USO Volunteers Who Entertained Troops
During & After the Korean War
|To add the names or photographs of any USO volunteers who
entertained troops during the Korean War, contact
Lynnita or write Lynnita
Brown, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL 61953.
Most Recent Update: January 28, 2018
- USO stars who entertained troops in Korea during
and after the
- Frankie Adams - female ballet, soft
tap dancer (Her stage name was Kathy Bryan.
She danced in USO tours in Korea in 1954 and 1956.)
- Victoria Dawn Addams - entertained the
troops in Korea December 1952/January 1953
- Keith Andes
- Roscoe Ates - best known for his role as
western character "Soapy Jones", he was on the 1952
Christmas tour to Korea
- Georgie Auld - saxophone player
- Lita Baron
- Jack Benny - He and his troupe performed
in Korea in June of 1951. He was 57 years old
at the time.
- Bernard Bradley
- Les Brown & Orchestra - performed in Bob
Hope's October 1950 show in Korea
- Jane Bruner - pianist with Jack Benny's
troupe in June 1951
- Anita Bryant (stateside)
- Jack Burger - known as Mr. Bongos
- Raymond Burr - Raymond Burr and
Cary Grant visited dozens of hospitals throughout
the Combat Zone. Mr. Burr gave readings of poetry
and scenes from well-known movies that fascinated
his audiences, who gave him standing ovations. April,
- Norma V. Busse - A member of the US Army
in 1952, she received the assignment to be the
Assistant Director of Special Services for Asia,
coordinating USO entertainment tours for Japan and
- Toby Butler - bass player
- Rory Calhoun - March 1953 show with Mrs.
- Carlton Carpenter - Christmas 1952 tour
in Korea. At that time he was Debbie Reynolds'
- Movita Castenda - Marlon
Brando's 2nd wife
- Jerry Colonna
- Carolina Cotton - Known as the Yodeling
Blonde Bombshell, Carolina was a regular on the USO
tour. From 1952 to 1954 she had her own show
on Armed Forces Radio entitled, "Carolina Cotton
Calls." Found on the Carolina Cotton
website: 1952-53, KOREA (poss. Tokyo, Japan) - USO
Camp Shows - Performers: Carolina Cotton, Paul
Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Roscoe Ates, Rory Calhoun,
Peggy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Jan Sterling, Keenan
Wynn, Movita Castaneda, Carleton Carpenter (There
was a slight plane detour, on the way to
Korea...instead of the planned stopover in Hawaii,
the plane had landed in Alaska. Needless to say, the
troupe was surprised, as they were dressed in summer
clothes!) Tour: Left Los Angeles for Korea
(12/19/52) / Tokyo, Japan (12/23-24/52) / Korea, at
Airbase, 12/24/ Korea (Christmas, 12/25/52) / Korea,
battle front, in makeshift circus tent, 10th Corps
area / Korea, 12/27 / Korea, New Years Eve show,
12/31/52 / Korea, where Carolina made her 3rd visit
there, performing on the front lines, and
performance on USS Constitution (1/2/53) / Korea
- Ann B. Davis - Miss Davis starred as the
housekeeper Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch Show
and the secretary on the Bob Cummings Show.
She went on a 35-day tour of Korea in 1968.
- Paul Douglas - Taegu, December 1952
- Betsy Drake - (then wife of Cary Grant)
- Pansy Rosella Borror Ferguson (wife of
- Cpl. Troy Ferguson - country western
singer who entertained troops on Okinawa during
- Eddie Fisher
- Errol Flynn - entertained wounded troops
at Taegu, Korea in 1951
- Dolores Gay - tap dancer who served in
the Jack Benny troupe in June 1951
- Cary Grant - Cary Grant and Raymond Burr
visited dozens of hospitals throughout the Combat
Zone. Mr. Burr gave readings of poetry and scenes
from well-known movies that fascinated his
audiences, who gave him standing ovations.
- Johnny Grant - performed in the "Buffalo
Bowl" in Korea in 1950 and 1952. He was a
disc jockey in Los Angeles. Johnny Grant
contracted pneumonia while on the spring 1952 USO
tour to Korea and was hospitalized when the troupe
returned to Los Angeles.
- Bob Hope
- Alberta Hunter - blues singer and
composer. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, this
singer/songwriter took a USO troupe to Casablanca
during World War II and continued entertaining
troops in both theatres for the duration of that
war. She then went to Korea on USO tours until
the death of her mother in 1954. Alberta
Hunter is known for her hit song, "Downhearted
Blues". She was inducted into the Blues Hall
of Fame in 2011.
- Betty Hutton
- Udell Johnson - actor
- Al Jolson - performed 42 shows (in just
16 days) in Korea during the first year of the war.
Shortly after returning from Korea, he died of a
heart attack on October 23, 1950. Jolson was
the first entertainer to volunteer to entertain the
troops in Korea and paid the trael expense out of
his own pocket.
- Jennifer Jones
- Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones - country western singer & star on Hee Haw (died
- Ramona Riggins Jones - country western singer, fiddler & star on Hee Haw (died
2015). She was married to Grandpa Jones. The two performed in USO shows during
the Korean War.
- Harry Kahne - mentalist who performed in
Jack Benny's group in June 1951
- Jacob Kalich - See Molly Picon entry.
- Danny Kaye - 1952
- Judy Kelly - performed in Bob Hope's show
in Korea October 1950
- Marjorie Kiewitt - drummer
- Frances Langford
- Piper Laurie - She first performed in a
USO show in Korea in the winter of 1950 and then
returned in the spring of 1952. In her memoir
she stated that she got sick on the "crud in the
air" and lost her voice. She said that singing
was easier on her throat than speaking so she took
amphetamines and aspirin until she was able to sing
during every show. By the time she got back to
the States she was very ill with pneumonia.
