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Interview With Esther Wilhide

1995

Hi, I am Esther Wilhide. I live in Rockwell, Texas for the past ten years. I was born in ---- Pennsylvania which is outside of Pittsburgh. My mom was a homemaker and my father worked in the steel mills. I was a hairdresser.

I joined the service in 1943 because I thought it was the thing to do and also it was a great adventure. I did basic training in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was about twenty-five when I joined the service. Basic training was just a lot of lectures and marching. Clothes - issuing of clothes. We had our khaki underwear and PT dresses.

I personally didn't think it was that hard. I enjoyed everything I did. I abided by the regulations, especially when to go to bed. If the curfew was at 10:00, that was fine with me - I was in at 10:00. We stood in line an awful lot waiting for shots and what have you. I didn't get sick that first couple of weeks there as we stood in the pouring rain and waited for our shots. All of my company was moved out and I was left because I had gotten pleurisy. In those days they put you to bed.

But when I was over there, then I got assigned - my first assignment. They put us on a train, seventeen of us. They sent us to --- ---- School in Alpine, Texas. Part of the train unhooked and we were left on the tracks there overnight. The next day they attached another train to us and got us on to Alpine, Texas where we had seven weeks of army --- school. They showed me what a typewriter was. I was a hairdresser so I had to learn to from scratch. We were given our PFC stripes. Then I was assigned to Camp Hale, Colorado where I worked as a ration clerk with Quarter Master. After awhile, the hairdresser left camp to go overseas. I was pulled to become the camp hairdresser because of my past experience. I stayed there and got extra money for that, which was nice because it was under the PX. I had different working hours. My CO liked the way I did her hair. She would stand up classes and say "Go see Esther and get your hair cut." So, I got away with wearing officer's ties and beautiful shirts. Then I decided to sign up for overseas and I trained a French Canadian girl to be the hairdresser and take over me.

We had a lot of nice times at Camp Hale. We put on a beautiful musical show. And we had some formals at the service club. We could eat a lot of steak as much as we wanted. That was in the men's mess hall not in the womens'- WAACs.

For entertainment - there was quite a bit to do. Different men's barracks would hold dinner dances and we enjoyed hiking. I tried skiing but I wasn't very good, but I did get on the skis. I learned to dance up at Camp Hale at the service club. There was a very handsome soldier from Brooklyn who was a fantastic dancer. I really learned how to dance from him and with him. There was also another one, handsome soldier, who did the tango just beautifully. So I really enjoyed two hours of entertainment at night at the service club - dancing.

We used to go into Denver on the weekends. That was always nice and we had a nice time. We would go to Leadville, Colorado. We would have a nice meal and a martini. We would end up in a little diner. I can't remember the name of it. There was a woman there like "Ma Kettle" and she sang all the while and the place was crowded; we were there for breakfast. There wasn't even a place to sit down. We never went to Leadville that we didn't end up at the diner for breakfast.

When I signed up for overseas I had to take all of my equipment with me on the train home and it was really a shock when I walked in the door. It was a shock for my mother that I was carrying my gas mask with me which we had to take. We went to Port ---, Georgia for overseas training. We had to go through the gas chambers. We had to put mustard gas on our arms and do the whole bit. From ---- Georgia- that was very short and busy and hard to pack those duffle bags. It was easy for me because I was a size 10 then. But my friends who were a size 16 they cried every night trying to pack those duffle bags. Finally, we went on to Fort Stockton, California and then overseas. Everything was supposed to be so "hush, hush" but they marched us through California to the boat with all of our gear - 1,000 WAACs. There was 1,000 of us going on that trip. We went on the SS Monterey. There was 1,000 WAACs and 9,000 troops. We weren't allowed to use water, just to drink. We had to use salt water. My bunk was practically just two inches off the floor with about three feet of space and duffle bags on either end standing up. There was about twelve of us to a room. We used to go and sit up on the deck at night. There were so many of us that we had to sit with our knees crunched up to our cheeks. We did have dances in the afternoon. We had dance on the starboard and port, but anyhow on both sides we had dances. It was so hot that mascara would just run down your face, but we did have a good time dancing. We were on that boat for thirty-one days. I was at least - they took off some of the gals and men in -----. But I was chosen to go, one hundred of us, to go to Central Mail Directory and we were in Brisbane, Australia. We worked Central Mail Directory locating lost mail and forwarding the mail to troops.

