[00:00:01.590] - KR
As I said, let's just make sure we get it rolling. I have got sounds so good. Soall you need to do is just talk and it will pick you up and we'll be fine. OK. And I'm starting with something that's very, very easy. And you don't have to worry about not having looked at the questions or seen them again, because we can. We'll go over. I mean, I'll just ask you the questions anyway, so it's fine.
[00:00:24.170] - KR
But let's start with your name for my transcription, if I can get your name, OK?
[00:00:30.480] - AA
My name is Ann Andavall today, but my maiden name was Holder. So I was Ann Holder.
[00:00:38.820] - KR
Can you spell a holder for me, please?
[00:00:42.670] - AA
[00:00:42.870] - KR
I just asked to make sure that we're spelling it correctly and Andvall is A-N-D-A-V-A-L-L?
[00:00:49.140] - AA
[00:00:50.300] - KR
OK. Where did you where did you grow up?
[00:00:54.990] - AA
Well, my mother moved around a bit, but basically I grew up in Garden City, LongIsland, New York. 00:01:00
[00:01:03.360] - KR
You said what? What. Your mother moved around. What were your were your parents separated,
[00:01:07.920] - AA
My father died when I was five and my mother wandered you might say a bit. Shealso placed me on boarding schools and camps and with other people sometimes in the summer.And we went to Europe about 1930 and returned, I guess, 1931, at which time she had run out of money.
[00:01:43.710] - AA
Pretty much. And we lived together until she died when I was 16. And then I hadguardians, I appointed her doctor and his wife was a friend of hers as my 00:02:00guardians. And then I completed and went off to boarding school again and completed high school and started at Pratt in Brooklyn. So, as most people know it for architecture. But I was in the Home EC. The war started in nineteen forty one, and I guess that fall, instead of going back to school, I went to work in a war plant. I owed my guardian money.
[00:02:40.780] - AA
At that point which I wanted to repay. And I loathed home economics. So I workeda year in the war plant and then I heard of the WAVES and I. I can't tell you where I learned of the waves. I have no memory of it. But I went in and applied 00:03:00and was accepted.
[00:03:04.680] - KR
What? You said you were working. We still living in New York at this time.
[00:03:09.120] - AA
[00:03:10.270] - KR
What plant did you work at? Do you remember? Yes.
[00:03:13.250] - AA
I worked for Liberty Aircraft, which was a subsidiary of Grumman aircraft.
[00:03:19.140] - KR
And what did you do?
[00:03:21.640] - AA
Well, they tried me at drilling and riveting and I wasn't very good at it. Sothen they made me a helper to inspectors and for half a day. And the latter half, I went up and filed for the vice president's secretary.
[00:03:42.360] - KR
So when you were doing the inspectors, what did that entail? You doing what youlike? Just making sure things were done right.Or.
[00:03:49.440] - AA
No, I didn't have any authority at all. I stamped tags and tied them on theparts that were okay or something like that. That's all I remember 00:04:00
[00:04:01.600] - KR
It says inspected by number 62 t OK. OK. And you were there for how long about do.
[00:04:10.790] - AA
My memory is I was there a year. Maybe I was there two years. I've lost track.
[00:04:16.770] - KR
When did you enter the waves. When did you enlist.
[00:04:21.510] - AA
It was the 1st of February as I recall. And it must have been. Forty three. Ifyou want to stop the recorder, I do have a discharge then that really showed me the days.
[00:04:41.230] - KR
[00:04:41.730] - AA
Wait a minute. The war was over in forty five. So it must have been 44, February1st of forty four because I got out in forty six. I was in one year and eleven months.
[00:04:54.790] - KR
That would makes I then that would make sense with the year at the at the plantas well. Based on how the damage that you've told and it's OK. We could I don't 00:05:00worry about. Don't worry about the specific dates because we can always check those later.And also add those into the transcript if we need to. So when I when I do the transcript of this.So you don't remember how how you saw? I'm seeing any recruitment posters or anything like that about. About the waves.
[00:05:25.380] - AA
No, in all truth. I don't.
[00:05:26.560] - KR
Did you used to go to the movies or any of that sort of thing?
[00:05:29.510] - AA
I went to the movies, but I don't recall the waves in the movie.
[00:05:33.610] - KR
Not, seeing any newsreels or anything?
[00:05:35.350] - AA
[00:05:36.390] - KR
It's interesting to look back because you look back at these things and you see,well, there were all these newsreels or there were these big spreads in Life magazine, but we don't necessarily keep that with us now. Yeah. So where why did you just remember why you decided you wanted to join?What was it appealed that appealed to you?
[00:05:57.200] - AA
Well, at the time, I was working seven days a week. Ten to twelve hours a day in00:06:00the war plan. And I did not have a happy home life. And it seemed like it was a great way to live.
[00:06:14.830] - KR
What seemed good about what seemed great about it.
