Viewing page 7 of 30

[[newspaper clipping]]
"Operations Happiness"
Here February 16 to 23
Musical Stage Show Great Hit
Entire Troupe from Lockbourne

Lackland will be host to the all-airmen musical extravaganza "Operation Happiness" from Lockbourne Air Force Base, Columbus, Ohio, from the 16th to 23rd of February.  According to Col. Frederick W. Ott, Base CO, the widely heralded production is scheduled for a one week stand with the final performance being held Tuesday 22nd of February.

"Operation Happiness" is the first postwar entertainment unit created by the USAF and is currently produced by Continental Air Command.  It has been assigned the mission of bringing "happiness through entertainment" to Air personnel stationed in the continental United States and abroad.  The unit has made many successful appearances at various stations in several of the major commands, and upon completion of their tours in the states will leave on an ultimate overseas jaunt.  The show recently chalked up a direct hit at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas, and Bolling Field, Washington, D. C.

[[image - portrait photograph of Lt. Col. Goetz]]

The cast is a large one comprising over eighty airmen, including MAFS and enlisted men.  The entire show has been costumed by the United States Air Force in a lavish and spectacular fashion.  The technical equipment such as lights, loudspeaking systems, curtains, bandstands, etc., is the best and most expensive obtainable.  Lt. Col. Joseph F. Goetz, Chief of the Entertainment Section, Special Service Branch, USAF, Washington, D. C., the "Billy Rose" of the USAF, is director.

Normally working at the tasks of being Air Force mechanics, clerks, radio operators, teletype operators, physical training instructors, parachute packers, cooks, typists, etc., the talent is far beyond and above that found in the run of army shows.

The show is built around "The Flying Band", a 14-man combo under the baton of S/Sgt. Arthur Wiggins.  W/O Frank Ruffin, director of the famous 766th USAF Band at Lockbourne is the officer in charge, while Lt. Daniel "Chappy" James is the master of ceremonies.  Other acts on the billing include:  a quartet known as "The Airmen";  the chorus girls as "The Lockettes" (named after Lockbourne Air Force Base), the Glee Club as "The Skylanders" and others.  Running time of the show is approximately 90 minutes.

Lackland Talespinner
Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, January 27, 1949
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Air Force Show Here On Dec. 15

LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE will present its Christmas gift to the city of Columbus, in the form of an All-Airmen Musical Extravaganza called "Operation Happiness," which will tour both the United States and Europe in 1949 to entertain Air Force troops.  The show, which already has been widely touted as one of the best productions of its kind, will be given at Memorial Hall on the night of Dec. 15.

The cast is a large one comprising over 80 airmen, including WAF's (Women in the Air Force) and enlisted men.  The entire show has been costumed by the U. S. Air Force in a lavish and spectacular fashion.  The technical equipment such as lights, loudspeaking systems, curtains, bandstands, etc., is the best and most expensive obtainable.  Headquarters, USAF, Washington, went "all out" in this first peacetime All-Airmen Show, which has as its mission the task of bringing "happiness" to thousands of airmen here and abroad.

The business organizations that are sponsoring the Columbus presentation of the famed musical production to civilians at Memorial Hall are:  The Mammoth Life Insurance Co., Ross Cleaners, WHKC Radio Station, Ohio State News and the Franklin County Commissioners, who offered the use of Memorial Hall on the evening of the 15th.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Lockbourne Air Force Music Show

THE Lockbourne Air Force Base presents it's All-Airmen musical show "Operation Happiness" on the evening of Dec. 15, at Memorial Hall.  "Operation Happiness" production has a cast comprising over eight-five airmen, including WAF's (Women in the Air Force) and enlisted men who normally work at the tasks of being Air Force mechanics, radio operators, teletype operators, physical training instructors, parachute packers, cooks, typists, etc.  

These performers were selected on the basis of ability to make up the cast of this colorful and professional-like musical show that is being widely touted as the first postwar entertainment troupe created by the USAF.

The Columbus presentation is being sponsored by a group of professional and business organizations in Columbus who are interesting in bringing the show to the attention of the general public.  This All-Airman musical will not be seen by the public at large since it will entertain only military personnel, here and abroad, and their civilian guests or relatives.

