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A tribute to all those who made 3rd Army entertainment for soldiers by soldiers possible

Showmobile Patch

One of the show's members has been working long and hard on a 3rd Army Soldier Shows book project, be sure to check out progress here Third Army Soldier Shows INTER / MISSION

We owe special acknowledgment to the memory of Margaret E. "Skippy" Lynn who was largely responsible for Army Entertainment for many decades. Skippy Lynn was involved with Army Entertainment from around 1945 through 1978 and was the originator of the Showmobile program.

The following is from the 1963 LP Album liner notes


It was during the early stages of the Korean War that the present concept of a highly mobile Soldier show was born. Because of extremely difficult combat conditions in Korea, travel by civilian entertainers was limited. On the other hand, live entertainment was eagerly sought by the troops as an essential morale booster. These two factors combined to generate the development of touring Soldier shows of superior quality.

In order to do the job, these traveling units needed to be completely self-contained and capable of performing under the most adverse circumstances while concurrently maintaining professional stage presence and Soldierly conduct.

In 1951 the 10th Special Services Company was activated with its headquarters located in Korea. Platoons of the company were organized into Showmobile units, produced in Japan and rotated to Korea. As each tour schedule was finished a new show was organized.

The production and direction of the entire program was under the supervision of the Japan Logistical Command.

Headquarters, Second United States Army adopted the Showmobile program in 1955.

Since that time, many refinements and improvements have been made.

When the build-up of the Army took place as a result of the Berlin crisis in 1961, Headquarters Third United States Army utilized the Second Army Showmobile to perform at impacted locations.

Again, during the Cuban crisis the Second Army unit was pressed into service and toured through the Third United States Army Command.

These two occasions proved conclusively the need for immediately-available, high-caliber mobile Soldier shows that could move into emergency areas and provide critical entertainment requirements in theaters and service clubs as well as out-of-doors on flat-beds or hardstands.

At the conclusion of the 1963 All-Army Entertainment contest Grand Finals the Third United States Army team entry was augmented by other acts from the command contest to form the first Third United States Army Shomobile unit.

This production, with the title "Don John in Hades", performed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort McPherson, Georgia; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort McClellan, Alabama; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; McCoy Air Force Base, Florida; Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Homestead Air Force Base, Florida; Eglin air Force Base, Florida; Naval Air Station and Naval Base, Key West, Florida; and for Air Defense units in the Florida Keys.

It is to all Showmobileers that this album is dedicated. May they continue to provide the very best of entertainment by the Soldier--for the Soldier whenever and wherever duty may call.

Through their dedication and hard work the morale and effectiveness of millions of men of our Armed Forces will be greatly enhanced.

                    Lexy Ford, Jr.
                    Lt. Colonel, GS
                    Chief, Special Services Division
                    Office, DCSPER
                    HQ, 3rd US Army
                    Ft. McPherson, Georgia

Here is a newspaper article from The Sumpter Daily Item describing the Showmobile concept and a 1963 production, Merrily We Roll Along.

Sadly we recently lost Fred Ellenburg, Mentor, Master Technician, Bus Driver and all around great guy.