Bob Hope - Operation Big Cheer

Bob Hope - Operation Big Cheer

We were all looking forward to Bob Hopes show. A WW2 icon. My buddy and I just came off shift and were wandering around complete with M14’s over shoulder. We wandered into the theater area. We saw some rows of chairs set up. No one was around. I saw a Utility shirt hanging on one of the chairs. On closer inspection I saw Lt. Bars on the collars. What caught my attention was an Operation Big Cheer attached to the front pocket with a pin. Being a resourceful L/Cpl, I removed the tag and put it on my shirt. My buddy had a fit but it didn’t faze me. We wandered into a tent area looking around. A guy came out of a tent. I knew immediately that it was Jerry Collina by his mustache and eyes. He smiled and talked to us. My buddy told him what I did.

He laughed. He took us into the tent. I met Jack Jones, Miss World and an actress from Days of our Lives I think. I also met Les Brown and several girls. Dancers I guess. Then all of a sudden the tent door flew open. Wow, it was Bob Hope who was cursing like a Marine because he was late. He was told our story and he just shook our hands and laughed. He was impressed with my effort. He put his arm around our shoulders and we had two chairs in the stage wing. We watched the show from there. I got autographs from him and other stars on that tag. It was later list in s divorce. This memory will be with me till I die. Bob Hope was a wonderful man and loved Marines. God Rest his soul. Thanks for reading and Semper Fi to all, including Mr. Hope.

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20 comments


  • Patrick Lally

    The Bob Hope show came to Chu Lai, VN, December 1966. I was stationed at Chu Lai with VMA-223 and we rotated to Iwakuni 2 weeks before the show. Later I found out that none of the Marines stationed at Chu Lai were allowed to go to the show, it was for the grunts in the field. Sorry to have missed the opportunity but loved Hope anyway. And Japan was better than VN anyway. Semper Fi to the rest of you Jarheads.


  • WD Walter

    You old farts need to lighten up!! We are all Marines and we are allowed to tell our story our way! Enjoy the story, quit nit pick’n! I wish I had been so lucky. My Dad saw Bob during WWII. He said it nice for a few hours, then back to business. Semper Fi to old and new and in between Marines!!!!!!!! Cpl. Walter, 1968-75


  • David Childers

    He just stated the Bob Hope was a WWII icon, not that it was during WWII.


  • B. Mullen

    In reply to Al Johnston.
    He stated he was a L/CPL, obvious he was in Vietnam,There weren’t any L/CPL’S in WW 2


  • David S. HM3

    In reply to Al Johnston.
    Your right Al, but if you read the story closer (DAYS OF OUR LIVES), this Marine was in Nam.


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