March 31, 1955
How about a picture of Marilyn Monroe
in a Bennington T shirt?
well, okay, how about a picture of Marilyn "BEHIND"
a USS Bennington T shirt!
(Thanks, Jim Brusa)
(I wonder what that sailor is whispering in Marilyn's ear, in the 2nd picture)
Dean G Horn
Fri, 27 Mar 2009 21:46:19 -0400
My father Dean G. Horn served on this ship in 1955.
I have a picture of him at a ships party with Taylor TOSN, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Horn and R. Firu SA.
Dad died in 1975. He switched to subs after the Bennington. Any other pics of this ships dance?
Harry H Horn
Re: Marilyn Monroe
Tue, 8 Dec 2009 09:33:55 -0600
Lonnie Whittaker - email@example.com
I am the sailor "whispering" in the ear of Marilyn Monroe in the celebrity gallery.
Since I was the ship's PR man (JO3 - later JO2) I need to correct some of the information on the site.
The party was not at the Waldorf Astoria. It was in the Grand Ballroom of the Astor Hotel in Times Square.
Marilyn's appearance was arranged by several of the ship's officers, including Cdr.
Winslow, my "boss," and the Public Information Officer for the ship.
They had read that Marilyn was in town and invited her to be the Ship's Sweetheart.
Due to the loss of 103 sailors and the recent Korean War, Marilyn accepted the invitation.
She was scheduled to appear at 8 p.m. However, she was also known for always being late.
True to her reputation, she showed up at our party at almost 11 p.m.
After chugalugging a whiskey sour that appeared out of nowhere backstage, Marilyn took the stage.
By then, 3,000 sailors had been drinking for three hours and Marilyn Monroe shows up! It was total chaos.
Her manager said: "We're getting out of here."
They left the stage and headed for the street exit to Times Square which was jammed with sailors and their dates.
I, being the P.R. guy, tried to "save the day (night)." I asked if we could get a picture of her kissing a sailor good night.
She said in her whispery voice: "Why certainly!" A band of sailors was standing in awe in a "respectable" semi-circle around her,
but no one was close enough for a picture. I called for a sailor to step in.
However, my only response was from one of the ship's Marines who stepped up to Marilyn's right arm and said: "How about a Marine?"
I said: "Okay, but I want a sailor, too." Marilyn then looked right at me and said: "How about you?" "Oh,"
I said. "Okay," and took my place at her left arm.
She reached up, grabbed both of our cheeks and drew us into her cheeks, white ermine cape, blonde hair, black satin dress - you get the picture.
Flash bulbs popped along with a couple of sailors.
(On blowups of the picture you can see I have tucked my little note pad into my body so I could "pose" for the picture.
Several people also noticed my toes were also curled up.)
I have the original official U.S. Navy photo CVA20 #1574, dated March 31, 1955, USS Bennington (CVA20).
It is captioned on the back: "Ship's dance, left to right, PFC C. Wallace, Miss Monroe, P. Lazzaro, JO3, and Taylor, SN."
On April 6, 1955 the cropped photo ran in the New York Daily Mirror (I have the press clipping).
The headline caption reads: "IT'S A SAILOR'S LIFE - AND IT AIN'T BAD!
The caption below the photo says: "Marine PFC Charles Wallace (left) and Journalist 3/C Paul Lazzaro
flip - as who wouldn't - while saying goodnight to Marilyn Monroe, 'sweetheart of the USS Bennington,'
at windup of their ship's dance at the Sheraton Astor. The star made a surprise appearance at event after learning of crew's salute to her.
International Photo" The Big Benn's P.R. guy got a "well done."
After we took the photo, and just before she left, Marilyn gave both PFC Wallace and JO3 Lazzaro a KISS, on the cheek!
Now how many men can claim they've been kissed by Marilyn Monroe - other than Joe Dimaggio, President Kennedy, and a few thousand others?
P.S. - The Navy gave me my career.
I've been doing P.R. and marketing work ever since and will be a fit and feisty 76 years old next month.
Paul Lazzaro (PLA)
The Woodlands, TX
If you look carefully, way in the back of the ballroom picture, Marilyn is onstage.
From Mike Barbaro, CVA 20 :
I was looking at some of the pictures of Bob Hope and Joey Heatherton and something came to mind.
I don't recall the date but I know it was in the winter of 1954, after the explosion on the Bennington, that the ship had a huge party at the
Waldorf Astoria ( correction: Astor Hotel in Times Square ).
I think it was supposed to be a moral booster.
My leading chief was in charge of the entertainment and wouldn't tell us who was going to appear at the show.
He said we would be greatly surprised and we were because who should appear but the lovely Marlyn Monroe.
The only problem was they made a mistake by bringing her on stage late in the party and most sailors were kind of intoxicated by then.
Everytime she tried to talk some drunk would run up on stage and slip off her spaghetti strap from her shoulder.
She was beautiful and took it in stride.
We had a great time until it was time to leave and get back to the ship in Brooklyn.
I don't! know how everyone got back, I do remember having to pickup a shipmate off the sidewalk in the middle of Times quare.
People just looked and laughed at us I was also sprawled on the sidewalk with him, trying to get him on his feet.
I'm from New Jersey and I prayed no-one I knew would see me.
I finally got him on a subway and back to the ship.
It was an experience I'll never forget.
I'm surprised that no-one has ever mentioned the Party.
Well thanks for letting me share the moment with you.
Mike Barbaro AOAN
V 6 div.
USS BENNINGTON CVA20 1954-1955
I was the photographer at the ship's dance Dan Mulcahy PH2.
I have the proof photos taken at the dance.
Anyone that was in a photo with Marilyn I would be glad to email them a copy.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. No charge of course.
Marilyn Monroe and the USS Bennington Crew
Bruce and Stacy [email@example.com]
Tue, 6 May 2003 14:44:56 -0700 (PDT)
I found these on eBay and thought you might be interested in posting them on your site.
I am currently writing a book on Marilyn Monroe.
Do you happen to know the exact date of the party at the Waldorf Astoria, where these pictures were taken?
It was March of 1955, just before the USS Bennington left for sea trials. Anyway, I hope you like them.
From Everlasting Star, a Marilyn Monroe Community, this is a newspaper clipping from The NY Daily Mirror, April 6, 1955.