[00:06:20.980] - AA
Probably the idea that there are men out there. I mean, we were all women in thewar plant. All the men had gone to the service.
[00:06:29.650] - AA
Although I was at Mitchell Field was in Garden City, and that was a take off forall the planes going overseas. So there were plenty of men around. But I was tired working 10 or 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
[00:06:55.210] - KR
I think that says a lot that you were you thought they going into the militarywould be easier than the work a lot because everyone talks about how hard boot 00:07:00camp was. It seemed easier to you
[00:07:04.890] - AA
you know, people put all the stress on boot camp.
[00:07:08.710] - AA
There very little I remember I remember somebody said eating with my coat oin somany minutes and it was the dead of winter. But what I look back at what and treat me were the tests, the batteries of tests they gave us. And I had a very nice gal who finally interviewed me and she she made me feel good. And she said, of course, with my bad eyesight, I wasn't eligible for control tower. The next billet that was was LINK trainer and they didn't have any openings.
[00:07:49.720] - AA
So she put me in gunnery aerial gunnery. And at the time I said, well, I thoughtI'd be using my home ec. And she said, don't know anything to do with those 00:08:00cooks and bakers, they're lowest degree of intelligence and education. And I knew that from my training at Pratt, that that's what people in hospitals encountered and restaurants. So I was happy to escape that. I went ahead to aerial gunnery school.
[00:08:23.390] - KR
And what was that like?
[00:08:25.870] - AA
Fine. Because then I became an instructor there and stayed.
[00:08:31.400] - KR
Now, explain explain how that happened.
[00:08:34.160] - AA
Well, she put me an aerial gunnery school, which was at Pensacola, Florida. AndI went down, went through the school and they had me stay as an instructor.
[00:08:45.260] - KR
Were you. Did you get it? Did you get an increase in your in your. I mean, didyou have to be an officer to do that or was that something.
[00:08:54.990] - AA
Oh, no, I guess that's when I became. Went from Seaman second to Seaman first00:09:00class somewhere along the line. I got that promotion. And then later I became well, I ended up a Petty Officer Second Class, but I never, I don't remember taking exams. I remember looking at them for first class. And you had to recognize battleships and know a great deal about military matters. And I didn't know any and I didn't particularly care.
[00:09:31.210] - KR
So what did you do as a gunnery instructor? Did you work with women or with menor how did that.
[00:09:36.800] - AA
I worked with both and I was teaching other instructors. And you did it withwith Hollywood, Mickey Mouse, Coney Island devices. My job. There are two kinds of aerial gunnery. One is for bombers. And that's was three eight two. And one 00:10:00was for fighter pilots. And that was gun air. Most of the women. We had 50 women probably in on the gunnery range. And all but three of them were assigned to 3-8-2
[00:10:22.000] - AA
I was one of the three assigned to go on air. And when I first went went towork, we were not at the gunnery range. We were down in a hangar down and among the other hangars with planes in them, teaching. And I don't recall how many men were in the group. It was a fairly small group in the beginning, it was instructors I had known as I went through school and then shortly after a new 00:11:00group of ex-cadets came in and they left some of the old ones stay and the rest of them were sent to an outlying field.
[00:11:12.660] - AA
And the new fellows came in and they were, for the most part from Massachusetts.Irish. Not particularly well-educated.
[00:11:30.230] - KR
And you were training then you would be tried. Your job is to train them.
[00:11:33.580] - AA
No. They were the other instructor.
[00:11:35.880] - KR
Ah, OK. OK, so they were teaching you how to use or were they just working with you.
[00:11:40.250] - AA
They were working with me.
[00:11:42.730] - KR
And so what was that. I mean that's a little bit different than a lot of theother WAVES experiences that I've talked about. Just because now you're working kind of you've got men who are a pretty much equal equal level to you, equal responsibility to you, is that correct?
[00:11:56.370] - AA
[00:11:57.750] - AA
And so what was that like?00:12:00
Well, I think I told you on the phone the ex cadets were pretty much a bittergroup. They had and as a matter of fact, a good number of our students were ex cadets and they were and they could have been washed out. Even the final day before they got their wings. And what happened? It was the same even with us. The Navy would have an oversupply for their needs. So they would say, OK, three, we'll past 10, we'll fail.
[00:12:41.300] - AA
You decide which ones pass. And the same happened. I had I dated a fellow whowas an instructor on the final days for these X could fit four cadets to get their wings and the same thing happened with him. He would take a group of five 00:13:00out to be told only one could pass, decide which one to pass. And it happened when he went through school. I knew him as a cadet and my roommate was dating his roommate and his best friend.
[00:13:21.570] - AA
the fellow washed out.
[00:13:21.900] - KR
Explain what washing out means for people who maybe arts with military terminology.
[00:13:26.440] - AA
That just means that they don't get their rings. They don't. They are no longergoing to be officers. And as a matter of fact, I told you on the phone they were considered somewhat dangerous so that they were not allowed to serve overseas. A group for some reason, so we were told, had thrown a chief out of a second story window or something like that. True or untrue? Who knows? And so they they were bitter. 00:14:00
[00:14:10.060] - KR
And this is the group that you got
[00:14:12.050] - AA
I worked with.
