For fifteen minutes, every Friday night, US soldiers fighting in World War II were comforted by the songs and stories of “Phyllis Jeanne, your Canteen Girl.” Broadcast on the NBC network from 1942 until the end of the war, Phyllis Creore was a friendly voice for homesick troops. She used the name “Phyllis Jeanne” because she felt her actual surname was too difficult to pronounce. She was the unofficial opponent to the propaganda delivered by Tokyo Rose. Phyllis received hundreds and hundreds of letters from servicemen over the years. Some asked for photos and others offered “thanks” for performing, what they considered, a service and a morale booster.
She worked diligently at the New York Stage Door Canteen. founded by the American Theater Wing, and a precursor of today’s USO. In addition to singing and mingling with soldiers, she donated her government-issued ration coupons for sugar and eggs.
After the war, Phyllis became a renowned sculptor. Her art was displayed in numerous galleries.
Phyllis passed away this week at the age of 100. She had lived on her own in an apartment on Fifth Avenue, filled with scrapbooks of memorabilia from her days as the Canteen Girl.