Well they took off most of the troops. A hundred gals stayed on and a hundred men. We were assigned to Central Mail Directory in Brisbane, Australia. It was there that I made some of my best friends until today in the service.

In Australia we had the beaches to go to, which was very nice. We got an occasional pass to go to --- ----. We were issued ration coupons so we could go to restaurants once in awhile to eat. We had a horrible ---- ---- on our --- attachment. We were also issued horrible purple silk stockings. So, when one gal had runs in all of her nylons we would all wear our purple stockings that day in support of one another. There was six of us to a hut. It was very nice.

We also heard about the good food so we would go to this restaurant and we would have butterscotch waffles with ice cream. Oh, they were so good. There was one other restaurant where there was a piano player at a steak house. My friend Carol and I - we loved food. So we would go any place they mentioned. We knew we were going to leave Australia eventually so we would go to the (I forget the name of the inn now) and we would have our butterscotch waffle everyday. One day we would have a half and have those little tea sandwiches and next time that we would go we would have the whole waffle. It was served with the best ice cream. I understand that place is still in business. I have heard of people going there in Brisbane.

We also visited some of the Australian dance halls and learned to dance the famous "Hokey Pokey". They have such beautiful flowers and trees in Brisbane. It was about twenty years behind times but we enjoyed it very much. From there, we were sent to ---- a little --- island in the south pacific, right on the equator. We were in a ----, there were huts and a fence around and another fence around it. We always had to go out in pairs. We got an afternoon nap for two hours because the heat was intense. Some of the gals ended up with jungle rot. They were sent home. One day, I woke up with jungle rot under my arm. When the gals came back from work that day I was crying and I told them "I had jungle rot and I'll have to go home." But mine healed. I got over it. So, we had nice times there at the end. Of course, "Tokyo Rose" was going to blow the skirts off the WAACs and every time we had an air raid drill (we didn't have any refrigeration so we had hot, warm beer) we would grab a can of hot beer and our helmet and run for the coral beaches where we were supposed to go in case "Tokyo Rose" found us.

The men built a lot of nice night clubs there. We would have nice dances. We would go in our "herring bone twills" as we called them. We would die our socks with ----. They were yellow. I sent home and got some yellow t-shirts. So, we would open up our shirts and show our yellow t-shirts and yellow socks under our "sadie hawkins" boots. We would have some very good bands - very good music.

After the ---- we were sent to Manila. We lived in the St. Thomas College. It was where they beheaded all these priests and nuns. We live in this college where there was no doors or windows because they had been all blown out. We had crates to put our things on just outside our cots. We had nothing else. We would go out on the roof when it rained to shower. At first we were washing our clothes and our helmets like the men do. Afterwards the Philipino women came around and took our clothes to launder and that made it much easier.

We got plenty of music in Manilla especially since we didn't have any windows or doors. There was a nightclub across the street and we would hear "You belong to my heart now and forever" We heard that morning, noon and night. We would go out dancing. There was some nice dance place. You would have to take your own gin (everybody drank gin in Manilla). They would furnish the lime juice. It was quite refreshing.

So, we were still with the Central Mail Directory, us 100 gals and men. But then came notice that Macarthur was going into Japan - Tokyo. They had a notice on our bulletin board that they needed government workers in Japan. My girlfriend, Carol and I - we enjoyed the service. We did what they told us. We had a great time and it didn't bother us a bit. Well, we were going to Japan but had to join the Red Cross. There was a notice on the bulletin board that they needed workers - civil service workers - in Japan. So, there was Carol and I, Lillybeth and ---. We were down there and we signed up immediately. We were among the first fifty girls in Japan for the occupation forces.

General MacArthur at first wasn't going to take the WAACs into Japan. We had already started getting all our shots. But he decided the WAACs were not going to Japan. As I said, Carol and I was going to go somehow. And then came the notice of the Civil Service openings in Japan. So, we immediately signed up and took our discharge in Manilla. From there we got hauled up to Japan. We were the first of fifty girls in the civilian occupation forces.

The first convention we had was in Colorado Springs and we had about sixty people. But it is so hard to get a convention together. We dwindled down to just a few of us maybe twenty-five of us. We would meet every couple of years. We would go. We had one last year but now only eleven went last year. People are dying and are sick and can't make it. So, I haven't heard yet and guess that last year was our last one. I am going to call my friend in Corpus Christi. These don't necessarily have to be WAACs, these were employees in Japan that worked there for six years. We are closer than family.

