Special Thanks To Cliff Guidry For Sending This Story About His Father Meeting Victor

July 5, 2009

Here's something interesting about my Dad. As you may know, he served in the Pacific in WWII. He was stationed at Ulithi aboard the USS Prairie in 1944-1945. One of the small islands in this group of tiny islands was MogMog, which was used as a recreational island for the servicemen, who could go swimming, play baseball, have a few hot dogs, hamburgers, cokes and generally just relax on the island. And each man was allowed three beers on their day at MogMog - all warm of course, due to a lack of refrigeration.

Over time, many servicemen, including my dad visited the island, and it was decided to highlight the visit of the 2,000,000th visitor to MogMog with some fanfare. And they found just the guy to be that visitor - popular actor Victor Mature, who was coming to the island as a serviceman off one of the ships at Ulithi. Dad just happened to be standing nearby when they asked for a volunteer to hold a sign welcoming the 2,000,000th serviceman to visit the island of MogMog in photos with Victor Mature, and my dad immediately stepped forward and said ''O.K. where do I stand!.''

So he spent the day touring the island in a Jeep with Victor Mature, and several photos of them were taken for publicity. At the end of the day, Victor walked over to the pile of photos that were taken throughout the day and just developed, pulled out four of him and my dad together, and gave them to my dad. We had these photos for years, but we lost them in the flood in New Orleans where our childhood home was and my mother still lived.

Some of these photos appeared in local newspapers around the country at the time, as a morale booster. I've tried many times to locate any of these photos on the internet, hoping that since a big name actor was in them, I might be able to find one, but no luck. That's because in my fuzzy memory, I thought the island in question was Bougainville, so that's what I was searching for. Only in the past few days did it occur to me that maybe it was one of the islands in Ulithi, and I quickly realized MogMog was the recreation island my dad had spoken to me of, when I was a kid.

More searching, and finally, I came across one of the photos published on a website about MogMog!! You can see the photo here - it's in the middle of the page, and Dad is the man holding the sign. (((Do a Google search on: MogMog Homepage, and it should come up as the first hit.)))

Take care,


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