Recently discovered two recording disks I sent home from Camp Howze TX just prior to going to the ETO. The USO had a recording setup where you could "talk a letter" into the machine and they would give you the mailing package with stiff cardboard safety inserts and send it home. One record, about 6 " in diamater is called, "this living record was recorded at a USO club operated by the YMCA." The other record is similar but labeled "Better Sound recording system". The first one has the original packaging with the mailing address to home and shows "this "letter on-a-record is one of the many services enjoyed by men of the armed forces as they can use the USO "A HOME AWAY FROM HOME". Both seem to need cleaning and will try to see if they can be re recorded on disk. Probably 78 RPM records. Wll send pics later. This was the only place I saw it done. Anyone else ever seen or heard of this USO service??
I know this isn't reality, but I remember an episode of Combat! that dealt with this. I guess that this service was available to families of th troops as well. Sgt. Saunders (Vic Morrow) got a record from his mom and sister. A lot of other stuff happened, but suffice it to say that it piqued my curiosity. I guess it was a somewaht common thing. Just found it interesting since you brought it up.
MilsurpMan: Now that you mention it I seem to recall about a G.I. in "The Story of G.I. Joe" or something, about Ernie Pyle in Italy where a record of his newborn sons voice was sent to him. Of course this was a movie. Acttually it would be a rarity to have a record player available for us. However here is the pic of the two disks/records I had sent home along with the original USO mailing envelope just prior to going to the ETO.
Wailuna: Yes, I to am anxious to hear these records from over 60 years ago. I am hoping to get them cleaned and put on tape or disk by a professional person who does this. Should be interesting to hear my voice from over 60 years ago. I cant help but wonder how many servicemen heard about this USO service or took advantage of it. It was free of charge.
Hello, I am 26 years old. My grandfather (who I've never met) was in he army during WWII. About a year ago I was helping my grandmother move, and I came across a stack of these records (there are 9 total) that he sent to her between 1943 and 1944. We listened to them together, and it was really amazing to be able to hear my grandfather's voice for the first time.
Just coming out of college and starting my career as a filmmaker, I decided to do a short documentary about my grandma and these records.
j3rdinf, is there anything you can tell me about how these records were actually made? From what I heard my grandfather say on the records, there was some sort of booth set up, with a microphone the he would talk into. Did it record directly to the vinyl? Did you write down what you were going to say before you recorded the message? (That's what my grandfather did)
Sorry this message is so long! I am very interested in this. I would love to hear more about it.
Also, I have scanned in the records if you would like to see them.
lisabarr: Glad you reminded me of them. Lately my motto has been "never do today what can be put off till tomorro". First, I want to hear them and see just how stupid I sound, and just what I said. Finding a 78 rpm phono is difficult but will try. Donating might be the way to go or they may get lost again along with a lot of things.
Lisabarr and Stormer: You talked me into it. Will head to town and see if they can be transferred to disk and cleaned if needed. Will let you know. No idea of whats on them and should be interesting to hear what I said from the '40's. Then if they want them will donate them along with a lot of "stuff" I sent back home from the ETO.
Originally posted by j3rdinf: ...if they want them will donate them along with a lot of "stuff" I sent back home from the ETO.
It's about time, soldier. Some of us have been waiting since last May to hear your USO records. And if you do decide to donate your ETO "stuff" -- and if you haven't decided where to donate -- consider the Ft. Dix Museum . It must not be too far from where you live and it is a worthy place for an old Infantryman's war stuff. (I remember Ft. Dix well, if not fondly. I had basic training and advanced Infantry training there and endured the coldest winter of my life up until then.)
After my Dad died I went through his things and found a "Living Record" that he and my mom made in March of 1943. They had mailed it to my Dad's mom and she had kept it all those years. I copied it over to mp3 and put together a slideshow of photos of my Mom and Dad with the audio and then I put it on youtube to share with my family. The link is