As the community takes time to remember and honor the nation’s veterans on November 11, the Naples Depot Museum will re-create the sights and big band sounds of the 1940s with its annual USO Show. Following the city’s Veterans Day ceremony, The Depot will reprise its role as the site of weekly USO shows that entertained recruits and soldiers from the Naples’ Army Air Corps training base during World War II with an afternoon of music and memories that brought the “greatest generation” onto the dance floor.
Though the Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station (now home to the Naples Depot Center) was closed throughout the duration of the war, every Saturday night the United Service Organizations (USO) would enliven the area with concerts, performances and dances. Designed to boost morale of soldiers at the nearby army airfield (now the Naples Airport). These USO Shows were a vital proponent in uniting the home front, as well as giving soldiers abroad a reprieve, a home away from home moment in an otherwise tumultuous and violent time.
The Depot’s USO Show will begin with a special ceremony and opening address to honor veterans from all of America’s armed conflicts, followed by music from the likes of Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, the Andrew Sisters, and the smooth sounds of early Motown.
- Admission is free.
- The USO Show at the Naples Depot will be held immediately following the Veterans Memorial Service in Cambier Park (begins at 10 a.m.).
- The USO show will be held from 12-1 p.m.
- A limited number of chairs will be provided, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own.
- For more information, call 239-262-6525 or visit colliermuseums.com/locations/naples_depot.