In 1941, Congress chartered the USO (United Service Organizations) to provide programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families. Not an official government agency, the USO relied on private contributions, goods and services from corporate and individual donors. Working in partnership with the Department of Defense, the USO tried to provide a “home away from home” for U.S. servicemen and women.
Throughout the war, nearly 1.5 million Americans volunteered their services to the USO. Expressing their patriotism, many Hollywood entertainers and celebrities (e.g., Bob Hope) volunteered to perform for troops in camp shows in military bases at home and overseas, sometimes under hazardous conditions.