Despite her glamorous appearance, Marilyn required no special treatment during her 1954 military tour of Korea. Nonetheless, U.S. troops did their utmost to make their special guest comfortable throughout her stay, as this amusing tale from the Reading Eagle reveals.
“When Marilyn Monroe visited American troops in Korea in 1954, Arthur ‘Kip’ Bowers of Blandon was tasked with providing the movie star a key necessity.
‘I’m the only carpenter in the United States that built Marilyn Monroe an outside toilet,’ Bowers said. ‘She needed her own private toilet. We had no facilities and I’m a damn good carpenter.’
Bowers, 87, told that story Thursday immediately after receiving the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal at the Paul R. Gordon Veteran Social Center in Reading, PA.
Bowers used his job as an Army military police officer to get the wood by setting up a speed trap and stopping Army vehicles.
‘Every guy that was carrying water I stopped if he was over 50 miles an hour,’ Bowers explained. ‘And I said we can do this two ways … I was as straight a cop as could be, but in this case, I needed lumber … I said we can take one of your stripes or you can bring me a load of lumber. Every one of them brought me a load of lumber.’
After the latrine was built, there was a lot of wood left over and Bowers’ skills were proved. He was moved from MP to carpenter for the rest of his service.”
UPDATE: Another memory from Bowers is quoted on the WFMZ website. “She came to put on a show,” he told fellow veterans. “She swung her hip two feet this way and hit me on the head, and then she swung two feet the other way and hit my buddy.”