A showcase of our most treasured collections selected by VHP staff members. The written descriptions of these veterans’ stories highlight the diversity and dramatic content of our holdings. View additional staff favorites.
Robert B. McCollum
to Robert B. McCollum's Collection
Robert McCollum had a unique talent for helping service members
forget about home, if only for a few hours. McCollum was first assigned
to Assam, India, as a crew chief in the Air Transport Command, once
assisting in the rescue of a downed airplane crew in Burma. Then
a remarkable thing happened in his military career: After performing
successfully in a variety show called “Hump Happy” while
still assigned to Assam, he received orders sending him to perform
all over India, and then on to Africa, Sicily, and Yemen. The shows,
in which McCollum and the other Hump Happy Cowboys performed skits,
played musical instruments, and sang songs, were performed for a
variety of audiences, including American and English troops, the
Women's Army Corps, and the King of Yemen. Although the group broke
up and the men were reassigned to their previous bases, McCollum
never lost his love for entertaining. After the war, he performed
in nightclubs for many years before working with Bob Hope and Jack
Benny, as well as Kathryn Grayson, the Lawrence Welk Band, and Freddie
Hart, among others.
Chosen by Stephanie A. Weaver, Processing Technician. Stephanie
received her B.A. degree in History from the University of Dayton
and her M.A. degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.
She came to the Veterans History Project in November 2005.
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