May 6th: Bob Hope’s First USO Show at March Field

May 5, 2023

The legendary entertainer Bob Hope performed his first United Service Organizations (USO) show at California’s March Field (now March Air Reserve Base) on May 6, 1941. This marked the beginning of a long and illustrious relationship between Hope and the USO, as he went on to entertain American troops around the world for over five decades.

The USO, a nonprofit organization established in 1941, aimed to provide morale-boosting entertainment and support services to American military personnel, especially during World War II. Bob Hope, a British-American comedian, actor, and singer, quickly became the face of the USO, dedicating much of his career to performing for troops stationed overseas.

Hope’s first USO show at March Field set the stage for the format he would follow throughout his career: a mix of comedy, music, and dancing, often accompanied by a troupe of entertainers. His performances were known for their light-hearted humor and ability to connect with military audiences, providing a temporary escape from the hardships of war.

Bob Hope’s dedication to entertaining American troops earned him the nickname “America’s No. 1 Soldier in Greasepaint”. His USO shows remain a cherished part of American military history, highlighting the importance of morale and the power of laughter in times of conflict.



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