Pre-Christmas post from Star and Stripes – 75th Anniversary

In The Past

1964, a Vietnam Christmas for Bob Hope

Bob Hope brings Christmas cheer to troops in Vietnam

1964 | BIEN HOA, South Vietnam — Bob Hope brought some laughter to a place of war Christmas Eve.

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Residents of an outer island of Palau retrieve boxes from the U.S. Air Force’s 1999 Christmas drop.

Airmen prepare for annual Christmas gift drop to Pacific islanders

2005 | ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — Airmen geared up to deliver items to Pacific islanders who can only dream of department stores.

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Santa Claus hands out presents to the men of Detachment 35, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, in Vietnam at the end of 1968. The Air Force lent Santa six C7 Caribou cargo planes for his deliveries in Vietnam. The planes enabled him to visit some 50 isolated outposts – such as this Special Forces camp in Nahon Cho, 80 miles northeast of Saigon – from Dec. 24th until late in the afternoon Christmas day.
JAMES LINN/STARS AND STRIPES |

Eight deer traded in for 6 ‘Santabou’ in waning days of 1968

1968 | NHON CHO, Vietnam — Santa’s reindeer were constantly bogged down in mud and his sleigh broke on the bumpy, snowless airstrips. The Air Force lent Santa six C7 Caribou cargo planes for his deliveries in Vietnam.

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In The Present

Staff Sgt. Hector Frietze, right, and Senior Airman John Allum, left, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmasters, wave to the people of the Island of Angaur, Republic of Palau, during the first bundle airdrops of Operation Christmas Drop 2020, Dec. 6. OCD is the world’s longest running airdrop training mission, allowing the U.S. and its allies to deliver food, tools and clothing to the people who live on remote islands in the South-Eastern Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Spalding)

SE PACIFIC – OPERATION CHRISTMAS DROP

https://guam.stripes.com/community-news/until-next-year-operation-christmas-drop-2020-comes-close?fbclid=IwAR1yVLMkclH-_KP3NI3uW0A9hFwIZXBnKT4Wqr38MVxKHx9RVjxpM_0R3zA

Deployed

Service members serve on all seven continents — there is one service member in Antarctica — and on all the seas. Military personnel serve in more than 170 countries.

Service members deployed around the world during Christmas:

  • Afghanistan: 14,000
  • Bahrain: 7,000
  • Iraq: 5,200
  • Jordan: 2,795
  • Kuwait: 13,000
  • Oman: 300
  • Qatar: 13,000
  • Saudi Arabia: 3,000
  • Syria: Unknown
  • Turkey: Unknown
  • United Arab Emirates: 5,0000

Sailors will man their ships from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico.  Navy officials maintain that roughly a third of the Navy is deployed at any one time.

Air Force missileers and airmen are in the silos, by the planes and in the command centers ensuring the nuclear system is ready if needed.

And Please remember the military families !

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Military Christmas Humor – 

Humor from deployed Marines

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Farewell Salutes – 

Bennie Adkins – Waurika, OK; US Army, Vietnam, Sgt. (Ret. 22 y.), Green Beret, Silver Star, Purple Heart

Bon Nell Bentley – Russellville, AR; Civilian, riveter / US Navy WAVE, WWII / USN nurse / Civilian, nurse w/ Veterans Admin. (Ret. 30 y.)

Pedro ‘Pete’ Coronel – Hereford, AZ; US Army, WWII, PTO, 7th Cavalry, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Lee E. James (106) – Spearman, TX; US Army, WWII, CBI, Colonel (Ret. 27 y.)

William Kinney – Toledo, OH; US Navy, WWII

Levi A. Presley – Crestview, FL; US Army, Sgt. 1st Class

Louis Pugh – Courtdale, PA; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT, 2 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart

Jesse O. Sandlin – Granby, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, pilot, 8th AF  /  Korea, Lt. Colonel (Ret. 28 y.)

