Someone who met and enjoyed a drink with Marilyn

The Daily Mail in Britain run a regular column each week where people – often close relatives –  write a tribute to ‘unsung heroes and heroines who deserve recognition’.   This week a man wrote in paying tribute to his ‘wonderful father-in-law’ who had died in July t6his year.

This was a gentleman called Derek Bishop and the story is as follows :-

Many of us have a story about the day we happened to rub shoulders with  someone famous but Derek had a story that could top them all.

Derek was with the RAF in Hong Kong in 1952 – although we think this must have been 1954 when Marilyn went to the Far East when he was on duty at the old Kai Tak Airport.

When his shift came to an end at 9pm, Derek and another solider were asked if they would stay on because a delayed flight was expected and there was a ‘celebrity’ on board.

They agreed and when the plane landed at 11pm, the famous passenger who stepped out was none other than the woman who would become the ultimate screen goddess Marilyn Monroe.

Derek said she was dressed in ‘everyday’ clothes and wore very little make-up. She insisted on thanking him and his pal personally for working late and took them for a drink in the Nissen Hut that served as the mess.

He had half a lager and enjoyed a few minutes - along with his colleague –  chatting to Marilyn.

Marilyn Monroe in the Far East

Marilyn Left and Derek Bishop on the Right in Hong Kong

(Although the story is dated as from 1952, Marilyn didn’t travel to the Far East until 1954. And I haven’t heard of her visiting Hong Kong before, but it’s possible she passed through while returning to husband Joe DiMaggio in Japan after entertaining US troops in Korea.)

On another occasion Derek – this time later in his RAF career – met Conan Doyle’s Daughter Jean when she came over to him in the Office he was working at the time, and read extracts of what he had been typing – he had been hoping to be a crime writer and had written quite a lot of the story and she asked to read it when it was completed – and gave it her vote of approval.

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