[00:14:13.610] - KR
So that's. And it was a somewhat unusual military experience,
[00:14:20.780] - AA
I suppose. I don't know. I do know since then when there was a fellow in thearmy, I wrote to in Africa, just a friend. No, no interest on my part. And he said he was in supply and he was bored to death with his job. I mean, the military. There was a lot of people who work in the background. And for every man on the front line and it they die of boredom more than they do bloodshed.
[00:15:00.240] - KR
You kind of compared to when you were talking on the phone, you kind of compared00:15:00your experience. You said it was more like more like MASH than some of the heroic films that, you know, you see or hear about. What did you mean by that? I mean, can you explain that to me? Where there were there those sorts of I mean, you think of MASH, you think of some pretty funny hijinx.
[00:15:19.970] - AA
Well, they drank to excess. I had one student drank, instead drank a pint ofSouthern Comfort every night. And my job. You had a mock cockpit of a plane. And you were turning it to shoot at the enemy. And so the screen was going up, down, around and around and around. And here this fellow with a hangover and a headache would watch the screen going around every day and moaning and groaning as it was kind of laughing at him as well as with him. 00:16:00
[00:16:00.870] - KR
Was there that sort of rebellion that you saw when you mean There's also theimplication in looking MASH. They were always trying to break the rules or do things or push the batteries.
[00:16:09.080] - AA
[00:16:09.560] - KR
[00:16:10.500] - AA
And also our officers on the gunnery range. Then we moved up to the gun range.And most of the officers up on the gunnery range somewhat looked down on being too military. They were lawyers or college professors. And they wanted to return to civilian life, of course.
[00:16:34.530] - AA
And they mocked this.
[00:16:40.310] - AA
The Navy was I'm talking about a different era than today. I have no idea whattoday's world looks like in the Navy. At that time officers were treated royally compared to the enlisted. The enlisted it was like the old British navy of of the 17th century. The enlisted got a miserable hot meal on a in tropical summer 00:17:00where the officer got chicken a la king , a la king is in a cream sauce. No, I mean chicken salad. Living conditions for the sailors was abominable.
[00:17:27.080] - AA
Our fellows went up and went to somehow got themselves into Fort Barancas, whichwas an Army base next door and where the food was much better.
[00:17:40.130] - KR
So they were doing things to try to improve their conditions and any way to datein any way that they could.
[00:17:45.560] - AA
[00:17:46.370] - KR
Yeah. And what was so then what was your role in the midst of all of this? Wereyou the only wave that was there? Were there other.
[00:17:54.160] - AA
No, there were. Well, and ended up I think there were five or six of us. But in00:18:00the beginning there were just three of us. And we had gone to gunnery school together. One girl ended up as secretary to the officer in charge, and the other gal and myself were down with 30 men or from many I've forgotten about 30, I think, altogether.
[00:18:26.420] - KR
And this was in Pensacola, correct? Huh. So what was it like? I mean, you youwere somebody who willingly enlisted. These were all men, I'm assuming, who had been drafted. Correct.
[00:18:38.510] - AA
To get in the cadet program. No, they they didn't draft, but everybody wasgoing. They knew they would be drafted. So everybody scrambled to get a better berth. My husband went in this ski troops and these fellows had this thought they'd be Navy pilots rather than just seamen. 00:19:00
[00:19:07.550] - KR
So how did this. I mean, how did that having these these men who were verybitter, resentful? How did that impact your service?
[00:19:19.400] - AA
I probably wasn't quite as military. I wore my hat on the back of my head. I onetime had a date with a fellow from Eggland Field that was Army Air Force. And he insisted that I walk on the outside and a foot behind them because I was an enlisted. I thought it was funny as the dickens. I just laughed the whole time.
[00:19:50.020] - AA
Yeah, I think we were more. We were more like MASH than we were patriotic.Saluting or whatever. 00:20:00
[00:20:03.180] - KR
D do you think that I mean your experience did it, did it dawn on you with thetime that there was anything, anything different or unusual about this experience.
[00:20:12.330] - AA
[00:20:12.950] - KR
You just thought it was the way. Or even think about it.
[00:20:19.150] - AA
I don't think I thought of that. I thoroughly enjoyed the group, the women I was with.
[00:20:26.760] - AA
Well, in the beginning, when Mary and I graduated, we were most of the gunnerygirls were in one barracks. And because we had come in so much later, we were assigned to another barracks. And I had, we had two roommates. One was a mechanic who worked on planes. And she was short German stocky gal, daughter of a butcher. And the other was a Mexican who confessed that she had had a child 00:21:00out of wedlock that her mother claimed to have so she could go on service.
