Unless otherwise indicated images are from Barbara Vatter collection.
Many of these photos were not annotated, so we did the best we could.
If you can provide more accurate information PLEASE email us!
Click on any image to view a larger version!
Christmas Chorale in The LAST RESORT, December 1944. The choir, all assigned at Yangkai includes officers, enlisted men, a Chinese nurse, and a Flying Nurse hidden behind and to her left.
A pre-show announcement by Schwitzer. The other man is thought to be S/Sgt Murrey Bogel, an armorer-gunner in 491st Bm Sq. (Unfortunately, Barbara couldn't remember Schiwtzer's first name or unit, nor which show was being introduced. Based on the tone of the photo image it is quite possible he was introducing the "Minstrel Show."
The "Entertainment Performance Unit" (E.P.U) was established by Capt. Melvyn Douglas, noted former screen actor then serving as Special Services for the China Burma India theater, when it became obvious that professional entertainment would be lacking in the CBI. Capt. Douglas then recruited talent from bases within the CBI. Many former professional entertainers and highly talented amateurs volunteered and were chosen as members of several different productions developed by the E.P.U. At least one of the productions then performed in every sweat box and mosquito trap within the Theater. Not only variety shows, but regular full-length plays were among the varied entertainment offered by the E.P.U.
Promoted to Major, Douglas was in the U.S. recruiting more talent when V-J Day arrived. PArt of the rapid demobilization, he never returned to Eastern Asia, however, the E.P.U. he created continued to function up to the closing of the India-Burma Theater in April 1946.
There is "Standing Room Only" in the theater of the 'LAST RESORT' for what appears to be a "Minstrel Show." We believe it was an E.P.U. production, but might have been performed by Fourteenth Air Force personnel or simply by men assigned to Yangkai Air Base at the time. Can you give us more information??
"Welcome Artillery", says the banner at the rear of the stage. Perhaps this show was performed by the airmen? Or, perhaps they did it for the Army artillerymen? Can you give us more information??
A closer view of one of the performers in the 'Minstrel Show.' Can you tell us who??
Our final picture of the "Minstrel Show!" We don't know if this is the beginning, the middle, or the end! Can you provide more information??
Whether this show was performed by an E.P.U. troupe or locally assigned men, it was probably based on the USO Camp Shows guide book distributed by Special Services.
Another booklet Special Services distributed was "A Humourous Quiz Book." It contained snappy and humorous one-line responses to lead in questions.