Bob Hope USO Show Comes To Ubon


In November of 1965 we began hearing rumors that the Bob Hope USO show might put on a show at our base around Christmas.  This was exciting news for us. As we anxiously waited to get confirmation of their visit,  Chuck and I began talking about how we might be able to get the members of USO show to allow us to record some seasons greetings for the men who would not be able to attend the show.

Finally we got confirmation that the show was coming to Ubon so Chuck got permission from the Base Commander, Col. Bruce Knutson, to allow us to set up a tape recorder and attempt to get the interviews. 

Finally the big day arrived and we were at the Terminal building very early that morning to get set. We had a small table set up in one corner of the building with a coffee pot and cooler with soft drinks and beer for the group when they landed. We soon learned that a Air Force C-141

was on final approach and would be on the ground in just a few minutes. Now the excitement was really building. However, we soon learned that this plane only had equipment and support staff and that the Show team would arrive sometime later coming in on a C-130 aircraft from Bangkok.  So we continued wait for their arrival. We did interview a few of the crew members from the C-141 just get their comments for the station.

It was now about 11:00 a.m when we got word that the C-130 was inbound with the cast aboard. It was “Show Time” for us amateur radio announcers. All of a sudden there they were coming in to the terminal.  Carroll Baker, Kaye Stevens, Joey Heatherton, Anita Bryant and then there he was Bob Hope himself.

We got wonderful heartfelt interviews with all the stars as well as getting them to autograph pictures for our little studio. Believe me this was exciting for me a 20 year old airman from North Carolina. While Chuck was more mature and handled the mike with a little less nervousness, we both were beside ourselves with excitement.

As we began to interview the stars we quickly learned that our Aussie pilots from across the base had given the inbound C-130 an escort on its approached to Ubon. This picture was taken by Ltcol. Elwyn Whitsitt who was flying the C-130 aircraft.

All of the stars were very graceful and willing to talk with Chuck and me. My favorite interviews were Carroll Baker and Kaye Stevens.

We played the tape for several days over the base radio station. I made a copy for Chuck and I kept the original tape. Between my regular job as a Crypto Operator and my work with the radio station, my year in Thailand went by quickly. In June of 1966 I returned to the states and was discharged from the Air Force at Travis AFB Cal.

  1. 1Hey Bobbie....Thanks again for the pics - what a shocker. Thanks also for the pics you sent me of our "trip" to the border (Laos). I wish I still had the movies I took of us riding that water buffalo (remember that???). Oh well, all my pics were lost in a fire. That one of me in front of the 2-van sure brought back some memories; also, seeing Rick Whalley and the other guys - great memories. Sure glad to have met you then - I knew you'd make something of yourself over the years. Skip....

    TaxmanSkip 7 months ago

  2. 2If you want to see some really beautiful color (Then and Now) photos of Ubon, please go to the Ubon Ratchithani Facebook page.

    ike60miles1 8 months ago

  3. 3Bob Hope gave joy and hope to many for many years and he will be missed but always remembered by those of us he touched.

    Vicmarstar 11 months ago

  4. 4I was the C-130 pilot flying Bob Hope and his 1965 Christmas show in Thailand. I have a photo of that Aussie F-86 that flew our wing into Ubon.  Bob and all of performers signed the crew manifest and hangs on my wall. That 2 days flying him and his show was a wonderful experience.

    Oldwhit5703 1 year ago 2

  5. 5Great video. Udorn, Thailand Vet . USAF...Ramasun Station USAFSS

    woody72691 1 year ago

  6. 6I have been trying to find or buy the one Bob Hope did at Camp Eagle in Vietnam 1969/ If any one knows where I can find it let me know. Glenn Scarborough

    redlegwith101 1 year ago

  7. 7I was working K-9 security for the Bob Hope show At Ubon in 1971. Front row seats..great duty. I still have a few photos of the event. Don Nabors, Vida Blue etc. They closed the show with "Ill be home for Christmas" which was wierd since we were not going home and there was no snow. Great show nonethrleess.