[00:21:10.350] - AA
And she worked in the photo labs and apparently got raped every day because shecouldn't say no. And we were just appalled. I mean, there was no meeting of the minds in that barracks seemed loud and not what, hat I wanted to be around. And so finally, two girls graduated in the gunnery. We had both men and women. They'd come in separately, but we'd get through classes every, oh, let's say, every six weeks.
[00:21:48.450] - AA
And Sally and Martha asked us to run with them. So then we moved up to Barracksone and we were with the other WAVES. And then toward the end of the war. No. I 00:22:00guess for a month or so, I guess. I did 3-8-2 with the other girls.
[00:22:10.570] - KR
Tell me about the women who were the four women that you were really the threewomen you were when you get there, Sally and Martha and then Mary. Correct.
[00:22:21.470] - AA
So we lived four in a room and the four there were four girls across the halland we were kind of like a loose knit family. We knew one another's problems or went around together at bit. And, you know,cared for one another. And there were likes and dislikes in the group. I'm in. I know them better than anybody else.
[00:22:53.550] - KR
Did you keep in touch with them after the war ended?
[00:22:58.810] - AA
For a while. Yes.00:23:00
[00:23:02.910] - KR
And they were working. They were all in guner, right? Correct. They were alldoing the same sort of thing that you were doing.
[00:23:07.750] - AA
Yes. All of us did the same thing. Yeah.
[00:23:10.860] - KR
Did what did the other. I mean, was that the only reason that the base existedor was the base there for other? Did the base have other reasons that it was? Was it just a training facility or were there other things that were done on the base?
[00:23:24.610] - AA
Now the base is still there today and it's principally for aviation, forinstructing on aviation. They even had foreign students there.
[00:23:38.040] - KR
So you were training people for maybe from Europe or from other places possibly?
[00:23:42.110] - AA
No. I dated them.
[00:23:47.330] - AA
I mean, we were precious. There were a thousand men to one girl. We were well treated.
[00:23:55.350] - KR
Tell me about that. But you went so you went on lots of dates.00:24:00
[00:24:01.450] - AA
Yeah. As my friend kidded me one time. But it was only for one date. And I said,yeah. Because I was very much an Irish Catholic at the time. And I'm. I really wasn't mature enough, I didn't really want to get too much involved. Although, finally I fell in love a couple of times.
[00:24:31.560] - KR
So o it was it was that it was fun. You had a nice social life, though, that wasassociated with it
[00:24:37.500] - AA
I had a wonderful social life.
[00:24:40.140] - KR
Better than what you would have back home.
[00:24:42.270] - AA
Oh, yeah the boys my unit used to tease me, they say just they'd say, just waittill the war ends.
You know, I'll be old maids and not be asked out.00:25:00
[00:25:01.130] - KR
That's very mean.
[00:25:03.360] - AA
[00:25:06.720] - KR
They just wanted the ratio to change, that's all. So you were there, you say ayear and a half. Is that correct?
[00:25:19.590] - AA
Oh, to two years.
[00:25:21.220] - KR
Two years. How was the how did the gunnery instructors. How were you? Where didyou fall in the pecking order? At the base. Is there was what was there.
[00:25:31.490] - AA
Well, I didn't realize. I didn't really think about it. But most of the girlshad college education -- were college graduates. I only had two years, but most of them had four. And those who didn't. And at that time, I guess in the west
[00:25:56.060] - AA
You could get a teacher certificate with only two years, and many of them I'vebeen teaching for quite a few years. Some of them were around 28, 30 years of 00:26:00age and have been teaching.
[00:26:10.160] - KR
And these were the instructors or were these just everyone on the base?
[00:26:13.540] - AA
Now, if these were gunnery instructors,
[00:26:17.260] - KR
so were you.I mean, was it was it kind of an elite force or was it.
[00:26:21.470] - AA
[00:26:22.380] - KR
But did you. Were you aware of that at the time?
[00:26:25.060] - AA
Not that much. No, not not until I got out, I guess, and. Well. This unit herewas the first set I encountered too many. Well, when I got home for a couple of times, I went to military reunions or something like that in my old town.
[00:26:58.080] - AA
But everybody there was had a college education pretty much. And no, I didn't00:27:00stay with an. I went a couple of times and.
[00:27:12.290] - KR
What was the war began to do? Did you meet your husband while you were there ordid you?
[00:27:18.740] - AA
I didn't meet him until I went up to school after the war,
[00:27:21.780] - KR
OK. So as the war was was ending. What. What was kind of I mean, going. What wasgoing through your mind? Was the relief that it was ending? I mean, this seems like it was a wait in many ways, was a very it was a good it was a good time for you.
[00:27:39.840] - AA
I well, I wanted to complete my education. I had an in mind. I certainly neededmore education. On the other hand, yes, it was good time. I had a stressful situation back home.
