WWII 'U.S.O.' LEAFLETS DROPPED OVER THE U.S.A.
This 'bomb' leaflet was dropped over New York City on June 2, 1941. Its actual size is 200 x 100 mm (9.5" x 4"). Forty years later U.S.O. New York wished to recreate the event to celebrate their anniversary but the city would not give them permission. The text on the reverse side reads:
NO... THIS ISN'T A BOMB
It was dropped not to destroy but to build!
Dropped by one of your defenders from one of the planes that guard our nations's skyways.
Dropped to tell you that you can help your defenders.
The U.S.O. has been formed as a nationwide citizen effort to show our soldiers, sailors, and marines how much we appreciate what they are doing for us.
It plans to operate 360 service clubs for soldiers, sailors and other youth serving our nation's defense.
The U.S.O. will be GHQ for men on leave. It will operate where it is needed-in little towns near the big camps.
Tomorrow U.S.O. launches a nationwide cam-paign to raise $10,765,000 to operate its program.
Join the army behind the Army. Get back of our soldiers, sailors and defense workers with the U.S.O.
* IT’S YOUR CHANCE TO SERVE! *
Yes-you can help NOW. Communicate
with your local headquarters of the
national U.S.O. campaign or with
National Headquarters, 1630
Empire State Building,
New York, N.Y.
The U.S.O. was formed in response to a 1941 request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who determined it would be best if private organizations handled the on-leave recreation of the rapidly growing U.S. Armed Forces. Roosevelt's call to action led to six civilian agencies pooling their resources to form a new organisation, the USO (United Service Organizations), whose purpose was to coordinate civilian war efforts so such services were not duplicated or overlooked. The six agencies were the Salvation Army, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Services, National Travellers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board.
Throughout World War II, USO was the channel for community participation in the war effort. In over 3,000 communities USO centers were established to become the G.I.'s 'Home Away from Home.' Between 1940 and 1944, U.S. troops grew from 50,000 to 12 million and their need for a variety of services grew accordingly. USO facilities were quickly opened in such unlikely places as churches, log cabins, museums, castles, barns, beach and yacht clubs, railroad sleeping cars, old mansions and storefronts.
The previous two paragraphs form the introduction to A Proud History which is the official history of USO and can be viewed on their website.
This leaflet is the same on both sides and measures 90 x 154 mm (3.5" x 6"). It is known to have been dropped over Detroit in 1941, probably in connection with the national appeal for funds which was launched on June 3rd. It may well have been used elsewhere and the Society would be pleased to learn of any other locations or indeed of any other aerial leaflets dropped over the U.S.A.
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©2005 PsyWar Society