Owen Tripp – Tacoma, WA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Bronze Star

Donald Urquhart – New Orleans, LA; US Army, WWII, 81st Infantry Division, Purple Heart

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on December 21, 2020, in Current News, First-hand Accounts, Korean War, Post WWII, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 127 Comments.

  1. God Bless them all and what wonderful services at Christmas they have provided. I never missed a Bob Hope trip for the veterans. What a wonderful service he provided, as well. My favorite memory was a woman singing “Silent Night” to the vast audience who joined in. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house or at home! Merry Christmas, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, GP! Thank you for all your posts and history lessons!

    The Bob Hope article brought a chuckle when they mentioned blistering sun and 92 degrees. That is a typical July/August day here in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Merry Christmas, GP! To you and your precious family! 🙂
    Always been appreciative to those people who went/go to spend time with the troops overseas….and those who bring Christmas joy to those in the USA…AND those who focus on the families and help the to have a wonderful Christmas! 🙂
    VERY grateful to our troops and their families for their hard work, dedication, sacrifices, and so much more!
    Love the Army ranger tree shopping!!! 😀 😛
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob Hope loved and revered our troops

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Merry Christmas to you GP and to all those serving around the world. My all be kept safe and find joy even if far from home.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just love this post, GP. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Was Bob Hope the very first celebrity to visit the troops? Did he start it?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for your posts and the memories of the history! Merry Christmas and happy new year, GP😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the reindeer tank!
    It is heartwarming to know that our service man and women around the world get their share of festivities, even when the deer are bogged down in mud.
    I would like to extend best wishes to them all for a joyous, healthy, and safe holiday season.
    Same to you and your family, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I watched a movie about the Christmas air drop about a month ago. What a great tradition! Have a Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great articles, G. So grateful for the efforts to save Stars and Stripes this past year. And the best of Christmases to our men and women who are serving around the world. And a very Merry Christmas to you G! Thanks for all of your efforts as well. –Curt
    PS: My favorite cartoon this time was Rudolph. I just love vehicles that sport reindeer horns at this time of the year. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lets wish them all Merry Christmas, and a save celebration, at least on the Holy Days! Thank you, GP! In the meantime, military service seems to be a matter of course. Merry Christmas, GP! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your posts are always interesting. Thank you for the photo of Christmas 2020 in Palau, and for the reminder of the numbers of troops deployed around the world. I always learn something from you!

    Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks to these numerous Guys who is on duty we can peacefully celebrate Christmas. Merry Christmas to all of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I can remember reading a Bob Hope book in the mid-1960s. It made me laugh out loud time and time again. “I Owe Russia $1200”. What a comedian he was, and what a great patriot.