[00:28:00.440] - AA
I guess in some ways, if I could have gone on the way I was going, I would have00:28:00loved it now
[00:28:08.420] - KR
because women at the time were told the duration plus six months and then youhave to go,
[00:28:14.580] - AA
yeah, Mary my roommate had been transferred to Jacksonville where she becamesecretary to, I don't know, three pilots or something. I'm not three lawyers. I guess and she stayed on for six months where I got out in January. And Syracuse University thought because I was a woman that I couldn't even go there in the summer because I was it wasn't ladylike to be. I know. Unchaperoned or something. So I had to wait till September before I could go back to school. So I had a long stretch.
[00:28:58.740] - KR
They didn't want you to start in the middle of the term in the middle of the year.00:29:00
[00:29:01.530] - AA
[00:29:02.180] - KR
[00:29:02.540] - AA
TThey wouldn't even let you start for summer school. I had to wait until September,
[00:29:07.340] - KR
but it wasn't a problem for you to go to the school. Syracuse accepted you?
[00:29:11.450] - AA
Oh, yeah. I'd gone up and gone through a battery of tests. They acceptedeverybody. They had expanded from six thousand to twenty thousand and they took every G.I. But if he didn't measure up, then they kicked them out immediately.
[00:29:30.150] - KR
You said home economics was not your.
[00:29:33.510] - AA
[00:29:34.030] - AA
So what did you decide to study at Syracuse?
Well, I combined it with journalism so that I wouldn't waste it.
[00:29:42.610] - KR
So home economics and journalism. OK. And what was your what were yourplans?What did you think that was? What were you thinking that you were going to do when you got out of school?
[00:29:59.550] - AA
Well, I have probably gone in the school with the idea that I like the writing00:30:00of the food columns in The New York Times on Sundays. James Beard was pretty much up then and somebody oh, Craig Claybon, I guess it was. And I had written to them. Women's magazines were coming to the foreground with lots of writing on.
[00:30:31.550] - AA
I like textbook writing. I did not like. No, I had a roommate in journalism,Martha Enservice. Her parents were journal -- newspaper people in Syracuse. And she, I guess she had graduated, she went up for her masters after that. Women 00:31:00were sort of confined at that point to writing in the newspaper, writing the social columns of the pretty dresses that they wore for the wedding or Susie's cake or whatever. I didn't care for that.
[00:31:17.360] - AA
I wanted to write more --. Still, I didn't quite know what I wanted anyway. Myhusband didn't want me to work. I never could go to work.
[00:31:29.720] - KR
So where did you meet him? At Syracuse.
[00:31:32.020] - AA
[00:31:32.700] - KR
And what was he? What did he do? What was he study?
[00:31:36.310] - AA
He was majoring in forestry on the retail end he had started before the war anddecided, no, he did not want to go in the woods and camp on the ground. He would take the retail end of it.
[00:31:49.620] - KR
So that means arranging logging and that sort of thing. Or what is the what isthe retail and mean?
[00:31:54.990] - AA
Well, it's building materials.
[00:31:58.070] - KR
Got it. OK.00:32:00
[00:32:01.630] - AA
But it's a long way from logging.
[00:32:05.340] - KR
Yeah, yeah. So you're talking about the timber, the timber industry selling tothe secondary markets for houses and that sort of thing. OK. How did you meet him?
[00:32:21.690] - AA
There was a walk -- in my room. I didn't room with Janie. But she wanted to go.
[00:32:31.130] - AA
So I went and we were chasing one cute forrester we thought was nice looking.And know he went home, was my husband's date. And then my husband asked me to. Oh. Did I want to ride back home with him? And I'd learned not to get in a car with anybody and in the backseat. And I said, no, I preferred walking. We got to 00:33:00know one another anyway.
[00:33:03.290] - KR
and all of those sorts of things. You said he didn't want you to work.
[00:33:08.090] - AA
[00:33:08.720] - KR
So what did was
[00:33:11.560] - AA
That was an old fashioned time where if the husband said, no, I may not work. Idon't want you to work. You didn't work.
[00:33:21.350] - KR
Did you? Rebel against that in any I mean, look internally at all.
[00:33:25.880] - AA
Absolutely. More later in life than than immediately. I did complete collegeafter we were married and after I had a baby and I would complete college and my grades slipped and that bothered me. So in a way I wasn't sure if I could handle both. In those days, they didn't have nurseries for children or you see, it was. 00:34:00We paid a woman to take care of the baby while I was in school, but it was an unsatisfactory arrangement.
[00:34:10.590] - KR
I know it was very I mean, just in in looking at some of the the advertisementsand things that you saw at the time. I mean, I you know, I because I've been a media programs, I'm very fascinated with these things. And they definitely had a pretty I know that the message was pretty loud and clear that women were supposed to be in the home then and worry about taking care of the house and the children and all of those sorts of things.
[00:34:38.070] - AA
I know that I almost hate to bring it up because I've learned, say, peoplearound here, not in Ashland, but Medford and Grants Pass,. hey went to work, but it was their husbands weren't in the same economic bracket.