- Monica Louis - singer
- Denise Love - singer
- Jerry Mann - Born Jerry Solomon, he
performed with a 20-piece USO entertainment unit in
Korea in early 1954. His troupe performed
concurrently with the Marilyn Monroe and Slapsie
- Jayne Mansfield
- Robert Merrill
- Mid-States Four Barbershop Quartet -
Performed 33 shows in 19 days in Korea between June
26, 1951-July 16, 1951.
- Ray Milland
- Lucy Monroe (solo tour in 1953)
Lucy was known in the US as the "Star-Spangled
Soprano" because she sang at every New York Yankees
home game. The Koreans called her the
"American Woman Skyscraper" because she was 5'11".
- Marilyn Monroe - February 1954
- Terry Moore - ten-day tour in Korea
December 1952. A singer and straight girl for
disc jockey Johnny Grant, Miss Moore got in trouble
with George Murphy, chairman of the Hollywood
committee for the USO, for wearing a red ermine
bathing suit that she said made her look like a
"little Santa Claus". After four shows she was
ordered to pack the suit away or return to the USA.
- Richard Morris - Christmas/New Year's
- Snub Mosely - October/November 1952
- Eva Maria Munoz - mambo dancer whose
stage name was Evita "Chachita" Munoz. This
Mexican actress, comedian, singer, dancer performed
with the King of Mambo, Perez Prado, during the
- Patricia Neal - performed at the
Bulldozer Bowl in 1952.
- Donald O'Connor
- Gloria Pall - part of the Slapsie Maxie
show in Korea 1954. Born July 15, 1927 in
Brooklyn, New York, Gloria Pall (ne Pallatz) was a
model, Reno/Las Vegas showgirl, actress, and
realtor. In 1945 she was working for the USO
on the 5th floor of the Empire State Building when a
B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor. In
1954 she appeared in seven shows on KABC television
as the character "Voluptua." Public outcry
over her "torrid" show caused it to be cancelled.
Among other films and television shows, she appeared
with Elvis in "Jailhouse Rock" and played a role in
"20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" and "The Twilight
Zone." Gloria Pall died in Burbank, California
in December of 1992.
- Damaso Perez Prado - Cuban bandleader,
organist, pianist, composer--also known as the "King
of the Mambo"
- Jean Peters
- Marygrace Petry - professional juggler
who performed for the troops in Korea in 1951 to the
end of the war. She and her father had a
juggling act under the stage names Sandra Joyce and
Lou Seldon. The father/daughter team performed
for active military personnel on duty far away from
- Molly Picon - This Yiddish theater star
performed in the USO Christmas Troupe to Korea in
1951. She performed with her husband, Jacob
Kalich. The two of them were on tour with
Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman, vicar general of
the US Armed Forces. After their Christmas
show was over they offered to call the mothers of
any soldiers who wanted them to do so. They
came back to the USA with over 400 slips of paper
with mother's names and contact information on them.
Molly and Jacob called every single mother.
- Walter Pidgeon - entertained troops in
Korea December 1952/January 1953
- Martha Raye
- Frank Remley - guitarist with the Jack
Benny troupe in June 1951
- Debbie Reynolds (1950/Christmas tour 1952)
- Marjorie Reynolds - member of the Jack
Benny troupe in Korea June 1951
- Larry Roberts
- Buddy Rogers - December 1952
- Mickey Rooney
- Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom - Born Max
Everett Rosenbloom in Leonard Bridge, Connecticut on
September 6, 1904, he acquired the nickname "Slapsie
Maxie" during his career as a professional boxer.
He won the 1930 New York Light Heavyweight title and
then the 1932 World Light Heavyweight championship.
During his career he fought 289 fights. He
retired from boxing in 1939 and opened the Slapsie
Maxie Comedy club in California the same year.
He acted on radio, television, and motion pictures.
His USO troupe performed in Korea in spring of 1954.
Slapsie Maxie died March 6, 1976 in South Pasadena,
- Barbara Ruick
- Jane Russell
- Penny Singleton - "Blondie" from the show
"Dagwood and Blondie"
- Red Skelton
- Dick Sladovnik (a/k/a Dick Slady) author
of Gigs, Guns, & Guilt: a Musician's Tour of the
- Hank Snow - performed in Korea's
"Bulldozer Bowl" in 1953
- Jan Sterling (Paul Douglas' wife) -
Taegu, December 1952
- Connie Stevens - She was 15 years old at
- Cynthia and Kay Strother (The Bell Sisters)
- performed with the USO on two tours of
Korea (Christmas 1953 and 1954). The first
time, they travelled with Dick Contino and Roscoe
Ates. In 1953, Kay Strother was the youngest
USO performer at that time - she was 12 or 13.
- Beverly Tobiason - Born the
daughter of Walter Tobiason, she and two of her
performed with the Bob Hope USO troupe in 1950 as a
member of the "Taylor Maids" group. The group
was a harmonizing trio.
- Jinny Tobiason - See Beverly Tobiason.
- Patricia Tobiason - See Beverly Tobiason.
- Ernest Tubb - performed with Hank Snow in
the Bulldozer Bowl in 1953
- Lou Tulianello - Army accordion player
who accompanied Lucy Monroe on her US0 tour to Japan
- Benay Venuta - member of the Jack
Benny troupe in Korea in June 1951
- Jimmy Wakely - member of Bob Hope's show
in Korea October 1950
- Margaret Eleanor Whiting - singer of
jazz, pop and country standards (b. 1924/d.
- Keenan Wynn - entertained troops during a
10-day Christmas show in December 1952/January 1953.