reports, “the Rancho Mirage resident traveled the world with Hope and his team of celebrities who entertained American troops at Christmas time.”

    Ms. King first met the “comedian” while working part time for NBC. Hope called her his “Girl Friday, Saturday, Sunday etc.” In 1967, after serving 15 years under Hope, King joined former President Johnson’s administration where, according to the Desert Sun. “she ran Johnson’s speeches up Capitol Hill after the president decided what he wanted in the congressional record.”

    After traversing the globe, Ms. King settled in the Coachella Valley. Her niece, Hallie Wright, said, “She had a love affair with the desert. She talked to people all over the world about Palm Springs.”

    While researching Ms. King I stumbled across this July 31, 2003 article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages. In it, fellow Hope-aphobe Steve Monaco quotes from a 1991 interview the Globe conducted with Ms. King. Monaco writes, “His longtime secretary Jan King summed him up best: ‘He’s a lecher who had women stashed all over town.’”

    The author confirms rumors of a “stabbin’ cabin” set up in Toluca Lake: “His payroll was always filled with his latest girlfriends, and he actually had an apartment building close to his house filled with his current “dates”. (He even had an employee whose job was to make sure the girls got their monthly payoffs.) Hope never met a beauty queen he couldn’t– and wouldn’t– hit on, which was his main reason for emceeing so many pageants over the years.”

    He also quotes a violently insane Hope anecdote from Arthur ‘Son of Groucho’ Marx’s biography The Secret Life of Bob Hope: “Hy Steinman, publisher of the now-defunct Confidential magazine, tells of a time when Hope and (Marilyn) Maxwell were flying back from a golfing weekend in his private plane, when the comedian suddenly got the urge to have her perform oral sex on him while they were in the air.

    “She seemed agreeable to this until she discovered he had a bad case of poison ivy on his penis, which he had contracted while urinating in some deep rough on the golf course. Seeing his condition, Maxwell recoiled in horror. But Hope saw no problem. ‘I’ll use a condom,’ he advised.” Marx discusses another B-movie actress, Jeanne Carmen, said of her first time with him, “I don’t even remember [it]. That’s how exciting it was.” (She also referred to Hope as a ‘cheap pr–k.’) Many years later in a phone conversation, Hope told her that he woke up with a hard-on so big he ‘had to drop the window on it,’ to which she replied, ‘It must have been a small window.’”

    With such good material, Bob should have put this gal on the payroll. And speaking of quality material, get a gander at this next paragraph courtesy of Marx via Monaco: “Just as Hope was known to cheat on the women he was cheating on his wife with, there’s a dark side to Bob’s dark side that’s disturbing, to say the least. His daughter Linda (whose lesbianism displeased her rightwing old man no end) went to an elite Hollywood parochial school with the daughters of many famous people in showbiz. According to one classmate, ‘Hope was actually repulsive around young girls. He had a dirty mouth, and he was kind of perverted. By perverted, I mean, like, well, he was an exhibitionist. Sometimes he’d come out without any clothes on, or if he was dressed, his fly would be open. And then he’d pretend it was a mistake. He was actually pretty open about it.’ Finally, her father told her she couldn’t visit her friend because ‘Bob Hope is a very bad man.’”

    • 35.1
      CW2 LaDue says:

      Quoting a 2003 article, that quotes a 1991 interview, of someone (who left Mr. Hope's employ in 1967) describing their opinion of Mr. Hope's alleged proclivities proves nothing to me. My opinion (and my father's) of Mr. Hope's contributions to our military, stands. If Gen. Abrams (and his staff) had problems with Mr. Hope, that was their problem. If Mr. Hope did make "millions" off of his shows, he was still underpaid. The guys on the frontlines greatly appreciated those USO shows and their connection with home. Probably, much more so than anyone stationed in the rear.

  36. 36
    Mike Kimbrel says:

    I would have loved to have seen Bob Hope while I was in Vietnam. I was at Danang and he did NOT come to Danang that year. The "powers to be" chose about 250 people from the base and flew them to Saigon where they say his show at Tan San Nhut (not sure if that is spelled right). The rest of us listened to it on AFRVN.

    • 36.1
      Mike Kimbrel says:

      Sorry…forgot to put the year. It was 1972. We were all disappointed that he was not able to get up to Danang that year!