[00:34:57.550] - KR
Let's say they worked more because of necessity rather than you would. You00:35:00didn't have to work. Is that what you're saying, that you were you were OK?
[00:35:04.830] - AA
That's a good way. Yeah. I mean, not that I. We wouldn't have enjoyed the money.Heaven sakes, we were poor, but it didn't dawn on me to work. And for another thing, there were a lot of moves. He was into his job for six months when he was recalled in the Korean War. So that was another move. And then when he got out of the Korean War, instead of returning to New York, New Jersey, he went to Florida.
[00:35:37.050] - AA
It just happened. We had taken a vacation there and the same company offered himmore money to go to work in Florida. So we took it. And then from there on, we moved a lot around. We moved up to Connecticut. Because he had a chance to go to the New York office. So after a couple years, we moved up there again. So there 00:36:00are lots moves in that period.
[00:36:06.730] - KR
Turn to your mother. I just I want to jump back just a little bit. A little bitin time. But after your father died, did your mother work? Was that something that she.
[00:36:16.290] - AA
[00:36:17.490] - KR
Was that because your family was situated comfortably enough that she didn'thave to or.
[00:36:21.800] - AA
[00:36:22.520] - KR
OK. OK. Yeah. I figured that when you said you went to Europe and then ran outof money, then I know that that would be during the Depression is when you're talking about and many people didn't have money to say travel or do those sorts of things. So it sounds like you're a little bit more comfortable.
[00:36:40.050] - AA
[00:36:40.640] - KR
OK. So you said that you kind of you were later you started to get upset aboutthis idea that not being able to. Not being able to work.
[00:36:59.150] - AA
Right. But I don't think it has anything to do with the military.00:37:00
[00:37:02.920] - KR
Why not? I'm just curious because I'm wondering why what I wonder is. You know,you had these great these give a lot of the women in the waves, had these really wonderful, very almost liberating sort of jobs. I mean, you know, they were very things that women didn't do at that time typically. So I'm curious if that had any impact having those experiences when you were a young age, if that had any impact later on maybe thinking.
[00:37:30.470] - AA
[00:37:31.000] - KR
I could do this, you know? And what do you think not?
[00:37:33.600] - AA
Matter of fact. Well, when I taught. I taught. About five people at a time. Andthat was fine. Very late in the war, I had to go in and teach classrooms. And that was a disaster, was a disaster from a couple of ways.
[00:37:57.420] - AA
One. I was teaching recognition of, of planes or battleships. I have poor00:38:00eyesight then very slow timing. I had practic I really failed the course when I was being trained and to go in and suddenly be told, yes, go in and teach recognition. Plus my students were men who had come back from combat. The war was over. They had come back from combat. They knew every damn plane and battleship imaginable. And I did not. And nor could I see the thing as I flashed it on the screen, said, Ready now?
[00:38:39.050] - AA
What is it? And how. No way, shape and form. Secondly, I. I hadn't bothered withyou with my background. I was a very insecure person. I've battled that a good 00:39:00part of my life. I would say it's not true so much today. But at that time, I certainly was.
[00:39:11.270] - KR
So you didn't necessarily have the confidence to want to go into the workforce?Is that what you're the regular workforce? Maybe
[00:39:17.890] - AA
I didn't have the confidence to stand up to a classroom.
[00:39:23.650] - KR
And so that was hard. And so it was it was a hard. How big is the classroom?
[00:39:27.340] - AA
I said that they were about 30 to 30.
[00:39:30.480] - KR
Oh, jeez. Yeah.
[00:39:33.860] - AA
Particularly, we once had a classroom of officers who came by, and I realize nowwith maturity this fellow came up afterwards and said, did you realize you may you said twenty five times or something. And of course, I went into tears. Today to look and say, oh, he was trying to get some attention in those days. No, I just became very careful. 00:40:00
[00:40:02.520] - KR
So you were. How many did you just have? The one child. The ones that you have?The one son?
[00:40:08.200] - AA
Yes. I had two tubal pregnancies here that.
[00:40:12.240] - KR
Yes. Which, of course, you can't take to term because those would be fatal toyou as a parent is the one you had. They had to be terminated, correct?
[00:40:21.690] - AA
Oh yeah. Yeah. Three months.
[00:40:23.330] - KR
Yeah. Yeah. And when was your son born?
[00:40:35.070] - AA
Nine months after we were married, I got pregnant on my two day honeymoon. I wasa Catholic.
[00:40:46.470] - KR
Wow. So that's a big adjustment all of a sudden. Both married and like a mother instantly.
[00:40:52.400] - AA
[00:40:54.650] - KR
Did anything do you think your military training helped prepare you for any of that?
[00:40:59.030] - AA
[00:41:07.930] - KR
Oh. Well, some people say, you know, having all the organization helped them runtheir household better or something like that. I had women say that.
