MAIL CALL!, A Letter from Home
This program from the United States of America was primarily played to the American soldiers of WWII and featured an amazing array of celebrities. It debuted August 11, 1942 starring Bing Crosby.
Some of the best and brightest stars of radio came out to entertain men in uniform when they needed it most. The guest stars include comedians Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and Groucho Marx; starlets Dinah Shore, Bette Davis, and Judy Garland; and comic duos Burns and Allen, among others. Then men who served in the military during WWII could request stars that they wanted to hear on the show. The show is primarily comedy to help the soldiers forget about their wartime woes and remember the America they were fighting to preserve.
The Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) produced a number of original programs, most of them originating from their main studios in Hollywood. The first original product of the AFRS was Mail Call. Other popular shows included "G.I. Journal," "Jubilee," which featured mostly black entertainers, and "G.I. Jive."
Words At War
One of the first WWII radio programs I discovered was Words At War.
Words of War was an anthology of war stories, "told by the men and women who have seen them happen." It was produced in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, promising "stories of the battlefronts, of behind-the-scenes diplomacy, of underground warfare, of the home front, of action on the seas." Each show was to be "a living record of this war and things for which we fought." The program promoted by Variety as “one of the most outstanding programs in radio.”
Listen to Dynamite Cargo from August 28, 1943.
My Dad Goes To War
My Dad Goes To War
is a site that is a tribute to Lynn K. Juckett who served with the 78th
Infantry Division Headquarters during World War 2, and it was put together
by his family. It explores one person's military service in that war, and
tells it from the trenches, not from behind the lines.
She graduated high school in 1917 in Ohio and then went on to Ohio Wesleyan University hoping for a career on the stage. She did not graduate university. Working at a variety of jobs, she pursued hopes to become an actress. She travelled to Europe in 1929 with her mother and spent six months in France before returning to the USA.
Eventually she went to New York and worked in various stock companies and vaudeville but never gained any real recognition. Returning to Europe in 1933 she ended up in Berlin teaching English at the Berlitz School. To make ends meet she took a job at Radio Berlin as an announcer and actress and stayed with it until the end of the war in 1945. Her show was "Home Sweet Home" and was heard in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and the US.
After the war she was tried for treason with recorded broadcasts providing evidence of her voiced concerns about captured and wounded soldiers whose names and serial numbers had been taken by their captors. Her most famous broadcast, "Vision of Invasion" on May 11, 1944 was aimed at forces in England waiting for D-Day.
Her trial found her guilty on only one count of treason and she was sentenced to 10 - 30 years in prison, and a $10 000 fine. She was paroled on June 10, 1961.
She taught for a while at a Catholic girls school and then returned to Ohio Wesleyan University where she received a bachelor's degree in speech in 1973. She died June 25, 1988 at the age of 87.
For the complete story... click HERE
WWII Radio Links
There are literally thousands of links to WWII information on the internet. Here is a start for those interested in WWII sound bites and radio programs.
WWII Text and Photo Links
In order to listen to these audio clips and programs, you need an mp3 player. Windows Media Player can play mp3 files or you can download one of the following recommended players. You may also need a Real Audio player.
Click on any of the links below to go to a download site. Be sure to look for the FREE! version.
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