  37. 37
    george donatello says:

    My biggest regret is missing Bob Hope in 1970…. I think I was writing "sincere" letters of regret from My SA in Hue….

  38. 38
    dan chaplin says:

    I was resposible for the star on the tower that overlooked clark airbase. i got to see Bob's show from the distasnce I was on top of the hill

  39. 39
    Big Jack says:

    I was a medic at Camp Kaiser Korea in 1968 when we were told Bob Hope will make a quick stop at our camp.What, Bob Hope here at Kaiser? What a treat,spent about an hour entertaining us. Will never forget!

  40. 40
    Richard L Sherlock says:

    I saw Bob Hope on 12-22-1970, at Camp Eagle. He was quite a guy. Thanks Bob

  41. 41
    Paul Culliton MSgt USMC(ret) says:

    I saw the Cristmas show at DaNang in1968, also so far back that they all looked like dolls on the stage. Unforgettable!!
    I just watched my youngest granddaughter's Christmas pageant,and when all the kids sang Silent Night, for just a few moments I was back in VietNam at the Bob Hope show, with all of us singing!

  42. 42
    Robert adams says:

    I served with C 7/13th Artillery at Bong Son in 1967-68 supporting !st Cavalry during Operation Pershing and we were permitted to go to the rear area for the show which was held back at the Phu Cat airbase. We meet Mr Hope and had pictures made with him and got to smell Raquel Welch's perfume (God was that nice). We were blessed to be there but sad as our brothers with the 8th Cav were killed nearby when their 228th Chinook crashed and burned. Some of our officers helped pulled dead and wounded soldiers from the wreck. Bob Hope was the greatest and I'll never forget meeting and talking with him. We gave him and Raquel each a shined artillery canister and I still have the picture. God rest his soul and thanks for the memories Mr. Hope! We still love and will forever. You appreciated the troops and we knew it, all of us!

  43. 43
    Rita Musick says:

    My husband was stationed in Hue 69-70. He was with the 101st airborne. He was at Christmas show that Bob Hope did in December 1969. He was on the stage with Connie Stevens. Does anyone know if you can buy a dvd of this show

  44. 44
    NICK says:

    SAW BOB HOPE 1969 LAI KHE…IST INF DIV…..8/BN 6TH ARTY…8INCH…………..IT WAS SAD….BUT IT GAVE US HOPE…TO GET HRU THAT HELL HOLE..AND GET BACK HOME……….TRUELY A GREAT MAN….THANKS MR HOPE"..IT WAS MORE THAN 40 YRS AGO…AND I REMMEBR IT AS IF IT WERE YESTERDAY………..GOD LOVE HIM….

  45. 45
    Lt. Mac says:

    Ron Hill – A post as vicious and degrading as yours has no place on this forum. This is a forum form posts from fighting men who were eternally gratefull for the little bit of happiness that Bob Hope and his show brought to a life of sudden death and little hope.

    If you had been an actual fighting man, you might feel differently.

    This forum is a place for heroes, you do not belong here, you belong in another forum.

  46. 46
    Terry M says:

    Well said, Lt. Mac! I happened to be one of the pilots taking Bob Hope on his first Vietnam Christmas Tour in 1964. I spend a lot of time talking with him and the others on the trip and have the highest regard for the man and his heart to help the U.S. war efforts by entertaining the troops!

    Sure he made some good money on the trips, but everything was actually paid for from USO funds including his salary. In my opinion, he was grossly underpaid for all that he did!

  47. 47
    Woody says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing the Bob Hope USO show in 1971 in Ubon, Thailand. Miss World USA Brucine Smith was the head liner. Got to meet her and get her autograph.

    • 47.1
      Warren C says:

      In what Christmas Show was shots fired at military men on the light pole. My cousin was at one of the shows and was injured by sniper fire while watching the show. Might have been DaNang, maybe? I would love to get the entire video of the show. I remember saying to my parents there he is, on the top of the pole. Just before he was injured.

