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Questions about U.S.O. events/WWII footage in general


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#1 Ryan112390

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

I have a couple of questions about U.S.O. events during WWII

1) Would U.S.O. events have been filmed in any official way, especially if celebrities were present?

2) How would celebrities end up posing with soldiers during such events?

3) If there indeed films of U.S.O. events, how would one find them?

I ask because I believe the following photos from my grandpa's WWII collection are photos from a U.S.O. event sometime around November 1942. I am not sure where it would've exactly happened, but I believe my Grandpa was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco at the time. I am curious for one how he and the other soldier would have a model like Jinx Falkenburg sitting for a photograph with them, I am also curious if this show might have been filmed as one soldier has an old video camera in his hand; I wonder if, since a celebrity was attending, if there were any official films made of the event--if this is the case I might get to see my grandpa, and perhaps even hear what his voice sounded like. I'm also curious if there is any possibility that I could find footage of him later on, when he was in the Rhineland & Northern France campaigns for example.

These are the photos
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#2 OpanaPointer

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

I have a couple of questions about U.S.O. events during WWII

1) Would U.S.O. events have been filmed in any official way, especially if celebrities were present?

Of course. They were valuable as propaganda and to give the folks back home a chance to possibly glimpse a GI overseas.

2) How would celebrities end up posing with soldiers during such events?

Again, yes, for the same reasons as above.

3) If there indeed films of U.S.O. events, how would one find them?


The USO website would be a good start, as would the National Archives.

"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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#3 belasar

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

I know very little about this subject, but as usual I'm not going to let that stop me from commenting. :)

For many performer's (actor's, dancer's, singer's and comedian's) "doing their bit" was in appearing at various USO fuctions here at home and later overseas. A few were filmed for newsreel's to be shown to wider audience's, but the vast majority were not.

It was, however, a cultural custom in the '30's though the '50's for a Nightclub or fancy resturant to have a photographer on site to take pictures for those who wanted a momento. Celebrities of the war period posed with ordinary service personel in this manner to both do their bit and to help raise moral.

Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

(Poppy is occasionaly correct, or so I hear)

#4 OpanaPointer

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

The Stars and Stripes newspaper was big on celebs with troopers. Their website would be worth exploring, I think.

"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
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#5 gtblackwell

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

I was born in January of 1940 so have few memories of the war but in the period afterward saw films of Bob Hope and his entourage touring the war theatre. They showed up on Newsreels and early B&W TV for a number of years after the war. Try Googling Bob Hope and other performers as we as YouTube. Glenn Miller died somewhere over the North Sea, you might find something on him and his band.

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#6 Ryan112390

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

I've tried all the things you guys have suggested...I'm coming up empty.
I think if I could find some itinerary from 1942 of USO shows (I would think this is indeed a USO show, right?), I could narrow down the exact event, as in the exact date and place, that these photos are from, and work from there. My only real goal or hope in this is to find some footage of my grandpa, which ideally would have sound.

#7 OpanaPointer

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

You have two starlets' names, try tracking them on fansites for those dates? And the guy in the skivvies in the last picture, don't remember his name, but same as the ladies.

"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
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#8 Earthican

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

... And the guy in the skivvies in the last picture, don't remember his name, but same as the ladies.


Al Jolson ?

Al Jolson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"He did as many as four shows a day in the jungle outposts of Central America and covered the string of U.S. Naval bases. He paid for part of the transportation out of his own pocket...."

#9 OpanaPointer

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

Al Jolson ?

Al Jolson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"He did as many as four shows a day in the jungle outposts of Central America and covered the string of U.S. Naval bases. He paid for part of the transportation out of his own pocket...."

Looks right.

"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989

#10 Biak

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:22 AM

I punched up Jinx Falkenberg on the Fold3 site of US Air Force WW2 pictures and found numerous 'hits'.
Try looking through here;

Fold3 Search

Picture access is free by the way :)

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