MP Corp Hist

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  Pomp & Ceremony


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     What is a Cav MP



           Music - Bob Hope "Thanks for the Memories"



545TH Military Police Company
1st Cavalry Division
A Pictorial History
USO Shows Activity

As of March 9, 20

Throughout the history of the 545th Military Police Company, the unit has participated in the Security for or had the privilege of viewing numerous USO Shows around the world. The following is a short pictorial history of this activity:

Fort Bliss, Texas

Aside from southern California and New York City, there were not too many USO Shows at the beginning of WW II and since the 1st Cavalry Division shipped out for Australia almost at the very beginning they did not have the pleasure of any such activities. The only on post entertainment they had at Fort Bliss were the Post Movies or the Service Club.


Fort Bliss Main Post Theater circa 1940 – 1942 photo complements of Texas A&M.


The Fort Bliss Service Club circa 1921 – 1942 photo complements of Texas A&M.




The 545th MP Company trained 7 days a week and on top of that provided details to help load ships while they were in Australia and aside from an occasional pass to Brisbane had very little free time for shows of any kind. To date we have no record of any USO Shows playing in Australia that the MP Platoon attended.


Pacific Theatre


There were several USO Shows in the Pacific like the one shown above with Carol Landis in 1943 but to this writers knowledge the 1st Cav never got close to any of them. Photo courtesy of the Bob Hope Collection.


There was one USO show with Francis Langford held in Manila but the MP Platoon was busy elsewhere at the time. Photo courtesy of the Bob Hope Collection.




At the end of WW II the occupation troops saw very few shows with stateside entertainers. There were a few USO Shows but there is no record to date of the MP Platoon attending any of them.




In the article on the next page from the Military Police Journal and provided by the MP Corps Museum you’ll see Bob Hope being presented with a 545th MP Brassard by the 1st Cavalry Division Provost Marshal, LTC Leslie H. Pearse. Bob never forgot that. Later on in this article you see the 545th once again providing security for Bob Hope in Vietnam and at his request!






This Bob Hope USO Show took place in Saigon, Vietnam and although the 545th did not provide security, many of its members attended this show.


Although slightly out of the 1St Cav AO, at the personal request of Bob Hope, the 545th MP Co provides Security for this USO Christmas Show at Ch Chi Vietnam circa 1969. Bob never forgot his Cav MP’s from Korea. Note the 545th Helmets in the foreground.


Bob Hope in Ch Chi, RVN 1968 and the 545th MP Co was there.


Who can forget Connie Stevens in this famous Red Dress – the 545th MP’s sure won’t.


Nancy Sinatra USO Show for the 1st Cav Troopers 1967
And the 545th was there.


Another USO Show in the vicinity of An Khe that the 545th MP’s provided security for.


Another photo of the USO Show members from the group shown above in the vicinity of An Khe.


Martha One

Unknown to many troopers, Martha Raye of 1940’s movie fame loved the troops and was an honorary member of the Special Forces.


Martha 2

Here she is in her full Special Forces regalia and how she dressed for her USO Shows.

Martha was also a registered Nurse and often filled in for the Regular Nurses at the field hospitals




Martha 3


Martha at one of the many USO Shows signing autographs




Martha 4


Note the 545th MP in the background – probably Steve Jarahian



Martha 5


 I have personal stories of Martha! “I was just getting ready for bed at Command and Control North (CCN), Special Forces Camp South of Da Nang near Marble Mountain when someone hammered on the door and said Martha Raye was in our little club, down the way from my hooch. I was unaware at that time of her association with SF and thought it was a joke, but everyone who was not there already was pulling on their pants so I did too. And there she was. Drinking at the bar faster than most could keep up, in her fatigues and green beret. And aside from have the famous large mouth, boy did she have a mouth. One or two SF guys, getting a bit high, started throwing around some heavy cussing and she threw it back at them even grosser than she was getting.

She was there a second time during my tour (Jul 69-Jul 70) and rumor has it that she actually went on a chopper into Laos to the SF lookout camp, named leghorn. It sat high on a rock outcropping that was assumed impregnable. SF (really the MACV/SOG—Studies and Observations Group, cover name) had a radio relay and lookout post there I think for years, resupplied regularly by helicopter, which was the only way to get in or out.

To say that she was take-charge is an understatement. She probably “outranked” the in-country SF commander, a colonel, when she was there—and she knew it. But she was dearly loved by all with the green beret and it was fitting of her choice of resting places and concurrence by the SF community was a given.”




                                                                                                         Remember Martha Raye?

The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped. This is a great story about a great woman. I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried. Somehow I just can't see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman (and the other USO women, including Ann Margaret & Joey Heatherton) did for our troops in past wars. Most of the old time entertainers were made out of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop of activists and whiners.

The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane:

It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. 'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a 'Smart Ass' USAF Captain said to Martha.... Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show! To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said.....Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical, take me to your wounded. He said, 'yes mam....Follow me.' Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.

Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.

Hand Salute! A great lady..

I did not know this about Martha Ray....thought you might like to read it.





At the writing of this document, there are no known contacts with any USO Shows or photographs thereof for this period of the units’ history.


Desert Storm

Just prior to desert Storm a USO Show was held in Saudi Arabia and members of the 545th MP Company got to attend this one. There are no photos available at this time.

The Iraq War


One of the USO Shows attended by members of the 545th MP Co in Baghdad, Iraq.


Another great USO Show attended by members of the 545th MP Co in Baghdad.


Robin Williams with a Cav Stetson at a USO Show in Baghdad.


NFL Football Player throws Smirf ball at a USO Show in Baghdad.


545th MP Co NCO, SSG Rodriguez with General Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff at a USO Show in Baghdad circa 2004.


Robin Williams on stage at a USO Show in Baghdad, Iraq circa 2004.




Fort Hood, Texas

There was a USO Show at Fort Hood that members of the 545th MP Co as well as III Corps MP’s provided Security and Traffic Detail for which took place on 22 June 1980. Chief entertainers were Mel Tillis and his daughter Pam Tillis, The Kendals and Gene Watson. Sadly there are no photos available of this show at the writing of this document.
545th MP Sp/4 Joe Ward provided personal security for Pam Tillis most of the day. Joe is a member of our association.




Bob Hope entertains the troops

(Make sure to turn off the music above, prior to viewing this video)



This document prepared by:

Sam Reinert
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX