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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

World War 2


During World War 2 Carole spent more time visiting troops than any other actress. She took time off from her career and dedicated herself to the war effort. Carole toured the country selling war bonds and entertained soldiers all over the world. The press called her "a heroine" and "pride of the yanks". She told reporters "It's not only a duty, it's a lark. Even if your clothes are wrinkled, your face is chapped to the ears and you're deaf from flying in bombers, it's like home when you come down in the midst of Americans. It's living such as I have never known back here."

 

Carole joined the Hollywood Victory Committee and worked tirelessly with the Red Cross, the Naval Aid Auxiliary, and Bundles for Blue Jackets. She also collected cigarettes for the soldiers, taught first aid, and donated blood as often as she was allowed. Carole NEVER turned down a request to help and visited more than two hundred military bases across the United States. When she went to Camp Bowie for a three day appearance in 1942 she danced with hundreds of soldiers, sang fifteen songs, and signed more than one thousand autographs.




In September of 1942 she visited the Mare Island Navy Yard where she sang for the injured men in the hospital ward. Carole became one of the soldier's favorite pin-up girls and they nicknamed her "The Blonde Bomber". When she appeared on the Command Performance radio show a soldier stationed overseas requested that she "just sigh" into the microphone. In November 1942 Carole started a five month tour of Europe and Africa with actresses  Mitzi Mayfair, Kay Francis, and Martha Raye.


She met her husband, Major Tommy Wallace, during this tour and she wrote about her experiences in her 1944 book Four Jills In A Jeep Carole was a hostess at the Hollywood Canteen and she invited soldiers to her Santa Monica beach house every weekend. In June of 1944 she began a two month U.S.O. tour with Jack Benny, singer Martha Tilton, harmonica player Larry Adler, and pianist June Bruner. During their camp shows Carole sang and jitterbugged with the boys. She spent much of her time visiting wounded soldiers and she wrote hundreds of letters to their families.

 

Jack Benny said "You soon forgot she was Carole Landis, the sex symbol, the Hollywood star, the sweater girl, because she was a real human being and had a warm heart that spilled over with kindness". During their tour of the South Pacific She almost died when she contracted malaria and amoebic dysentery. Carole was hospitalized for several weeks and lost more than fifteen pounds. She would suffer with these illnesses for the rest of her life.

 

Carole became an Air Raid Warden, a commander in the Aerial Nurses Corps, and an honorary Colonel in the American Legion. She auctioned off her favorite opal ring to raise money and she donated several movie projectors to bases overseas. Carole traveled more than one hundred thousand miles during the war. She performed for soldiers in Australia, Brazil, Algeria, Bermuda, Scotland, England, New Guinea, Ireland, Guam, and New Zealand. Carole said "Whatever we do for soldiers can't be enough in return for what they do for us. They are wonderful!"



With Linda Darnell                                                               

With Marlene Dietrich                                                                        
 
With Jack Benny, Larry Adler, June Bruner, and Martha Tilton

With Gilbert Roland                                                                 


 Carole wrote this description herself