Monday, May 16, 2011

The USO in Sandusky

In September, 1942, a U.S.O. Service Center was opened in the rear portion of the Lake Shore Coach station at 129 Columbus Avenue. Having started in 1941, the primary mission of the United Service Organization was giving social support to America’s troops. In contrast to the regimented life of military life, the U.S.O. strived to create a warm homelike atmosphere.
An article which appeared in the May 15, 1943 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News stated that the Sandusky USO Center provided a spot for relaxation for thousands of men in uniform who found themselves temporarily in the Sandusky area. The article continued, “It has given them little attentions and helped out in the practical things of everyday life that beset a stranger; and it has done this in a homey, kindly atmosphere and with warmth of spirit that has eased the ache of homesickness and loneliness in the hearts of many.” Cookies and fruit were provided through the generosity of local organizations. Dances and parties were held both at the Sandusky U.S.O. and at Camp Perry. Junior hostesses of the U.S.O. visited men who were in the hospital at the Erie Proving Ground, playing cards and games with them as they convalesced.

A photograph was taken at the last party sponsored by the Erie County U.S.O., held at the Plum Brook Country Club.

The Sandusky U.S.O. Center closed in December of 1945 with a “fine service record,” according to an article in the December 1, 1945 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News.

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