[HISTORYNET]By Christmas 1967, the number of American military in South Vietnam had reached almost 500,000, resulting in ever-larger audiences and making Hope’s appearances even more important for boosting morale. Joined on the tour by actresses Raquel Welch and Barbara McNair, Hope performed for 25,000 men and women at Long Binh who sat in a brutal sun while organizers fretted about security. He told the troops at Da Nang that Dow Chemical just got even with student protesters: “They came up with an asbestos draft card.” During a visit with the wounded, Hope asked one soldier, “Did you see the show or were you already sick?”
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The Bob Hope Christmas Special
Original Air Date: January 18, 1968
Bob Hope, Phil Crosby, Elaine Dunn, Miss World Madeiline Hartog Bel , Barbara McNair, Raquel Welch, Earl Wilson, Les Brown and His Band of RenownBob Hope and his 1967 USO tour travel to 22 bases in 15 days—across Vietnam, Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, and Thailand—and perform aboard the USS Ranger and the USS Coral Sea. Among other highlights, he calls four soldiers up onstage to pass along greetings from home, and another who speaks to Miss World in French. The troupe entertains the Big Red One division, who built a bunker backstage at Lai Khe for the safety of the performers, and visits wounded service members in hospitals.