Andrea: I believe that. Nobody will ever understand what all of you shared. I can't believe you got that horrible disease.

Oh, well. I was lucky. Mine went away.

Just going back here a little bit here. I just want to tell you how we did clothes in the South Pacific. In order to wash, we had big long troughs that we would lay our uniforms down and our herring bone twill pants and we would brush them with ---- and a brush. We would brush out the soap and brush it out with water. We would hang them up to dry. It was hot there so they dried fast. Then, we would take our clothes and put them underneath our blankets on the cot, put another blanket on it and then lay down and went to sleep. That's how we pressed our clothes. Everybody had to do KP. Everybody took turns to do the dishes and pots and pans. Naturally, everywhere we went we had KP. Naturally, everyplace we went we had to pull KP. It wasn't all that bad except when it came to the huge pots and pans that you had to scrub. You practically had to crawl inside of them and they were hard to clean. One of the mess halls - I can't remember which one it was. They decided that the WAACs had to unload the trucks coming in with the food. So, They sent little Ida Cliff and me - I was 110 lbs. and they put an raw cow, half a raw cow on my shoulder - one on my shoulder and the other end on Ida's. We just buckled under. We couldn't carry that cow into the mess hall. Then, we learned how to pull brick. We would get a bucket of water and the two of us would carry it down the isle rather than just one. It was a mess hall that fed a thousand people. It was kind of rough but we got all through that. The worst place for KP was Brisbane, Australia where they had big grease traps - huge things that you had to clean once in awhile. They were just awful. When we were in Manilla, the KP wasn't as bad because we had our overseas canteen sets (tin) - our cups, plates, knives, and forks. They had all this hot soapy water ready and rinse water and we would just go through the line and wash our own eating utensils. We didn't have to pull KP. They hired Philipinos to clean pots and pans. So, that was a relief.

Andrea: Let's talk about how you were treated by the men in the army and the civilians.

No problem. I didn't have any problems with the military or the civilians. I can't recall one incident.

Andrea: So, you and the men worked together?

Well I had some of the men for bosses.

Andrea: What was you reaction when the WAAC became the WAC?

No reaction. It just became part of the army. We still did the same things. There was nothing to get excited about.

Andrea: Weren't you offered more money and benefits and all this other stuff you didn't have as a WAAC? They paid for college and GI bill and all that stuff.

I guess so but I didn't look into it. I know I could have had benefits when I got out but I didn't want any.

Andrea: Did you or any of your friends or any of the WAACs that you know of have any contacts with the POWs at the camp?

Not I or anybody that I knew.

Andrea: What were some of your most interesting experiences or encounters with other WAACs from all over the country?

Andrea: What was your perception of the public image of the women in the Army? Was is accurate or inaccurate?

I would say - inaccurate.

Andrea: Talk about the whole thing because they don't know the question. Pretend that you are explaining this to me.

Esther: What did the public think of the WAACs? Well, they didn't think very much of them. They were completely wrong. Well, some people would like to know about the morals of the WAACs. There was a misconception there. There are all kinds of people everywhere you go in any walk of life, in any group and the WAACs were no different. We had some that you would call " a little on the shady side" and then you had the nice ones. I didn't see any big problem with it. It never affected my comings and goings. I just didn't bother about other people and what they did.

Contact with the military was mainly office work. The only time we saw the men, in my office I had a lieutenant and sergeant that I had to answer to for my work. I assume that was the way it was with all the women. Of course, we had women in the motor pool. I really don't know if there were men in the motor pool or not. I couldn't tell you. There were the nurses. Any place else I was - the central mail directory - we had a hundred men also working besides the women but we worked all day. That was it. We all had our own files to do. Some of the bosses were military officers. We didn't have any of this women doing men's work like they're doing now. I particularly don't want to do men's work. I am just satisfied the way I am. Mainly, the motor pool had to learn about mechanics and thing like that with their jeeps. But outside of that.

I didn't find any problems with the men in the 10th Mountain Division. We saw them, mostly, socially at night. And the ones that I worked with were very nice - a sergeant and lieutenant. I can't say about anybody else if there was any discord. The orchestra at the club on night had a dance contest - jitterbug. This was after I learned to dance. But the WAACs were in their uniforms; they weren't all "gussy up" like the civilian women that they brought in by the truck loads. The men rooted for me and I won. So, there it goes.

I enjoyed Camp Hale. I enjoyed the work; I had fun in the snow. Loved to dance - got plenty of that. Might have been short hours but we got away. I never did learn to ski, but I have pictures of myself on skis.

