Jean Ruth Hay, 87, who woke millions of American troops each morning during World War II with her upbeat radio program "Reveille With Beverly," which was broadcast into foxholes, cockpits and military outposts from Alaska to New Zealand, died Sept. 18 in Fortuna, Calif., after a stroke.
Between 1941 and 1944, her dawn broadcast as the effervescent Beverly reached an estimated 11 million people. Her jumpin', jivin' selections -- Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole -- were a welcome alternative to the 5:30 a.m. bugler's blast that jarred American troops from their beds in military outposts worldwide.
With a cold Coca-Cola in one hand and a stack of records in the other, Ms. Hay's day at Hollywood's station KNX-AM began with her signature opening, "Hi there, boys of the U.S.A."
"We're ready with the stuff that makes you swing and sway," she would croon.
Called the world's first global disc jockey, her programs reached service people in 54 countries. Some saw her as the American counterbalance to the Pacific theater's "Tokyo Rose," who was actually an amalgam of several young women in Japan airing anti-American propaganda.
Hay posed for pinup shots and was voted by troops "the girl we'd most like to be trapped in the turret of a B-17 with."