World War II
During World War II, Frank Sinatra was being investigated by the FBI.
He had been rejected by the military, listed 4-F, because of his ear drum injury, which was a result of the forceps that pulled his 13 + pound body (by the head) out of his tiny mother. Mother and baby almost lost their lives that day.
He tried to enlist twice. When he was again rejected, he asked if he could have permission from the powers that be, to help in the war effort as an entertainer for the USO. Because of the FBI file, he was refused the special visa required.
The file was begun when Frank openly campaigned for President Franklin Roosevelt. The Right Wing press, strongly represented by the William Randolph Hearst Syndicate, (the man who's life is allegedly portrayed in Orson Welles' film, "Citizen Kane"), launched a bitter battle, in their massive forum, to discredit Frank. They were afraid of him because he seemed to wield a certain amount of power over young voters, and because he was capable of achieving an enormous amount of attention from the wire and radio services throughout the world.
The file grew as the twenty-something year old Frank began to speak out against intolerance in the United States. He spoke at rallies to raise money for housing for veterans coming home from the war. He spoke at schools where another type of war was being waged - one of hatred and bigotry. The Right Wing had a field day with this, labeling Frank a Communist -- and, ironically, anti-American.
J Edgar Hoover and Patrick Coleson corresponded for the record in the file. Also, two or three letters, looking as if they were from the same person, kept resurfacing. These few letters, which we later believed to be the work of Westbrook Pegler and a known bigot, Lee Mortimer, rehashed nonsense which had been refuted and dismissed long before. But still the file remained open, and Frank was refused the visa time and time again.
At long last, the war almost over, Hoover okayed Frank's visa. These pictures are representative of the USO tour that Frank and his friend Phil Silvers FINALLY were allowed to make.
Click on images to enlarge: