Many dates for the USO. Starting with February

 

 

Many dates during the war years have important dates for the
USO. Starting with February 4, 1941 which was the beginning of the USO. On this
date the USO was now included under the laws in the State of New York (WWII USO).
A couple months after it became established, the camps now were up running throughout
the whole world which happened on October 30, 1941 (WWII USO). With the beginning
of the USO it started as a volunteer based establishment however, on November 28,
1941 located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the first government-built USO clubs
were opened (WWII USO). About a year after this US organization was made the USO
Overseas Department then came out on January of 1942 (WWII USO).

On October 30, 1941 the highly loved entertainment aspect of
the USO was now provided. The service was run by Abe Lastfogel who was known as
the “King” of talent agents (WWII USO). 
There were 4 main circuits in the entertainment that operated during the
war years. These circuits included: Victory Circuit, Blue Circuit, Foxhole
Circuit and Hospital Circuit. The Victory Circuit brought the big shows with
famous celebrities, as well as complete Broadway musicals with as many as 50
performers (WWII USO). The Blue Circuit was a Vaudeville circuit that held
comedians with about 3 or 4 acts (WWII USO). The Foxhole Circuit was the most
sponsored entertainment effort that would bring performers overseas in the
combat areas (WWII USO). Not only would these shows happen in the set
facilities, but with the Hospital Circuit being provided, they made is possible
to reach out to the military personnel who were hurt in hospitals. The Hospital
Circuit gave 5,444 performances for 850,537 patients at 79 hospitals (WWII
USO). The entertainment aspect was highly encouraged due to the U.S. troops
falling in love with the live shows, comedy, singing, dancing, etc. It helped
for the troops to feel more of the “Home Away From Home” sense that was the
main part of this establishment (USO 2015).

With U.S. troops being based across the entire world the USO
came out with the Overseas Division. These facilities would help to give the
feel of “home” and bring a little bit of “America” to wherever the troops were
based at that time. Although these facilities would be opened all over they
still would run the same as the in-state ones. The overseas clubs and
facilities were held in areas that included: Cuba, Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica,
Puerto Rico, Trinidad, The Panama Canal Zone, Caribbean Islands, Newfoundland,
Northeastern coast of South America, Brazil, etc. (WWII USO).

Next were the lounges and the traveler aids which consisted
of small offices. This part of the USO organization handled lots of information
for rooms, transportation, facilities, etc. (WWII USO). They would also collect
information to supply for the personnel for emergency aid. These lounges would
continue to give support as well as provide for facilities for use. These
lounges included reading, resting, writing letters, information services, etc
(WWII USO). These type of office areas would typically be held in bus and/or
train stations due to the access of transportation information on the way to
the designated destination. Although these two services could be categorized as
the same they held different authorities in each.

Many services would be provided for each military personnel
during the wartime. These services would include: mobile, maneuvers, lounges,
traveler’s aid, USO Overseas and USO camp shows services. Starting with mobile
services this group was responsible for the morale of the U.S. service
personnel (WWII USO). The volunteers for this service would also arrange
carloads of the USO Junior Hostesses combined with the Senior Hostess
chaperones that would be provided (WWII USO). The Mobile Service was also an
importance for the military personnel also for the needs to be completed of
delivered mail, shopped as well as the delivery of pets to the service
personnel’s (WWII USO).

Raising around 33 million dollars, these clubs and
organizations built in with the USO were very successful. Thomas Dewey and
Prescott Bush were the leaders of these campaigns having them come out grand
(USO, 2016). Starting with clubs, more than 3,000 communities established clubs
calling them “Home Away from Home” for the military personnel during the war
(WWII USO). These clubs provided facilities that included: athletic equipment,
barn dances, boxing ring, basketball, baseball, religious information, etc.
(WWII USO). Depending on the size of each club there would be a paid director
as well as an assistant director that would become hired through the executive
committee (WWII USO). These clubs would be held out of barns, homes, churches,
newly constructed buildings, etc. (USO, 2016). To this present day there are
now 160 locations worldwide.

In the United States during WWII there were numerous service
organizations to give support during this war. However, one of the top
organizations was the United States Organization also known as the USO. This
organization, as well as the others offered much needed services to the
military and support personnel throughout the world (WW2 USO).  Being brought into use on February 4, 1941
through presidential order, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted our morale
of military personnel to continue to remain high (WW2 USO). Meaning President
Roosevelt wanted all service organizations current to that time continuing
their work due to it working better for this job rather than the original
Department of Defense (WW2 USO).  The USO
had such a great significance in WWII due to it proving numerous services which
included, but not limited to: Traveler’s Aid Service, Mobile and Maneuvers
Service, Home Hospitality, Service to War Workers, Lounges/Clubs, Service to
Women in the Armed Forces, Service to African-American military personnel,
Service to Merchant Seamen, Service to members of the armed forces of US
Allies, Overseas Service, and Camp Shows Inc. (WW2 USO). With many clubs
established within the USO there were roughly around 3,000 USO clubs worldwide
and about 160 to this day located (USO, 2016).