    2682734 1 year ago

  8. 8Amazing. This was near the beginning of the war, I was in the NAVY at the time and then I turned the lights out of the Viet Nam war in 1975 From UDORN, Thailand. Buck SGT. C. File 432 OMS

    filch61 1 year ago

  9. 9Great video!! A GREAT part of history. Taken during the same time as mine on the USS Ticonderoga CVA-14. December 1965. Thanks for uploading it on youtube.

    ehmc2 1 year ago

  10. 10WOW what a great video, before my time but my father was station in Ubon, Thailand. My respect to all the troops base all over the world and to Bob Hope and the USO for doing such a great job. Thank you:)

    allygurlfocus2 1 year ago

  11. 11I found out about bob hope cause my mom told it to me she said he was hilarious.

    nsbgtf 1 year ago

  12. 12Great stuff thank you for posting this.

    tomestokes 1 year ago

  13. 13I love videos like this where people actually respect our troops and realize what a job they have/had to do.
    Most people I run in to now of days seem to hate the troops and think they are idiots.
    I wish more people respected the troops like Bob Hope did.
    It's just sad in my opinion, even though I'm only 20, completely understand who Bob Hope was but most young seem to never know or even care who he was and he's such an important figure that I think everyone should learn about.

    RedPenguin2 1 year ago

  14. 14O M G ! ! at 2:38- 2:41 is my grandpa walking down the stairs with miss U.S.A ! ( Hi PaPa its Clayton )

    yoyoyo19087 2 years ago

  15. 15I was on that show singing to miss usa.I would love to get a DVD if possible.

    chrissylegette 2 years ago

  16. 16Hi Chuck - thanks for the note. This was an experience that I've treasured for many years. Chuck Anger lives in Fl and he and I chat from time to time. He just turned 80.

    bmorton5 2 years ago

  17. 17I was stationed at Ubon, '69-'70. Worked at AFTN Radio/TV.
    Any other stuff around from AFTN? Thanks for the memories.
    Chuck Stewart

    conkyjoe 2 years ago

  18. 18This the USA that we are all proud off.

    tackorgybe 2 years ago

  19. 19This, as was Bob, is just SUCH a treasure of Americania...ok, and UK too :) Thanks to all for this posting !

    hallaneener 2 years ago

  20. 20I'm related to bob hope...he's my late grandpa's name is Tony Hope

    shinobi138 2 years ago

  21. 21Sawadee Mr.Hope. One of the greats indeed

    thai1959 2 years ago

  22. 22I love this stuff! Both of my grandfathers served and one retired from the Navy. As of right now, MY Marine is in Iraq(again). He has told me that people still come sometimes so thanks to them and to all of you for the legacy you have left for us to proudly carry!

    bekaloveschance 2 years ago

  23. 23To Carol Baker. I want to thank you for a wonderful memory in 1966, in Indianapolis as I was leaving for the Marine Corps. I was just a bus boy, and you stopped to have your picture taken with me after your appearence here in Harlow. Thanks for the memories.

    indyvoter 3 years ago

    Dear Mr. Morton,
    On behalf of the Hope family I want to extend my gratitude to you and Mr. Chuck Anger for generously sharing with us your interviews with Mr. Hope and the other members of his troupe when they visited your base in Vietnam.
    It was wonderful to hear them speaking privately to soldiers as opposed to NBC microphones. I can hear a difference. Thanks again for accommodating our request for a copy.
    Best regards,
    Jim Hardy

    bmorton5 3 years ago

  25. 25Thanks bmorton5, real and honest. Should be more people like you to show us stuff like this. Thanks to YouTube.

    Hickey66 3 years ago

  26. 26saw the Mr. Bob Hope Show at Chu Lai, Christma '65
    RIP Mr. Hope

    soxbearshwks 3 years ago

  27. 27The Military Channel ran a marathon of Bob's Christmas Shows in 2005.

    ebf1957 3 years ago

  28. 28yes they did.........where are they now????

    pkappel006 3 years ago

  29. 29I was one of the troops thate was an extreme high and a real pick me up from where we were.

    t24max 3 years ago

  30. 30WOW thanks for your video.  i just noticed it here on You tube. Joey was a personal friend of mine so I really enjoyed seeing her. You may want to check out my music video of me and Joey . Thanks again for shariing. Jimmy WIlde

    Good Morning Ubon