1957 USO Christmas tour
Dec. 16, 1957: Bob Hope gives actress Jayne Mansfield a lift as five USO troupes prepares to leave for overseas performances for the military. Johnny Grant, left, Hedda Hopper and Roscoe Ates look on.
The troupes left from Burbank’s Lockheed Air Terminal, later renamed Bob Hope Airport.
Hope, Mansfield and Hopper were part of one troupe headed to Hawaii, Okinawa, Japan and Korea. Grant and Ates were part of another troupe off to Germany, France and Italy.
Five military aircraft were departing carrying about 100 show people overseas during the USO’s annual “Operation Santa Claus.” Four of the troupes – with the celebrities — were headed for holiday tours of various overseas bases. The fifth, playing a 10-week circuit of the Far East command, was composed of salaried entertainers.
This photo, by Los Angeles Times staff photographer Steve Fontanini, accompanied a story published in the next day’s paper.
November 16, 2012, 3:26 pm
Long ago. Near today.
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