While cruising off the coast of Vietnam 22 December 1967 the Bob Hope USO Christmas Show was scheduled to go to the U.S.S. Ranger CVA-61. The helo that was bringing Bob Hope, Raquel Welch, Barbara McNair, Elaine Dunn, Gary Crosby who's Bing Crosby Son, and Madeleine Hartog from Peru who is Miss World of 1967 to the Ranger that day flew near the Coral Sea. So being the very nice person he is Bob Hope asked the pilot which ship that was they just flew by and the pilot said the Coral Sea. He asked if they were scheduled to have a show there which they wern't since they were scheduled to spend the night on the Ranger and have the show for the crew the next day. So, Bob Hope told the program manager that they can have a quick show aboard the Coral Sea since they were so close to the Ranger and go back to the Ranger after the Coral Sea Show to spend the night.
Bob & the Women of the Show
It was 6-months since our ship left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and arrived on the line in the South China Sea. Duty on the line was about one month between port call in the Philippines for 3-days, with 3-section duty that means 2 days liberty, one-day duty and back on the line for another 30-days of 12-hours work 12-hours off, 7-days a week. Grind! Grind! Grind!
Being in the audience of a Bob Hope USO Christmas Show is a memorable lifetime experience! So much so, 50-years later in 2017 it inspired a stanza of a poem I wrote. The theme of the poem was THANKSGIVING.
"Thanks for the memories"
—Bob Hope, 1967 USO Christmas Tour aboard USS Coral Sea underway Tonkin Gulf
"Thanks, I haven't seen live round-eye women since Pearl Harbor last July"
—me, an 18-year old sailor, aboard USS Coral Sea underway Tonkin Gulf
Copyright © 2019 Bert McNamee, Harleigh, PA. All rights reserved.