[00:41:20.480] - AA
Reallyu? I mean, the ego people was just amazes at me, like, yes, I got it. Iwent into service to save a man's life. I mean, ridiculous. The best line. The funniest line. One of the gals was long, homely, drink of water, wonderful personality, great humor, but no beauty. And these stupid men would always say, why did you join the service or why did you join the service? So she said, oh, what did you do before you joined this? So she said, I played piano in a 00:42:00whorehouse. Two years later, students were coming up to me and saying, did you know she played piano in a whorehouse?
[00:42:14.410] - AA
It was like MASH. These stupid little kids about 18, Come up and say did youknow? .
[00:42:26.940] - KR
Just see what you could tell them to see what they would believe. Because I'massuming she didn't really play piano at a whorehouse.
[00:42:36.700] - AA
(laugh) I never knew her before she went in service but I don't think Dorothyplayed piano in a whorehouse. No.
[00:42:49.700] - KR
How did you decide to get involved with WAVES national? What. What prompted youto get involved with that with the women there?
[00:43:01.050] - AA
I was probably patriotic enough that I practically, Oh, that would be wonderful,00:43:00you know, to reunite with that sort of thing. Martha, my roommate, said it right after the war that she never wanted to think about it again. She hated her experiences and she wanted nothing to do with them.
[00:43:24.310] - AA
I didn't know about it till I moved here, which was 30, 40 years after the war.
[00:43:32.980] - KR
Did you ever talk about your military service before you before you joined up,or was it something that that came up or did you that you thought about much? With with others, I mean, did that, you know, is that right? Because a lot of women said that they had haven't talked, don't talk about it, but they did. They didn't talk about their service.
[00:43:52.140] - AA
I've probably talked more of recent years just because you were coming. Otherpeople said, oh, you were in military service.
[00:43:59.960] - AA
What did you do? But no. And the other thing was. Sailors, I am who I00:44:00encountered who had not had any relationships with with the waves, regarded them as prostitutes or something. And. I didn't want that. I didn't. I just kept it to my. I know at one time they talked here about being a part of a parade, riding in a convertible. I wanted no part of it.
[00:44:51.400] - KR
[00:44:52.510] - AA
Here. Yeah. Which is wrong on my part, probably because I have to go out to theV.A. once a year too long so I can get medications and the men out there always 00:45:00treat us very well.
[00:45:10.450] - KR
I know, though, that during the war, the Navy was working really hard. Thoserumors were persistent. They were particularly bad, I know, with the with the Army women. And the Navy was working really hard to try to to try to combat those rumors of that the women were prostitutes or or something else, you know, that they were they were unsavory in some way.
[00:45:32.490] - AA
Yeah. I'm trying to think. If we went down to the beach during the day,sometimes the cooks and bakers whose school was next to us would come along and kick sand just to, honest, just to try and track our attention. One time my 00:46:00roommate and I were on a trip train to go to New York. I guess it was. Anyway, we encountered this sailor and he was practically telling us and we. But he was a nice kid. And we said, have you ever dated one?
[00:46:16.180] - AA
Do you kno, one. No, he didn't. Well, the following summer, he got engaged to agirl, a wave, and we giggled about it to ourself,But. Yeah, they kind of resented us. Maybe I don't. Someone.
[00:46:37.950] - KR
Well, yeah, it was. It was. I'm sure in many ways for the men and I mean, themilitary had for many years or traditionally wewomen weren't there.This was a place where there were there weren't women. So that's got to be a kind of a hard would be a hard transition for for.
[00:46:54.930] - AA
Well, everybody was was there weren't very many regulars. They were all00:47:00recruited. So I, I don't think that with that, I would .
[00:47:12.840] - AA
A lot of the sailors were less educated than we were and we didn't want to knowthem and yeah, it annoyed them, I'm sure.
[00:47:24.090] - KR
Did you ever was you know, you talked about not knowing, you know, not reallyknowing why you decided to enlist or not remember what kind of spurred you there to go. But were you ever aware of the uniform before
[00:47:37.660] - AA
Of the uniform? Oh sure. I was a blonde. I don't know my hair. Instead ofturning gray, turn brown. I was a blonde and naturally I looked far better and navy blue and I would ever look in khaki.
[00:47:53.460] - KR
Were you aware of this before you went in? Was that something that was a was areason that kind of lured you to maybe select the navy blue uniform over the Army? 00:48:00
[00:48:02.190] - AA
It's a far better looking uniform. Yes.
[00:48:05.670] - KR
Yeah. No, it's it's gorgeous. I mean, I've. Today I even see outfits today. Andthere they still look. They're amazing. They look beautiful. These uniforms are really does have
[00:48:15.030] - AA
It was a French designer, well known and respected designer who designed the uniform.
[00:48:22.710] - KR
Did you get custom fitted for it?
[00:48:24.740] - AA
[00:48:25.430] - KR
And what was that? Was that that had you had had that experience before? To becustom fitted for clothing?
[00:48:31.330] - AA
No. You know, down in Pensacola, we had clothes custom fitted. I sent my clothesto he dry cleaner every time I wore them.
