Bing Crosby pictured with Second World War soldiers (Picture: Decca Records).

WWII

Bing Crosby's Unseen Wartime Letters And Photographs Discovered

The actor and singer's previously unseen documents were discovered in a California attic.

Bing Crosby pictured with Second World War soldiers (Picture: Decca Records).

(Picture: Decca Records).

Letters sent by Bing Crosby to families of the Second World War soldiers have been released for the first time.

Photographs of the late US music star and actor entertaining troops have also come to light after being discovered in his California attic.

In one letter, typed on paper headed 'Bing Crosby, Hollywood' and dated 10 April 1945, the musician wrote: "It was a pleasure working for the boys in France and Belgium, in fact, one of the richest experiences of my life."

In some of the letters, he told the soldiers families that he had met their loved ones.

In correspondence, the families replied thanking the singer for bringing joy and hope to their sons, husbands and brothers.

Beth Du Bois was one of the mothers who wrote to Mr Crosby, dates March 5, 1944, she said: "It gives me a strangely comforting feeling to know that someone whose voice I can hear has so recently talked with my son whom I have not seen for almost two years.

"It brings them nearer somehow."

Bing Crosby meets with a US soldier in a Naval Hospital during World War Two (Picture: Decca Records).

The photographs show Bing singing to crowds of soldiers in England, France and Belgium, as well as performing shows at the front line.

Bing Crosby was one of the most recorded performers in history.

In a letters, sent to Mrs. Philip K, Lawler, dated February 28, 1941, Mr Crosby wrote: "You were very nice to send me excerpts from your husband’s letter written in France and describing our show there for the mighty 79th Division.

"I’m going to keep this letter handy because it provides an exact reminder of our routine overseas, and when anyone asks me what we did, I need only to whip it out, and let them read the complete details.

"The audience was the greatest I ever faced - warm, receptive, eager and we left there entirely conscious that we'd just been given a rare privilege, the privilege of bringing even a small touch of home, a few laughs and some sighs to a wonderful bunch of men during a sensational job."

Bing - letter to Mrs. Philip K, Lawler. Photo Credit: PA.
A letter sent by Bing Crosby to Mrs Lawler in 1945 (Picture: Decca Records).

During his lifetime, Mr Crosby won the Academy Award as Best Actor for his performance in ‘Going My Way’, in 1944.

Robert S Bader, who is vice president of the company in charge of Bing Crosby's estate, said he was "overwhelmed" by finding the letters and photographs.

"He kept these deeply personal letters in a safe place apart from everything else," Mr Bader said.

"The letters from the soldiers' family members are often heartbreaking.

"These people felt such a deep connection to this man they only knew as a famous entertainer.

"And he lived up to their faith in him with equally heartfelt letters back to them."