PEOPLE AND THE WAR

USO

With the establishment of so many new military installations, and many of those in rural areas of the state, communities were hard pressed to provide adequate, "wholesome" recreational activities for offduty service members.

Commanders would declare "off limits" establishments and areas that were deemed unsuitable for service members. Such edicts were strictly enforced by Army and Marine Corps Military Police and Navy Shore Patrols who reinforced undermanned local police and sheriff's departments. The United Services Organization (USO) would stage "camp shows," and using War Department provided plans and funding, opened USO Centers in communities adjacent to military installations. These centers were famous for providing free coffee and doughnuts as well as a quiet place to write a letter home, or read a book. Dances were often held at the USO or local community clubs and churches. In major cities, establishments such as the Hollywood Canteen allowed average service members to interact with major celebrities.