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December 23, 2010

Bob Hope and The 1966 Christmas Show

By Sara In AZ


………………………….We interrupt the “Big Road Trip of 2010” to bring y’all something a bit more festive!…………….

Do y’all remember the Bob Hope Christmas specials from way back? I definitely remember watching the Bob Hope Christmas specials when I was younger. Bob Hope would always put on a spectacular show for the Military and it was always fun to watch. His last Christmas show was in 1990 for Operation Desert Shield. Its’ hard to believe it’s been 20 years since his last show.

I came across these old photographs at Goodwill recently. Yes, I did say Goodwill – sad huh? It’s kind of like that old wedding scrapbook I did the post on. Why doesn’t anyone want to keep any of this old stuff? They were all mementos from Lt. Col. William Copp (Bill Copp) and his time flying Bob Hope around for the 1966 Christmas show in Vietnam and Thailand. There were many more photographs that I did not get, probably 50 or so. These are all original photographs.

Some background information on Lt. Col. William H. Copp. He joined the Air Force in 1942 and served as a B-17 navigator in Europe and Africa during and after World War II. Later he flew 27 combat missions as a B-29 pilot in the Korean War and was a B-47 Jet Bomber Standboard pilot in General Lemay’s USAF Strategic Air Command. Lt. Copp flew 183 C-130E sorties in the Vietnam War.

YAY!!! Lt. Col. Copp! And thanks for all you did in your service to the Air Force!

The stars on the 1966 tour included Phyllis Diller, Vic Damone, Anita Bryant, Joey Heatherton and of course Bob Hope! There were also various other people included in the show including Miss World Reita Faria, Diane Shelton (a champion baton twirler),  and the Korean Kittens.

Here is Lt. Col. Copp (2nd in from right) with his NORAD team.

Lt. Col. Copp (middle) was the Chief of the NORAD Briefing Team. NORAD stands for North American Air Defense Command.

Here is Lt. Col. Copp with Miss World Reita Faria.

Lt. Col. Copp with Vic Damone.

Lt. Col. Copp with the Korean Kittens.

Lt. Col. Copp’s Air Force Division – the 315th.

Bob and Dolores Hope, and he is holding his famous golf club!

Lt. Col. Copp interviewing Bob Hope.

What fun pictures to see and look at. I really was in awe of all the things Lt. Col. Copp did in his lifetime.

Thanks for the memories Lt. Copp!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! Have a lovely holiday!

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14 Responses to Bob Hope and The 1966 Christmas Show

  1. Toni Reply

    December 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Awesome photos!

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 24, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Thanks Toni! 🙂

  3. sablemable Reply

    December 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! LOL, I almost did my post on the Bob Hope shows in Vietnam! Great minds at work, eh? I wonder what happened to Lt. Copp and why his photographs were in a Goodwill store? Glad you found them and cherish them, Sara!

    Yes, I remember these shows very well as we were all fans of Hope. It was a wonderful deed of kindness to do this for our men and women (yes, women in the military were in-country as well, as nurses, in communications, etc.) who served during that dreadful war.

    Let us all pray for our troops now, gang, and hope for their quick return home to family, friends and nation.

    Semper Fi and have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Sable – I know, I wonder what hapened to him too???

    How funny that you were going to do a post on Bob Hope too, but you still totally could. I know it would be great! 🙂

  5. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    December 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I’m so intrigued by these photos! And I love the one with their NORAD briefcases. Do you know if he was from Arizona?

  6. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 28, 2010 at 12:58 am

    You know Eartha, I had the impression he retired here to Az. There was an address on the back of one of the pics and I looked all over the web trying to get any info I could, but nothing came up. I am thinking of dropping a line to that address and seeing if anyone replies.

  7. RetroRuth Reply

    December 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    How amazing! What a great piece of American History to stumble upon! I am so jealous. I hope you can uncover more of the story, and I also wonder how the heck such treasures got to Goodwill!!!

  8. Jennifer Reply

    December 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Goodness gracious! I cannot believe, YET AGAIN, that some MORON (sorry to be rude) gave up these photos! How precious they are. SO glad you came across them.

  9. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Ruth – Thanks! 🙂 I will let y’all know if I find out anything else!

    Jennifer- I was real sad when I saw all these pics at the Goodwill. I only wish I could have gotten all of them.

    • Keith Reply

      April 7, 2012 at 3:42 am

      What a nice tribute to Lt. Col. Copp’s Career – thanks for the post. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Copp this past week. He is currently residing in Apache Junction, AZ. He’s a very gracious man and a pleasure to speak with. He showed me several photos from his flying days, including some with Bob Hope and John Wayne. He currently assists in training new pilots. He also plays guitar and mandolin. It was an honor to meet such an accomplished yet humble man. I thanked him for his time and for his service to our country.
      Best Regards,

      • Sara In AZ Reply

        April 7, 2012 at 4:12 am

        Hi Keith – Thank you so much for reading my post and for commenting! Please check out the follow up post I did about Bill Copp a few months after this post


        I also had the pleasure of meeting Bill, and he was the most enjoyable man to meet and talk to, it really was a joy! And I was able to return the photographs I found at Goodwill back to him, it was a great day and one I will always cherish!

  10. Jim Dutchess Reply

    October 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I remember seeing the Korean Kittens during one of Bob Hope’s Christmas shows in VietNam, 1966. They were great.

  11. Pingback: Check It Out Everyone…………A Great New Website About Our Hero William ‘Wild Bill’ Copp! | No Pattern Required

  12. Chuck Hassler Reply

    April 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm


    Great work! As a lowly Air Force two stripper, I had the honor to introduce Bop Hope to the crowd at the 23 Dec 1966 Christmas show at Udorn Air BAse, Thailand. Bob walked on stage after the introduction, carrying his golf club of course, arm wrestled me for a few seconds, said a few nice words, and I left the stage in awe. A minute in my lie that I will never forget.

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