    Merry Christmas to all of the men and women and families who will be overseas, keeping us all safe from our enemies.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Blessings to all those who serve in the defense of our country. It has to be a very difficult season for them to be away from home and also for their families that wish they could be together. The servicemen don’t get enough credit for what they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a wonderful selection of stories- thanks so much for sharing them. I didn’t know about Operation Christmas Drop- that’s a pretty amazing program!
    Thanks also for the reminder of all of the people who won’t be home for Christmas this year, serving around the world- and their families who’ll be missing them.
    A very Merry Christmas to you, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I didn’t know anything about these Christmas drops — what a wonderful, and heartwarming service. We often forget that another name for members of the military is “servicemen,” and they do serve in so many ways. I have a friend in the National Guard here in Houston who recently was down in the Rio Grande Valley, collecting and distributing toys and other items for families there. I suspect that kind of activity gives our service members a good bit of satisfaction.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Insightful as always, GP. Happy solstice and merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I always loved watching the Bob Hope specials.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I particularly enjoyed reading the Stars & Stripes article about Bob Hope. Coincidentally, a blog post I read last night featured a dance-off movie clip with him and Jimmy Cagney. I do believe that Hope actually out-danced Cagney–which surprised me.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for this, GP. A reminder to thank our service people for their dedication to duty.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Even in the worst of situations these heart warming gestures of performance and gift giving make a difference. Super post. We must remember people out to protect and preserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. It must be very lonely being posted to Antarctica! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Happy Holidays To You & Your Family! 🎅 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hurrah for the generosity of our people serving. And just the opposite reaction to the people in the Pentagon who threatened to cease funding Stars And Stripes. If they can fund the ‘Space Force’ they sure as heck to fund the military paper.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Yes you are definitely right 🥰
    I’m loving your blogs followed your amazing blog site 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Wonderful post, GP. I always enjoyed Bob Hope. His book, “Don’t shoot, it’s only me” is full of stories of him entertaining the troops during Christmas. Glad to know that the Christmas Drop is still going on. That must be a godsend to those people in isolated areas.
    Enjoy the season. I had a blast this weekend (yesterday was my birthday) reminiscing old times in late 60s Christmas Season with my old friends. We were emailing back and forth. I believe they were trying very hard to cheer me up this time of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Rose, and Happy, Happy Birthday, my friend!
      I’ve been wondering about that. I didn’t know what I should say to you and also a friend I grew up with suddenly lost her husband. I truly do not know what to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you.
        I know it is hard for people to say something. Believe me, all my friends never mentioned Matt all weekend. All we talked was about my 25th birthday party before I met Matt and who was there which nobody could remember. We went to some wedding party which nobody could remember either and how we got to Philadelphia and where we stayed. It was hilarious. It made my day and I knew they were trying very hard to cheer me up.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Merry Christmas GP.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It is good to remember the servicemen who maintain our security far away from home. I
    like the list of countries with the numbers of servicemen that you provided in your post, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. That armoured vehicle with reindeer horns cracked me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I was in Saigon on Christmas Eve 1964. but I never knew Bob Hope was also there on that day. https://operasandcycling.com/saigon-1964/ I also never knew that he performed at Bien Hoa air base, which was just across the river from where I was stationed. From our house we could see the lights of the air base, which was strange because we didn’t even have electricity in our village.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. The airdrop is a fab thing to do, not sure if we do anything at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Wonderful holiday post, GP. Love the graphics. It doesn’t matter which service or where they are stationed, our military can celebrate the holidays and if possible, it will involve helping others, often orphans. I remember having Christmas eve dinner aboard the ship my husband was stationed on–it was our first Christmas together since the first year we were married the ship was deployed to the western Pacific. I had brought some sparkling cider to toast our dinner. When I offered some to the other two officers in the wardroom they were reluctant to try it because they thought it was alcohol. I don’t know if they were relieved or disappointed to share the sparkling cider with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I’m glad the airdrop is still in operation. I think it shows the heart of our soldiers. They are on duty, they remain vigilant, but they are also wonderful men and women. Thanks for pointing that out. Cheers to Stars and Stripes.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. GP: I particularly enjoyed the article on Bob Hope at Bein Hoa as I was stationed there in ’70-’71. Never got to see Bob Hope though. I hope you have a Happy Christmas and a better 2021 than 2020. (How can it not be?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do the best with what we’ve got. My Christmases have been quiet for years now. (Not by choice).
      I’m very happy you enjoyed the post. I (as always) thank you for your service and hope you and yours will make the best of it!

      Like

  38. Thank you, GP. A few days ago, my hubby and I watched “Operation Christmas Drop.” Though the characters are fictional, the story of the deliveries is real. Your post beautifully goes into detail. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. This is a great post, and thanks for the reminder that families of deployed service members “serve” as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Saw the Netflix movie “Operation Christmas Drop” where I learned of this annual humanitarian mission by the U.S.A.F.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Great post and so amazing America visit with Christmas all his soldiers all over the world. One day of absoluely peace and love and the Chrismasdropping above the island for people who live there. Such magical moment on Christmasday Wish you a Merry Christmas en keep it safely.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. America is the most generous country on the planet. Thanks, too for the memories. What an amazing man, Bob Hope!

    Liked by 2 people

  43. What a compelling issue!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Lots of troops away from family during the holidays..

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Always good to remember the service personnel a long way from home at Christmas, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Pre-Christmas post from Star and Stripes – 75th Anniversary – ASJohn

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