Bryan Cranston to Meghan Markle - how USO show brings stars to our region
- Credit: RAF Lakenheath/US Air Force
For 80 years, the United Service Organisation (USO) has been lifting the spirits of American troops stationed around the world.
Tours featuring popular musicians, sports stars, actors and comedians of the day have helped to bring a taste of home to the US armed forces.
As of November 4, RAF Lakenheath, near Thetford, is to become the home of the first USO centre in the UK.
RAF Lakenheath and nearby RAF Mildenhall is already like a mini-America on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.
The American community established after World War Two at RAF Lakenheath and nearby at RAF Mildenhall has seen tens of thousands of Americans set up home over the years, during posts that last between two to four years.
Big American cars such as Chevrolets and Chryslers are a common sight and a number of local businesses rely on the American dollar for their income.
The opening of the USO centre will only strengthen these connections, and the centre will become an important focal point for American servicemen in the UK.
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But which stars have already made the trip across the pond?
RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall have already seen its fair share of celebrity visitors over the years.
In 2010, the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong visited RAF Mildenhall, as part of the Legends of Aerospace tour.
In 2014, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex visited RAF Mildenhall for the USO holiday tour, which also visited Spain, Italy, Turkey and Afghanistan.
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston visited RAF Lakenheath in July 2017, during which he met the 48th Security Services Squadron and military working dogs.
A number of country music stars have also visited RAF Lakenheath, including Kid Rock, Neal McCoy and Kellie Pickler, with the latter two being regular features on USO tours.
In 1970, Bob Hope stopped at RAF Lakenheath, joined on stage by then-Miss World, Jennifer Hosten.
Other celebrities who have been on USO tours previously include Hollywood A-listers Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper, comedian Adam Devine and TV host Jon Stewart.
They did not stop off at RAF Lakenheath or Mildenhall, but with the new USO centre established, it may only be a matter of time before more high-profile celebrities such as these arrive in the region.