17 fabulous photos of USO shows through the ages


By Team MOC

Since its founding in 1941 by Mary Ingraham, the USO has been dedicated to providing morale and recreation services to troops and their families around the world. From airport lounges to care packages, the USO is one of the most beloved organizations in the military community. Their projects have lifted spirits across the globe. . . but most notably, their shows and celebrity visits have created poignant memories for generations of American service members.

1. Entertainers of all stripes have volunteered their time and talents to keeping up the morale of service members.

2. Performing with the USO for 50 years, Bob Hope is synonymous with the organization and traveled with his own house band, Les Brown’s Band of Renown.

3. Two men try to get Bob Hope’s attention during a USO show.

(Photo: USO)

4. Shows during WWII and Vietnam drew huge crowds. Some sat in pouring rain or stood in snow for hours to see a piece of “home”. 

5. Not all USO performances are for thousands of people. Some of them have happened in much, much smaller venues.

(Photo: National Archives)

5. Marilyn Monroe entertains Korean War service members in 1954.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

6. Ann-Margaret meets troops in Thailand during the Vietnam War. 

7. After walking on the moon, Neil Armstrong toured with the USO in 1969.

8. Sammy Davis, Jr. grooves with service members in the 70’s.

(Photo: USO)

9. Troops serving during the Vietnam War react to performers on stage.

(Photo: Stories From Nam)

10. These Miss American contestants perform for sailors aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in 1975.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

11. Kerry Turner signs an autograph in Iraq.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

12. Scarlett Johansson poses for a photo with two Marines.

(Photo: US Army)

13. Stephen Colbert gets his head shaved in front of a military audience in Iraq.

(Photo: US Army)

14. Sesame Street goes on the road with the USO to entertain and teach the youngest members of the military community.

(Photo: US Army)

15. Military families at Ramstein Air Base participate in a holiday show.

(Photo: DoD, D. Myles Cullen/Released)

16.Troops take in Robin Williams’ stand-up routine in 2007.

(Photo: NPR)

17. The USO celebrated their 75th birthday in 2016 with a huge comedy show, cake, and a few special guests.

(Photo: Stars and Stripes)

J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at joanna@militaryoneclick.com.

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