Happy Memorial Day!
In 1953, Marilyn recalled how her pin-up photos affected the troops and how moved she was:
I have had two instances which have brought me a great sense of responsibility. Once it was a marine who came to the door of my home after having been in Korea. He told me how much my pictures had meant to the men in service and while he talked he started to cry. I can’t tell you how deeply I was touched. Then there was another case told to me in a letter by a solider. He said he had clipped my picture out of esquire magazine, and carried it with him. He had been at the fighting front in a foxhole, and found it necessary to move to another position under fire. He remembered he had left the pin-up picture in the foxhole, and though he had started to the new position went back for it. It was amazing, he said, that returning for that picture had saved his life. Shots had been fired that would have hit him if he’d been in the other location. So he thanked me for ‘saving his life.’
The following year in February of 1954, during her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio in Japan, Marilyn performed for over 100,000 U.S. troops stationed in Korea over a period of four days. Despite the sub zero temperatures, she wore a sequined dress and sang a series of songs.
Marilyn has regarded this as one of the highlights of her career:
I felt for the first time in my life no fear of anything. I felt only happy.
One of the Army Corps Engineers officer remembered:
Of all the performers who came to us in Korea—and there were half a dozen or so—she was the best. It was bitter cold, but she was in no hurry to leave. Marilyn was a great entertainer. She made thousands of GIs feel she really cared.
Marilyn also visited an army hospital in Tokyo [x] and helped serve food to the troops.