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“He did something wonderful for those kids; he made them laugh and made them forget what was going to happen.”

   Patty Thomas
Image of Patty Thomas
Patty Thomas dancing, 1944.
War: World War, 1939-1945
Service Location: South Pacific; Europe; Alaska
Status: Civilian
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If you were going to entertain the troops, you could do a lot worse than being part of Bob Hope’s company that toured the South Pacific from 1944 to 1945 for the USO. Patty Thomas, a young dancer, joined Bob’s troupe—including singer Frances Langford and comedian Jerry Colonna—for an island-hopping tour that included over 150 shows, one forced landing on a sandbar, a couple cases of jungle rot, and the adoration of thousands of GIs starved for a look at a pretty girl showing off her dancer’s legs.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (8 clips)
»Complete Interview  (49 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album (19 photos)
More like this
»Voices of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (8 items)
Her first tour with the USO; meeting Bob Hope. (05:04) Crash landing on a sandbar. (07:15) Her first show in Hawaii with Hope. (02:14)
Patty as new kid on the block. (01:49) Touring the hospitals. (01:18) Patty's sore tooth. (01:43)
Postwar tours with Bob. (05:43) The joy of entertaining the troops. (01:55) 
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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