  48. 48
    Jim Bailey says:

    I stood in the rain and mud at An Khe in Dec. 1966. Bob started by saying \Welcome An Khe. I see you got new mud this year!\

    Jim Bailey, SSGT USAF FAC/ALO 1st Cav Div An Khe RVN 66-66.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Penni Evans says:

    Hi, does anyone have a copy of Bob Hope's 1970 tour? I was a Donut Dollie and saw him at Camp Eagle Dec 22, 1970. I had my picture taken with Santa and General Ky which was shown on the Christmas Special January 1971. Would love a copy of that show. We came down from Quang Tri with the 1/5 Mech. Thanks

  51. 51
    Harold wandle says:

    In 1966 to 1967 I was with the 25th inf div in cuchi Vietnam. In 1968 I was ncoic of the hartell house and commanding generals in Korea. Our visitor was bob hop Ann margret Rosie greer smithann husband miss world and gold diggers. He was living at the command generals mess but he wanted to come to the hartell house. I remember that we had to serve rolled turkey for dinner I was standing there and all of sudden bob hope came over with the commanding office general bone steel of eight army. A photographer took bobs picture but the camera did not work. Bob said send that man to the second division the joke was nobody wanted to go to second division

  52. 52
    Bob Morton says:

    While stationed at Ubon RTAF Base in December 1965 I had the honor of working with SMSGT Chuck Anger and we interviewed Bob Hope for our base radio station when he was there for our Christmas Show. Our story is captured at:

    http://www.onthelaborfront.com/Good_Morning_Ubon/Good_Morning_Ubon.html

  53. 53
    Steve Harms says:

    Somehow the Gods looked down on me in December, 1968. I had taken R&R to Hong Kong and came back in country with 13 days til deros. I assumed I be back at the company shuffling papers around for the brass. Instead, I was called to Company D Headquarters and was told to get my fatigues starched with all proper insignias and rank SGT5 and report to USARVIN Headquarters in Long Binh. I reported as ordered and it was explained to me that for the next two weeks, I would be part an an escort team (9 other guys) and we could be within sight of our assigned stars the whole trip. My assignments were Ann-Margaret and a beautiful woman who sang operatic type music…..Ann's husband Roger Smith was with her on tour. Bob Hope show personnel did not spend the night in Viet Nam. maybe Cam Ranh Bay but that was it. Instead we'd board a couple of air force jets and fly to Bancok for the night. The only two night not in Thailand were spent on the Aircraft Carrier Hancock and the Battle Ship New Jersey. Fascinating how they live on those boats………Memories I'll have all my life….helps me forget the other stuff…

  54. 54
    Terry Delany says:

    My friend, Tawnie Olsen and I had the priviledge of entertaining the troops in Viet Nam and Thailand in january of 1968. We stayed at the 'entertainment' hotel in Saigon. bob Hope and martha Raye were also doing shows in Saigon and were staying at the hote. Tawnie and I got to do the opening for one of Bob Hope's shows at MacV headquarters. He was an absolute gentleman at all times. In fact, because he knew we were Mormon young women, when he went to tell one of his off colored jokes he would make us cover our ears and then tease us that we listened anyways. We were treated like his daughters and I have nothing but respect for his committment to the troops and his kindness to Tawnie and myself.

  55. 55
    Dwight L Perkins Sr says:

    I was a Sgt in Nakohn Phanom , Thailand, 1968 , when the Bob Hope Christmas Show came to NKP AB… sat about 3rd row from stage , with a great view of Ann-Margaret , Penelope Plummer (Miss World) and the Gold Diggers… Les Brown's Band of Renown did a great job also… I later met Ann-Margaret with her husband , Roger Smith . Rosie Greer was sitting in the back seat of a jeep while Ann-Margaret was giving out 8×10 photos of her… as she reached across the jeep to give me a photo , another GI grabbed it and ran , lol… Rosie Greer stood up and asked Ann-Margaret is she needed help , man , GI's split the scene when Rosie got up,,, one biiiiig fella , lol…I was with the 556th Civil Eng Sq , Red Horse Det#3 , Combt Suppt Grp… Bob Hope was dressed in light blue coveralls (Flight Suit) and wore a Red Horse hard hat… their group was a very welcome sight that day… came home in '69 and the family told me they had seen me on tv at the show, must have been the camera sweeping the audience… have pics of these entertainers putting on one heck of a show… thanks for the memories Bob Hope and the USO, sure took away from what was going on around us and gave us a bit of Home…

  56. 56
    Glenn McRae says:

    I was at Bear Cat in67 when heccame snd I was to the left of the stage up front I was seen by mybparents in the United live broadcast.



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