Andrea: How about militarily? You job or anything like that.

Esther: I loved it. I loved everything. We had our inspections, you know. We had to have our things just a certain way. We would have to get out in the morning, in the cold, in our little dresses and do pushup and get out in the snow and exercise early in the morning. It was a little bit cold but it didn't hurt anyone a bit. I just love the whole experience.

I learned because I had different hours as a hairdresser at the camp. (when they made become a hairdresser). I had bought myself some beautiful clothes in Denver, which I shouldn't have done. I put on my officer shirt and knit tie and go out to the service club in the morning and have breakfast with somebody. I would come back and report for my paycheck; I would stand in front of the captain and she said "----, your tie?" I said, "Oh, do you like it, Ma'am?" She said, "No, you're not suppose to be wearing that." I never got punished for it because she like the way I did her hair. I had her there.

Andrea: So, you were actually wearing an officer's tie?

Tie and shirt. I got creases down the back; we weren't suppose to. I went to Denver and bought these things. I got away with it and we would wear them in Denver.

Andrea: How come you got to wear all the good stuff?

I bought it; I wore it; I got caught but she didn't do anything because she like the way I did her hair. It really wasn't permitted; I just did it. That was the only thing I did against regulations - wear that tie and put creases in the back of my shirts. We had a nice post exchange up there that we went to for our purchases. They had all the personal items that you need. You had no problem in getting anything you wanted at the PX. The women got all of their personal items that they needed, as well as the men. Having women in the service helped a lot of the war effort because it left a lot of men free for combat and the women to do the other jobs. Doing clerical work and things like that. Women drove jeeps and worked in the offices. Well, just relieved a lot of the men for combat. Jobs that women could do just as easily as the men.

Andrea: Anything that you can think of, because of the things with Clintons?

I really don't know very much about the gay issue. All the people I knew we just never discussed it. There were just rumors and I used to think, mainly just because the women were in the motor pool that they were gay. I can't say that for a fact. I just never ran into any. We never talked about things like that.

At Camp Hale we did put on a musical that was a lot of fun to do. It was called "Hail and Hardy". It was all about Colorado. Quite of few of the WAACs were in it and the GIs. There was a famous broadway designer who did the costume. (I can't remember his name.) I think we ran three nights at the theater there. It was a --- fun think to do. I was in it. I did a dance with a male partner and then we had some little routines. One of the songs was "It's So Cold in Colorado" and the other one was "On Cooper Hill" - it's kind of famous. They had the pin-up girl. Something about - it won't go. And "How Strange is the Night" - that was a pretty song. Unfortunately, I don't remember it. But it was very pretty. That's about all I can tell you. Oh, I didn't even know this. It was broadcast over NBC and a Denver Radio station - "Sneak preview of `Hail and Hardy' the coming Camp Hale musical extravaganza." How bout that?

Andrea: What's the date on that?

February 18, 1944.

I was asked, "Which would be preferable - being in the WACs or in the Army?" I personally, feel it was better to be in the WACs. I'm not one of those who want to do a man's job. I think there are some that do and some that don't. I still say there are some place women shouldn't be, but maybe, I'm old fashioned. I am older now. I just prefer the WAAC. I don't think I would be inclined to join if I thought they were going to put me with a machine gun out in the field some place. I would rather ------ In my service career I was always in the rear echelon. So, we really didn't get to see any of the battles or bringing the wounded in. We got there after all the damage was already done. buildings were all blown out - the windows and doors. The town was ruined. Outside that, I never really saw any fighting or anything like that. It just so happened, I was with the rear echelon. We went in afterwards. It was perfectly safe when we went in. So, I don't have any kind of experience like that in my military career. That's about all I can say about it. I don't know how they chose people for their jobs. There was one hundred of us selected with various backgrounds with Central Mail Directory. We worked on files and later on I did get to work in the front office with a different type of job. It was still with the Central Mail Directory; it was just some other clerical job. I don't how they chose girls for telephone operators. I didn't pass that. I thought I would like to be that. I couldn't hear the bells right or something. Those were the kind of people who sent up to the front lines. I guess a lot of the WAACs did see some awful things because they were in the front echelon, but I never did.

Andrea: Talk about how they pick some here and here and how random it was.

