Lux Radio Theatre – When Willie Comes Marching Home

When Willie Comes Marching Home was broadcast on February 26, 1951, during the 16th season of Lux Radio Theatre. The show was well advertised, including these two previews from the Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, AZ, and the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Mason City, IA, respectively.

Tucson Daily Citizen

Mason City Globe-GazetteNot all newspapers got the title correct, including the New York Times:


Although many of the Lux programs are available, sadly this is not one of them. However, because of the excellent book, Lux Presents Hollywood A Show-by-Show History of the Lux Radio Theatre and the Lux Video Theatre, 1934-1957 by Connie Billips and Arthur Pierce, we know quite a bit about the show.

The Lux production was based on the 1950 film of the same title starring Dan Daily and Colleen Townsend. It was adapted for radio by Sanford H. Barnett. It starred Stewart as Bill Kluggs, Joanne Dru as Marge and William Demarest reprising his film role as Herman “Pop” Kluggs. Also in the cast were: Gladys Holland, Eddie Firestone, Jr., Ruth Perrott, Wally Maher, Dan Riss, Bill Conrad, Bill Johnstone, Herb Butterfield, Ed Begley, Bob Griffin, Harald Dyrenforth, Larry Dobkin, Paul Dubov, Rye Billsbury, Howard McNear, Herb Ellis, George Neise, Charles Lung, Eddie Marr, Truda Marson, Charlotte Lawrence and David Light. The program’s producer and host was William Keighley and the announcer was John Milton Kennedy.

In the story, Bill Klugg joins the Army Air Force after the bombing of Pearl Harbor with plans of becoming a hero. When he is assigned to a post near his home town he becomes frustrated. When he finally finds himself accidentally behind enemy lines, he becomes the hero he always wanted to be.