A few days ago, Doc Kimble posted a photo taken at the White House. This was the first stop of The Hollywood Victory Caravan. it was taken on April 30, 1942. A large band of Hollywood stars were organized to tour the country by train and put on shows in more than a dozen cities over a three week period. All proceeds went to the Army and Navy Relief Funds. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt hosted a tea for the stars that first day. If you had trouble identifying the stars, here is what I have found.
The Hollywood Victory Caravan was a 3-week railroad journey of 1942 that brought performers across the US to raise money for war bonds. This photo was taken on April 30, 1942 at the White House on White House lawn with Hollywood Victory Caravan entertainers (seated, from left) Oliver Hardy, Joan Blondell, Charlotte Greenwood, Charles Boyer, Rise Stevens, Desi Arnaz, Frank McHugh, Matt Brooks (writer), James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Juanita Stark, Alma Carroll; (standing, from left) Merle Oberon, Eleanor Powell, Arlene Whelan, Marie McDonald, Fay McKenzie, Katharine Booth, Mrs. Roosevelt, Frances Gifford, Frances Langford, Elyse Knox, Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Bob Hope, Ray Middleton, Joan Bennett, Bert Lahr, Mark Sandrich (director), Jack Rose (writer), Stan Laurel, Jerry Colonna, and Groucho Marx.
Bob Hope and Cary Grant served as emcees for the shows. Not all of the stars could make the entire trip, but most did. Bing Crosby and Olivia DeHavilland joined the tour a few days after it started. After returning to Los Angeles, some of the stars made one last trip, to San Francisco, for a show on May 19th. The tour played to packed houses in big arenas and made about $800,000 in 1942 dollars for the Relief Funds of the Army and Navy.