[00:48:43.060] - KR
You must have had several uniforms then.
[00:48:47.400] - AA
Well, I didn't wear a uniform by day it was when I dated.
[00:48:52.780] - KR
You didn't have to wear when you were when you were training you, when you wereworking during the day, you didn't wear the uniform
[00:48:57.300] - AA
During the day and wore slacks and a shirt or in the summer uniform was00:49:00seersucker dress. But because I was getting in and out of those mock plane all the time, I wore either slacks or a. I know I have one photograph, so it proves to me otherwise I wouldn't say I didn't a light blue coverall.
[00:49:24.240] - KR
Like a jumpsuit. Sort of.
[00:49:25.820] - AA
[00:49:26.460] - KR
OK. Yeah, I've seen some of those and those were men's clothes that basicallykind of took it a little bit so they'd fit, right. I mean, those were not. I didn't know that I wasn't. Did the Navy make women's slacks or did they.
[00:49:40.050] - AA
Navy made women slacks.
[00:49:42.780] - KR
OK, you know, I hate it because I had heard from one woman who said that she hadto wear they had to wear men's slacks and and take them in. She was in earlier and they had they didn't have women's no pants at the time she was doing that sort of force.
[00:49:57.310] - AA
Oh, that's that's another thing. There's one wave here in Jacksonville and she00:50:00taught aerial gunnery, but she was one of the early ones and she was chosen because she was an excellent proficient gunmen or whatever you call it. And she and her brothers and her father all practiced with guns. I wasn't. I didn't like guns. They frighten me. I cried practically.
[00:50:32.230] - KR
Well, I would think as it's growing up in New York also, that's not it's not asif you you know, you were you were in an urban an urban child growing up. Right. I mean, you were you were with.
[00:50:42.740] - AA
No, I was suburban.
[00:50:44.170] - KR
OK, so you were
[00:50:49.200] - AA
There was a friend from my guardians wife who was a detective, and he would comein with his revolver and put it on the cabinet table, when it came in the house 00:51:00and I saw it.
[00:51:06.000] - AA
I mean, I saw a gun, but I had no interest. I was around women who played bridgeall day and they didn't think of hunting. Nobody hunted that I know of.
[00:51:22.460] - KR
Yeah, it's. It's not. Yeah, it's not something I really associate, at least withthat area of New York, maybe more upstate New York, I would think. Hunting like not, you know, the New York City metro area.
[00:51:36.580] - AA
Yeah. Well, I know a boy. It was with a gun or a sling shot, and I remember hekilled the bird and I didn't like that.
[00:51:50.440] - KR
Is there anything you would like to add at this point about your service orabout anything that you think we need to know?
[00:51:58.320] - AA
No. I'm sure I don't sound patriotic. I would get patriotic feelings like00:52:00everybody else. But for the most part. And there's a group of women in the barracks. It was like a college campus. You feel some loyalty, I'm sure toward your school, but at the same time, on a day to day basis. Don't you knock the food or complain about an instructor or you're not running around waving that flag all day.
[00:52:40.980] - KR
Yeah, it's it's interesting to see how people remember the times, too, becausethere are some who very much, much more. There's a much more red, white and blue glow over it than than than with others.
[00:52:52.860] - AA
[00:52:53.340] - KR
And I think that that's I find that very interesting because it gives me a senseof the differences of experiences and the different ways people remember their experiences. 00:53:00
[00:53:03.000] - AA
Well, there was one girl, I think she's dead now with our unit here who had beena nurse taking care of the wounded as they came in from overseas down in San Diego. Well, her feelings would be entirely different than mine
[00:53:24.720] - KR
of course. Yeah. Yeah. No,
[00:53:28.220] - AA
I. I dated a corpsman one time at the hospital who was absolutely disgustedbecause then a white glove inspection of some sort and a bleeding pilot, a plane crashed and the victim came into the hospital and he said, get them out of sight. Go hide them. We're having an inspection. Rather, things save his life, don't let him bleed here 00:54:00
[00:54:01.410] - KR
ecause we've cleaned that everything's clean there at this point.
[00:54:05.240] - AA
Oh, yeah. The admiral is coming to inspect or somebody was in. I mean, that wasthis sort of I mean, that's like MASH. That isn't you're what you can to expect of what you hear. Correct.
[00:54:20.970] - KR
It's it's it's definitely a different experience than what I've heard from otherpeople, which, like I said, for me, is a good thing because it's giving me a fuller sense of what the experience was like. If everyone's experience was the same, that it wouldn't be terribly interesting.
[00:54:34.950] - AA
Yeah. It's like the pioneers crossing that country. And they show, you know,John Wayne up in front of the beautiful heroine in back with her lovely clothes. Nothing about the blood, sweat and tears that went on.
[00:54:52.940] - KR
Mm hmm. Ann I thank you very much. You're willing to go ahead and.00:55:00