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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
Collection image
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 
Download: video (49 min.)
»Photo Album  (19 photos)
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»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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