While on a brief stopover in Salt Lake City on Jan. 13, 1942, making her way east for the Indianapolis war bond rally, Carole Lombard gladly posed with a few members of the military -- the very people she was to raise funds for. Had fate not intervened, one could imagine Carole posing with plenty of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines over the next few years.
In honor of Memorial Day and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for America, here are some photos of classic Hollywood actresses showing their patriotism by giving their support and boosting the morale of the folks keeping us free.
We'll begin with one of Carole's contemporaries at Paramount, Marsha Hunt, who's still with us and did her share of performing for the troops during World War II:
We next go from Marsha to Martha -- Martha Raye, that is, whose comedy and singing talent made her a favorite among American forces abroad from World War II through Vietnam:
Perhaps no actress was as actively involved in World War II as Marlene Dietrich, who put herself in harm's way many a time to entertain Allied forces. And this photo, taken somewhere in liberated France on Nov. 18, 1944, reminds us that WACs played a role in the war, too:
Remember actress Wini Shaw of "Lullaby Of Broadway" fame? Well, she and British actress Anna Lee (at left) journeyed to north Africa in 1943 to perform for Allied troops in support of the man at far left, Jack Benny:
On the home front, vivacious Betty Hutton leads soldiers in a round of song at the Hollywood Canteen on April 12, 1945, but unlike her movie alter ego Trudy Kockenlocker, she did not get drunk or pregnant:
Two other stars who supported the troops during World War II were Irene Dunne...
...and a buxom newcomer named Jane Russell:
Russell's co-star in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Marilyn Monroe, got her opportunity to perform for soldiers in Korea...
...and stars such as Ann-Margret continued the tradition in Vietnam:
Something to think about while we remember that Memorial Day is more than just the start of the summer season.
This week's LiveJournal header shows Carole with George Raft in a scene from 1935's "Rumba," the generally lackluster followup to their dance hit of the previous year, "Bolero."