The regiment, through its training and combat experience, had the habit and the inclination to make its own fun, with movies and the USO-type of shows' as a supplementary rather than a dominant feature. At Camp McCoy, weekly dances, impromptu shows, audience participation programs, band concerts and jam sessions filled the events-calendar every week. To create a proper background, the barn-like regimental Rec Hall was streamlined and decorated to give a country-club atmosphere. Many of the shows were staged in the outdoor beer garden adjoining the Rec Hall. T/5 Murray Rogoff (a Special Service staff man since Fort Meade) was then, and continued to be, Capt. Cultra's assistant in organizing this side of regimental activities.
On the troopship, the show went on--with even more elaborate embellishments. There were deck shows, with music and ad libbing humor. There was a twelve-hour-a-day movie schedule, and broadcasts of the Army-Navy game and big radio shows from the States.
In the evenings, down in the ship's dining room, a series of professional-scale radio shows were staged, drawing talent from all units aboard ship. With Lt. Don Campbell, of 1st Battalion Medics, as MC, three pretty Army Nurses as the feminine come-on, and the Regimental Dance Band as musicians, the shows were the talk of the town--Brazil. Working behind the scenes were writers and producers, including Pfc. Lawrence Alexander, T/4 Robert Kobler, and others--and T/5 Murray Rogoff.
The Christmas and New Year season in England developed into a round of parties, climaxed by a dance sponsored by the Anglo-American Relations Committee--the first of its kind, with more than five hundred English girls as guests. It was in England, also, that Special Service began to distribute P-X supplies, a responsibility which the office carried on into battle, where it became an all-important function.
The entertainment problem drew somewhat into the background with the regiment's advance to Luxembourg and into Germany. There was then another kind of excitement. But on those few occasions which presented themselves, Special Service was ready with a portable movie projector and generator.
At war's end, in an attempt to dispel the social vacuum created by a non-fraternization policy, the men of the regiment plunged into a program of music and shows which surpassed any previous effort. There were jam sessions and small unit shows and circuses and USO presentations, such as Hal Mclntyre's Orchestra. One show featured erstwhile slave laborers who were formerly prominent European entertainers. There were also beer gardens for every company and parties for officers and enlisted men.
Doubling in brass!--from rifle to mike and from mike to rifle, whichever way the situation was. Comedy or sentimental crooning, the regiment always carried its own entertainment. Special Service did a bang-up job--whenever the war allowed.
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