Thanks is always in order for our servicemen, and in that vein Honor Flight Northwest Ohio and the Air National Guard 180th Fighter Wing hosted a Stage Door Canteen recently at the fighter wing's facility in Swanton.
The event was to honor World War II veterans by providing them a chance to re-live the experience of a 1940s-era entertainment venue.
According to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, the original canteen was started by Broadway performers to offer servicemen a place to relax with dancing, food, and often big-name entertainment. It opened in New York in March, 1942.
The Hollywood Canteen was founded by film actors Bette Davis and John Garfield and debuted in October, 1942. "On any given night [servicemen] could be serenaded by Dinah Shore, dance with Joan Crawford, or laugh at the antics of a Red Skelton or Mickey Rooney," according to the museum.
By the end of 1945, 11 million soldiers had been entertained at eight canteens in U.S. cities, plus London and Paris.