Henry Fonda holds a special place in the heart of many who saw him tour with the USO during the Vietnam War. Himself a decorated Navy veteran, Fonda put aside personal beliefs and - as he wrote in his 1981 autobiography My Life – toured with the USO because he believed in supporting the Troops: “It was a trip that this (62)-year-old man didn’t want to take, but I felt I had to…for the guys sweating it out and dying in the rice paddies and jungles.”
But the story doesn’t end there. In 2004, the USO moved its main operations from the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, to new offices in Arlington, VA. Among one of the items found during the move was a letter from Fonda to the USO, dated 27 April 1967. He explained in his distinct handwriting that his USO tour in Vietnam was “the most rewarding experience of my life, and I will be forever grateful that I was given this opportunity.”
The picture below was taken during that tour, as a reporter interviews Fonda. We thank him for his service.
Chaplain Saul Parker 8th U.S. Army Support Command accompanies his assistant Specialist 4 Ronald Hirsch in a folk song duet which is being taped to send home. The tape is one of 400 three-inch reels donated by Audio Devices, Inc., of New York to the USO in Korea. The USO supplies the tapes free-of-charge to visiting servicemen and sends the tapes to the servicemen's homes in the USA. (Seoul, Korea - July 22, 1966 - Photo by Specialist 5 Gordon Hart)
The crew onboard this aircraft carrier spelled out "USO" on deck in 1958.
USO Baby Checking Services - A Volunteer Watches Four Babies in the 1950s
Men of 92nd Engineer Searchlight Company focus on Yodeler Elton Britt during Camel Caravan variety show at Hongchon, Korea. USO Photo by PFC R.J. McKinney
We’re just ten days away from the 69th Anniversary of the USO! We’ll be celebrating every day until then with exclusive historical photos. And don’t forget to tell us YOUR story; read the details here.
USO Mobile units travel to the Canal Zone, early 1940s