I don't know how they picked people for their assignments. I have no idea what system they used. They just picked you and you had to go. So, just like when I was working at ration --- at Camp Hale, Colorado, our hairdresser left to go overseas. So, they looked over the gals' backgrounds who were at Camp Hale, and there I was - ex-hairdresser. So, I was pulled to manage and run the beauty shop at Camp Hale.

I have a very good book that you might like to read called, "Love and Glory" and it's about the army - mostly on the European ---- but it is very good. I think you might enjoy it.

(reading a letter) Thank you for sending the book to me. It should be required reading for every woman that has been in any of the services and had overseas duty. I got carried away with it in places that wasn't to ---- to relate to mine and other women's experiences. I do feel the officers had a tougher time than the EM, though; and was always glad I went that route......

A heart stirring novel of four brave women who fought for love and glory. It's about these four gals who become friends (You become friends for life). It's really very good. I guess at one time .... she was, at one time, a WAAC sergeant, Jean Weston.---- pioneering heroine in khaki. So, I guess she was a WAAC.

Andrea: And the name of the book is?

"Love and Glory"

Andrea: Do you have any ideas why the friendships in the military are so long lasting?

I don't know why it is. You just go through all these things together and you become very close.

After being in Japan for six years, I went home back to the states. I started working part time at the hospital. I took a secretarial course. And then a friend of mine got me requisitioned to work over in Germany. I did that. Passed my test. Went over to Germany and there I met my husband. We were married. We decided to come back to the states and start raising our family there - two boys. Shortly after we got back to the states; we weren't even settled. He got sick and had all these different symptoms. When we finally got a physician and got examined, he had a brain tumor that was inoperable. He never came out of it; he died. My youngest child was born while he was in the hospital. Of course, he got to see him but he didn't know him. And I had to raise the three boys by myself. So, I went back to work. I stayed in D.C. My family wanted me to move back to ---Pennsylvania but what would I do in Dukane, Pennsylvania. I went to work for the government; raised my three boys. But I made it. Now they're grown men.

Going back to where I was talking about being one of the first fifty civilian girls up in Japan when General MacArthur went in at the end of the war. I stayed there for six years working in various offices and making many new friends. Just thoroughly enjoyed myself there. And then I decided, after six years, to go home.

After my six years in Japan were over, I went back to the states and officially learned how to type and take shorthand, etc. Got recruited to go over to the occupation forces in Europe. I was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. I worked in the personnel office there and a couple of others places doing office work. That's where I met my husband. We were married in Basil, Switzerland and we honeymooned in beautiful Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. We came home from there after about five years. That's when my husband (we didn't have a chance to settle any place) he took sick and died. I had three little ones (three little boys). I went back to work at the Pentagon. I put in twenty-eight years working - started out with the army - single corp. And then went to the Department of Defense, Installation and Logistics. Last job with that was Department of Occupation and Safety. After there, twenty-eight years of government work, I retired. Then, I took a part time job at a bank, a couple of blocks from where I live. I was only going to stay a year or so. I stayed six years and got a nice a little pension - six years. Much to my surprise. Then I moved to Texas because I had one son living in Texas. I wanted to go out west somewhere and I ended up in Texas. When we came back to the United States after we got married. We settled in Washington, DC; lived Falls Church, Virginia, which is a hand throw from Washington, DC. My husband took sick and died. I remained in Falls Church, Virginia and worked at the Pentagon for twenty-eight years. Started out with the Department of Army, and then I went on to the Secreatary of Defense, Installations and Logistics. I stayed there until I retired. That was in 1985. I stayed at the bank for six years. That was permanent part-time. I worked with wills and stuff. It was a very nice job and I liked it - working with wills and trusts. A lot of times they say government people don't work; they goof off and all this sort of thing. My boss would me, "Is there anybody else you know that could work here?" Another thing you have to take when you work for the government - they say you don't earn your money. One time when we were in Colorado Springs at a reunion. This was the reunion of all my friends in Tokyo. There was over sixty of us and we went to flying - some kind of ranch - "R" Ranch. We were making a lot of noise at our table; we were having fun. There was this stage show going on. Somebody yelled "And where are you from?" We all yelled "Tokyo." "What do you mean you're from Tokyo?" Mary, (I forgot her last name), she stood up and yelled "We can type." It brought the house down. It was real funny. Some people, I think, were just plain jealous because we had such good leaves, holidays and what have you. I never used mine; I had accumulated - that I got paid for - three weeks leave and also I would take my leave. And I had two years of sick leave that I never used up and got credit for it. Of course, now things have changed; they don't let you acrrue it anymore. At that time though they did. Working for the government was really good.

