Wartime US Naval Aid Auxiliary Card Signed - 1944
Clark Gable-signed U.S. Naval Aid Auxiliary Autograph Card, specially prepared in 1944 to help fund the war effort during World War II. Gable himself had volunteered for the Army Air Forces after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Assigned to Hollywood’s newly formed “First Motion Picture Unit,” Gable’s efforts making patriotic propaganda films were a valuable contribution to troop morale. In 1943 he filmed Combat America in Great Britain, recounting the experiences of the 351st Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces based in England, even seeing many combat missions himself.
During World War II the U.S. Naval Aid Auxiliary (NAA) set up a series of stations across the country to provide entertainment and temporary housing for servicemen and sailors during their rotation from one location to another, counting on volunteers to keep the food and services flowing. Kitchen help, musicians, typists, medical aides, file clerks, servers-the list of needed talents was endless. It was a different age, and Americans all across the country readily responded to that need, volunteering their time to help the war effort.
The NAA received a good deal of their funding from public donations, much of which was raised by many of Hollywood’s brightest stars, and by 1944 the NAA had signed up almost 200 celebrities who had already dedicated hundreds of hours working in the stations and giving their time in personal appearances across the country. Signing these specially prepared autograph cards as a fund raiser was something they could do that took very little time, and they were greeted enthusiastically by a ready public. They are quite difficult to find today.