U.S.O Camp Show #210
Unless otherwise indicated images are from Eugene T. Wozniak collection; none of which were annotated. We did the best we can to identify places, people and circumstances, however, if you can provide more accurate information PLEASE email us!
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The very next day after this troup arrived in India, they boarded a transport, flew over the Hump, and began their twenty-eight day tour of American units in China, generally performing two shows a day at each stop. By the time they completed their return tour in India they would have performed 52 shows in 54 days, averaging slightly more than 2 per day for non-travel days. An article in 'CBI Roundup' stated; "Their show was fast moving, earthy corn. 'Which is as it should be.' Keenan Wynn told CBI Roundup. 'Soldiers don't want flag-waving, sentimental slush,' he theorized. 'They want to laugh. We'll give 'em as many laughs as we can.'"
William Gargan, famed B-Movie actor, performed emcee duties as well as being a straight man for comedy skits with Keenan Wynn and Paulette Goddard. Ms. Goddard played parts in several skits, although just looking pretty would probably have been sufficient for most of the audience. Andy Arcari, acclaimed accordianist, provided musical background as well as performing individual pieces. Most of the routine was borrowed from non-stripper burlesque acts which they rehearsed aboard the planes which brought them from the USA.
When Andy Arcari arrived in the CBI with the troupe he was no Johnny-come-lately at entertaining overseas servicemen. He had already made trips to the Southwest Pacific and Labrador as part of a troupe headed by Gary Cooper.
Paulette Goddard receives some assistance as she steps from the C-47 transport which brought her to the Fourteenth Air Force's airfield at Yangkai, China.
She is then greeted by the Base Commander, Col. ?, and 'Boots' Vatter, A.R.C. Nurse, among others.
Miss Goddard clowns with officers of 373rd Bomb Squadron while signing their "short snorters" in morning prior to a Yangkai show. (Official USAAF photo.)
Somewhat later, the theater area of The LAST RESORT was packed as the Master of Ceremonies, William 'Bill' Gargan, performed the opening song.
Bill Gargan and Keenan Wynn performing their skit of "How Not To Get Drafted." (Official USAAF photo.)
Paulette sits on the steps of The LAST RESORT with Cpl. Daris Zimmer (unit unknown) prior to a Yangkai show. (Official USAAF photo.)
Andy Arcari looks on as Paulette Goddard gives a hug to Col. ??, Yangkai Base Commander, following the evening show. (Official USAAF photo.)
After touring China bases, the troup visited bases in India. Here, Paulette Goddard poses with 490th Bomb Squadron personnel at Kurmitola, India. Pilot Angelo J. "Brush Mush" Boutselis is easily identified, not so the other men in the picture.
USO Camp Shows List