Admission will be free of charge.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
8  The Columbus Citizen

[[image - headshot of man]]
On the Aisle - - -
Airmen's 'Operation Happiness' Set for Its Premier Tonight
By NORMAN NADEL

Just a few short years have passed since some Franklin County farm land was converted into the Lockbourne Army Air Force Base.  In that time, Columbus has come to feel a kinship for the Lockbourne outfit, and the Army personnel there have more or less adopted Columbus.  Lockbourne men developed loyalties for the Red Birds and the OSU football squad, and Columbus has taken pride in some of the accomplishments of the unit.

"Operation Happiness" is the latest Lockbourne accomplishment – this is in a theatrical line – for which we can bestow a few pats on the back.  I have not seen it – the production will have its first performances tonight and Saturday at the Base – but according to all available information, it will be far beyond and above the run of army shows.

IT HAS BEEN in preparation for the past three months, with 47 servicemen and servicewomen in its cast, plus 13 technicians.  The show is built around "The Flying Band," a 14-man combo under the baton of St. Arthur Wiggins.

Apparently the AAF thinks highly of the production, because it will send it on tour immediately, visiting a number of domestic Air Force installations.  This is the first such organization to be established since the war ended, and was produced under supervision of Air Force Special Services branch, in Washington.

"OPERATION HAPPINESS" is strictly Air Force from the curtain's rising to the finale.   W/O Frank Ruffin, director of the famous 776th USAF Band, is the officer in charge while Lt. Daniel James is the master of ceremonies.

Musicians, vocalists, dancers, come from all walks of Air Force life.  One can find mechanics, crew chiefs, gun specialists, grease monkeys, or plain "buck" airmen performing.

Similar is the billing of its satelite acts.  For instance – the singing quartet is known as "The Airmen;"  the chorus girls as "The Lockettes" (named after Lockbourne Air Force Base);  the glee club as "The Skylanders" and the orchestra as "The Flying Band."  Running time of the show is 90 minutes.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
Lockbourne Air Force Base will present its all-airmen musical extravaganza, "Operation Happiness," in Memorial Hall at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.  This is the 80-man (and woman) show which will tour military installations in this country and in Europe during 1949;  it had its world premiere a couple of weeks ago at Lockbourne.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE will present its Christmas gift to the city of Columbus in the form of an All-Airmen musical extravaganza called "Operation Happiness," which will tour both the United States and Europe in 1949 to entertain Air Force troops.  The show will be given at Memorial Hall at 8:30 p. m. today.  There will be no charge for admission.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
^[[16 Dec 1948]]
Stage in Review
Air Force Show Wins Approval Of Civilians
[[image - portrait photograph of Mr. Wilson]]
Lockbourne's 'Operation Happiness' Lives Up to Title In Memorial Hall Performance.
By Samuel T. Wilson

"OPERATION HAPPINESS," the Lockbourne Air Force Base revue sponsored by the USAF and being readied for a tour of air bases in this country and abroad, had what it is thought may be its only performance for civilians on Wednesday night in Memorial Hall.  Some 85 airmen and WAF's are in the cast of the show which is packed with solid amusement values.

Highlights of the revue are many.  The Flying Band does yoeman service from start to finish.  Songs by Pfc. Evelyn Matthews, Bill Chatman,, Pfc. Nicholson and Verline Jones all weer cordially received on Wednesday night.  The Lockbourne Glee Club might have continued its turn indefinitely so far as the audience was concerned.

Ivory Mitchell's performance of "Warsaw Concerto," the boogie number and battle of the pianos by the two piano team of Downing and Mitchell all had the house clamoring for more.  Mitchell's "Staff Car Driver" pantomime was enormously amusing.  The comedy skit, "Remote Control," put on by Clark, Manuel and Gilbert, was another diverting showstopper.

The iJtterbug Drill Team, the Be-bop vs. Syncopation routine were tops in uproarious fun.  The Samba number, by Fussa and Smith and the Lockettes was plenty rousing and Calvin Manuel's taps got a lot of applause.  S/Sgt. George Crawley proved to be a magician of parts.  A baton twirling routine in the next to last spot was a genuine sensation of the evening.

Lt. Daniel James MC'd the revue with wit and finesse.

"Operation Happiness" lives up to its title.
[[/newspaper clipping]]
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.