Andrea: What has it actually meant to you all these years later; what has that experience meant to you?

That is hard to answer. All I now I have some wonderful memories and wonderful friends. I also learned a lot where ever I went. It's a learning experience. I have no bad memories at all; just wonderful warm memories. I know I didn't know how to learn at Camp Hale.

Andrea: Did you want to learn?

It didn't matter. I had fun in the snow - snowball fights. I learned to dance which I loved. Boys in different parts of the states - they all danced differently. I enjoyed the dancing. There wasn't much in overseas training. What did I enjoy the most? What did I learn? We did the same things. We worked in the Post Office. One funny incident I'll tell you. When we got new gals coming in ----. We took showers in ----. It was very hot there. The water wasn't actually ice cold. This one gal says, "I'm waiting for the hot water to come on." we laughed and said, "Your not going to get any hot water." It wasn't ice cold because it was so warm. We got two hours of rest every afternoon. You didn't go out in the hottest part of the day. We had to take a rest out of the sun. We basically did the same things in Central Mail Directory. On occasion we went to the service club and danced because they had troops everyplace. They had some nice little clubs. One was a little air force club. We could get anything we wanted there. They had steaks. We went with the air force not the army. We wouldn't date the army, we dated the air force because of the food and champagne. Anything you wanted they had in their cupboards. We would date the air force. That's terrible but that's what we did. The army had the worst rations of all. In Manila, it was the same thing, I worked in Central Mail Directory. They used to put us (we had these nice clean uniforms on) they had these big garbage trucks that they would haul us to work. We had to stand in these trucks and they would take us home. We basically did the same things just in a different spot. The food - I can't tell you anything different about that. It was a very gay place, music playing all the time at the casinos or taverns - whatever you want to call them. I have been in several places where the language is different. We didn't learn that much. The first thing you want to learn is "where is the bathroom?"

I was in several countries and I didn't learn very much, but some of the basic words - like in Japan ---- ------ ------Where is the bathroom? There is a little song that everybody sings - ---- ----- ------- One night my girlfriend, Carol, came home from a party. Her bed was just about three feet from mine. Her sister had sent her this black cocktail dress that had tiny buttons all the way down the back. Well, Carol was out partying and she was feeling no pain when she came in. I did not let her know that I was awake. I kept my head under the covers. I can still see her trying to unbutton those hundred little buttons down the back of her dress, singing that "whooshy -----" That was a riot.

I think, I still remember the words to the "Apple" song in Japanese.

Just to show a little of my Japanese, I did learn to sing a little song called "The Apple song". I hope I can remember it all ---- ----- ------ ----- ------(singing song) (I have no clue how to type this)

Andrea: What did you learn to say in German?

Well, one of the first phrases I learned in Germany was ---- ------ --- "What does that cost? That costs too much." I can't think of anything else right now.

Of course, the entertainment in Europe; there was quite a few places to go. In Heidelberg, Germany. One of our favorite places to go in Heidelberg was this little cafe down on the ----. They had a huge, big, fat piano player and a little skinny violinist. They were very good and as soon as we would walk in they would play the song from "Moulon Rouge" for us and then they would go into the "Heidelberg Song" which I liked. One point, I took off my shoes to dance and then all the Germans in the place took off their shoes to dance. We all had a great time. They loved to sing. It was a real nice little cafe. Of course we went to the ---- ---- which was the big club in Germany, up on the hill. My husband always bought the band a drink - the big bands. I'm trying to think of the songs they used to play for us. They would always have a song for us when we came in. Eventually, they gave the club to the Occupation Forces but then gave it back to Germany. I can't think of the song they always played for when we walked in. I have Helman's picture with us having a drink, the orchestra leader. This is a picture of my husband and myself. (probably a New Year's Eve affair) We all decked out and having fun. I don't know what else to say. This picture is in Heidelberg, Germany, in our apartment. We're eating Christmas dinner. There's the pot for the oyster stew. It has to be that or New Year's. I think, maybe, New Year's. We always had oyster stew for New Years. You'll see a picture of us gals in our underwear. While in Manila, we lived in bombed out buildings - no windows or doors. There was a sports arena or field in the back of our building. We caught a man who sat there with binoculars looking into the woman's quarters. So we decided to put on a show for him in our underwear. We lined up and stood there for awhile so he could get a good look at us and he went away.


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