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 The Bob Hope Show

     Dec 1971 - Gitmo!

Thanks for the Memories!!

From the crew of the USS Mullinnix DD-944 who came so very close to seeing you during your 1971 Hope Christmas USO Tour, we say "Thanks for the Memories Bob!" The 1971 tour included stops at Hawaii, Wake Island, Okinawa, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, and finally Gitmo. The Mullinnix spent Christmas 1971 AND New Years Day 1972 in and around Gitmo protecting international shipping lanes from Castro's band of pirates that were boarding ships almost weekly. We were rotating duty with a 800-class tin can. We knew about 2 weeks in advance that the Mux was going to be import the day Bob Hope would be in Gitmo while the other ship took their turn patrolling Cuban waters. We were so excited!! The day of the show, the other tin can had mysterious boiler problems and couldn't go to sea. Hence, the Mux and her crew pulled double duty and went above and beyond!! I was on leave back in Lincoln, NE a couple months later when they aired the Bob Hope Christmas Special. There in the front row were the sailors from the other tin can. I won't ever forget that. So Bob, we on the Mullinnix came that close, but no cigar. But the important thing was you showed up as scheduled and even though we weren't there in person, trust me, we were with you in mind and spirit. Thanks Bob! Thanks for the Memories...the angels don't know how lucky they are...

Mullinnix @ Gitmo on Christmas Day 1971 (I think)
(Picture taken from Bob Hope's Troupe's Plane)

Letter home from FTG3 Frank Wood

12 Dec (Sunday), 1971 (En route to Gitmo Bay, Cuba) Dear Mom, Dad, Sue

I hope everybody got his or her Christmas presents (on time)? I really didn’t know what to buy. Don’t open them, because they aren’t wrapped inside.

We pull in Gitmo Bay, Cuba tomorrow morning. It’s hot already and were still by Florida. It got 82 today! I hope to get a good suntan.

On 29 Dec, Bob Hope is going to be there for his Christmas Show. Be sure to watch it on TV in Jan. or Feb. I’ve been home with Snuffy (nickname) twice, and met another girl. I like her very much, and the good thing about it, she likes me a lot. She’s 18, about 5’6" and very very good looking. She just might be the one, just kidding...I think. I’ll keep you posted.

They are going to have 2 leave periods in Jan. So I’ll probably make it home. It’s been along time. Too long. We’re supposed to stop in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the way back. There not sure about Montigo Bag for Christmas. We’ll that’s about it, I'll write in a couple days when things start popping. Write soon!!! Love, Frank PS: Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year. Say hi to everybody at church, and the relatives.

Christmas Day, Gitmo, RM3 Fletcher
Poster reads Merry f-cking Christmas Or Happy f-cking New Year
Note Shiner in Right Eye From EM-Club Brawl --- Go Mux!!!

L to R: RM3 Neil Appel, RM Gordon Smith, RM2 Morway, RM3 Roger Fletcher

The following article from the Guantanamo Gazette is courtesy of PO1 Robert Lamb and his staff.
A big thanks!! You know, we are damn proud of all of you, Robert!!! (2005)

Gitmo Gazette story on the Bob Hope Show - Page 1 (PDF)

Gitmo Gazette story on the Bob Hope Show - Page 2 (PDF)

Hope Arrives To Packed Lyceum
Thursday, 30 December 1971
Guantanamo Gazette
Though the start time for the Bob Hope Christmas show was moved up at the last minute yesterday, packed xxx greeted the ageless comedian as he walked out onto the Naval Station Lyceum stage.
Hope, who with his troupe of Deb Stars, Charley Pride Jim Nabors, Vida Blue, Les Brown and his band Renown, got the audience laughing, applauding for somewhere in the middle of about two hours and ten minutes.
Yesterday’s performance ended another annual Bob Hope Christmas tour for servicemen overseas.
Hope’s Guantanamo visit was cut short due to the death of Gen. Emmitt “Rosie” O’Donnel, president of the USO and close friend of Hope’s. Gen. O’Donnel’s death was the reason cited for the last minute change in the show time.
The Hope Troupe flew to Colorado Springs, CO, last night to attend the funeral for Gen. O’Donnel today. Hope and his troupe will them fly to Los Angeles.

Top left Picture: Radm. Brian McCauley introduces Hope to Mrs. McCauley upon the comedian’s arrival in Guantanamo Bay Tuesday night. (Photograph by Ray Daigle)

Bottom left Picture: Radm. Brian McCauley greets chief astronaut, Radm. Allen Shepard at Leeward Point Terminal. (Photograph by Ray Daigle)

Bottom middle picture: Bob Hope (left) and Charley Pride laugh at one of Hope’s jokes during the Christmas Show held at the Naval Station Lyceum yesterday shortly after 1:30 PM until shortly before 4 PM. (Photograph by xxxrty Curry)

Top right picture: Bob Hope seems to be in his glory as he performs with Deb Stars during yesterday’s USO Show. (Photograph by V.L. Rogers)

Bottom right picture: Jim Nabors seems to be overjoyed to get the microphone from departing Hope during the Hope Show at the Naval Station Lyceum yesterday. (Photograph by V.L. Rogers)

The following was emailed to FTG3 Frank Wood from MM2 Robert “Bob Houghton on 5 Feb 2005 in attempt to identify the “mystery ship” that took our place “in port” the day Bob Hope came to Gitmo in Dec 1971.

“Keep looking! And when you are tired.....the ship was the USS Perry DD-844 (http://www.ussperry.com/) I know it was the Perry. Reason I know? We all got thrown out of the EM club one night after the Officers got thrown out of the "O" club and the Chief's club (along with the chiefs that were there!) and all showed up at the EM club. The Chief Engineer (my hero) ED (Squire) MaGuire was up on a table leading all of us singing a chorus of "He's got the world (in his hands)" singing instead “We've got the Perry by the balls". I'll never forget it! Big fight. We all got a free ride back in the cattle cars real early that night. Don't know why you can't remember that? Must have had duty!? Or, maybe you just wimped out and went back early?

Anyway. Also, they didn't have boiler problems as I recall. Seems to me that it was evaporator problems. Couldn't make good quality water. GTMO had plenty (maybe that isn't the right word, but they had "some") of potable water but, NO boiler quality "feed water". We had to make our own and Perry had evaporator problems. They couldn't make good water pure enough for their boilers. (I think).

Anyhow...good luck with your search!

Cheers, Bob

Bob Hope Shows During The Vietnam War (PDF File)

Bob Hope - All Hands June 1958

Gitmo - 1962

Bob Hope Christmas Show Video Clips

Bob Hope Show - Introduction

Bob Hope Show - Danang

Bob Hope Show - Tehran, Iran

Bob Hope Show - Rota, Spain

Bob Hope Show - GTMO - Clip 1

Bob Hope Show - GTMO - Clip 2

Bob Hope Show - GTMO - Clip 3

Bob Hope Show - GTMO - Clip 4


Delores and Bob Hope

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© 2003 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.