Comedian Hope remembered in Suffolk

LEGENDARY comedian Bob Hope will be fondly remembered at Suffolk's two huge United States Air Force bases, where he performed for troops alongside a galaxy of other stars.

LEGENDARY comedian Bob Hope will be fondly remembered at Suffolk's two huge United States Air Force bases, where he performed for troops alongside a galaxy of other stars.

Mr Hope, who regularly entertained American troops around the world, had put on spectacular shows at both RAF Mildenhall and nearby RAF Lakenheath over the years.

There will be a lasting reminder of his legacy on RAF Mildenhall, the base's community centre is named after the entertainer, who opened it himself more than 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, Master Sgt Will Ackerman, a spokesman for RAF Lakenheath, said their records showed Mr Hope last visited the base in December 1970, when he presented a Christmas show as the first stop in his European Christmas Tour.


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The show, which was watched by some 5,000 airmen and women, was recorded and a 90-minute special was shown back in America in early 1971.

It featured a number of world-famous stars, including actress Ursula Andress, of James Bond fame, and then-Miss World Jennifer Hosten.

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Master Sgt Ackerman, added: "Although many of today's airmen stationed at Lakenheath are probably too young to have seen one of his shows, Bob Hope's five decades of entertaining the troops around the world will be fondly remembered by all service members.

“He made tireless efforts to boost troops' morale and put a smile on our faces. Thanks for the memories, Mr Hope. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

The legendary entertainer also put on a spectacular show at RAF Mildenhall in May 1990, which was held in the centre bearing his name.

Mr Hope was the star attraction, while actress Brooke Shields, singer LaToya Jackson and then-Miss Universe Mona Grudt also shared the spotlight.

Again, the show was filmed for an American television special which was recorded to mark the star's 50th year of entertaining US military audiences.

The Mildenhall event made up just part of the programme, with other shows being recorded across Europe for the special, which was called 'Bob Hope's USA Road to the Berlin Wall and Moscow.'

Col Richard Devereaux, commander of the 100th Air Refueling Wing, based at RAF Mildenhall paid tribute to Mr Hope.

He said: "Here at RAF Mildenhall, just like the rest of the United States armed forces around the world, we feel a tremendous tie to Bob Hope.

"He had been a virtual fixture in supporting the morale of US troops around the globe his whole life. We mourn his passing, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

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