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December 20, 2018

Bob Hope and The 1966 Christmas Show – Thursday Retro Rewind

I’ve been looking through our archives and found a few old posts I did about 8 years ago that I thought would be just perfect to post during this holiday season. These old pictures were a pretty special find at my local thrift almost 10 years ago, and they led me into a pretty spectacular meet-up about a year after I found them!! Stay tuned, next week all will be revealed! 

By Sara In AZ

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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One Response to Bob Hope and The 1966 Christmas Show – Thursday Retro Rewind

  1. Dan ODay Reply

    December 22, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    What an incredible find! I have an advance copy of Hope’s book about his service tours – “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me”. The writing is a bit too cute at times, but it is still quite a story. It is amazing how many close to the action they got at times.

    This find reminds me of a wedding album from 1939 I found many years ago. The couple visited the New York World’s Fair on their honeymoon. You wonder how things like this are let out of the family, but then I recall a good friend of mine who quite literally has no family – the only child of two only children. I may do a bit of research to see if I can track down any family there may be.

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