Wild Photographs Of Marilyn Monroe Entertaining U.S. Troops In Korea

Thousands of whooping, hollering, whistling G.I.s crowd around a stage, goggle-eyed. They’ve been serving in Korea through a miserable winter but now someone sends their mood into the stratosphere. She wears a figure-hugging, spaghetti-strap number despite the sub-zero temperatures. Inhaling the near-hysterical adulation, she gives the mesmerized grunts just what they want. It’s Marilyn Monroe.

Whirlwind tour

It was February 1954 and the blonde bombshell was on a four-day whirlwind tour of U.S. military bases in South Korea. Actually, it was a last-minute arrangement. Really, she was in that part of the world to spend her honeymoon with her new husband, legendary baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe DiMaggio. The newly-weds had been scheduled to celebrate their married bliss in Japan.

Suspicious dater

Initially Monroe had been doubtful about even meeting the Yankee Clipper. But they’d had a first date in 1952 and in the event, the movie star had found the experience better than she’d anticipated. In his Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, published in 1993, Donald Spoto quoted Monroe’s words about her first meeting with DiMaggio. 

Something special

Monroe recalled, “I expected a flashy New York sports type and instead I met this reserved guy who didn’t make a pass at me right away. He treated me like something special.” DiMaggio, on the other hand, had seen his pre-meeting illusions about Monroe shattered. As Spoto recorded, he’d first come across her in a promotional photograph in 1951. 

Genuine interest

Spoto wrote, “Joe wanted to meet Marilyn Monroe after he saw a news photo of her posing sexily in a short-skirted baseball outfit, aiming to hit a ball.” DiMaggio had understood this to mean that she took a genuine interest in the sport that had made him one of the most famous figures in America. So he’d asked a pal to set up a date.