Recently my mother passed away and as we were going through her papers, I came across her discharge from the WAVES in WW2. She had told me about being in the WAVES and we have her dress uniform with the white hat and blue brim along with the gray seersucker work uniform. In looking over her discharge as well as letters home to her parents several interesting items emerged. She enlisted in May of 1944 but was discharged January 3rd of 1945...Six months total service, however what she revealed in her letters interested us even more. She took her basic in the Bronx at Hunter College, then went to Stillwater Oklahoma where she met a student pilot or flight cadet. This was totally unknown to me or my brother and sister. Furthermore, she was able to follow him to Jacksonville Naval air station where they eloped in November having applied for a license a month earlier. In one of her letters, she tells her mother that she's head over heels with this guy who was born in Oklahoma then graduated from the university of California at Los Angeles. She told my grandmother that he was an ensign and that he was training to fly PB4-y's. She also complained about life in the south at that time, besides the heat, and bugs the southerners didn't care for "Yankees" and that they were still fighting the civil war. She also reported that she was assigned to a stores clerk in the aviation section, and that it was a very dull job. She also commented on witnessing four crashes of F4U's resulting in the death of the pilots. After all this, the information dries up, the letter detailing her love for this guy and their expected marriage was postmarked in December, however by that time she was already married. As I already indicated, she was discharged around the first part of January. I have some questions I'm hoping someone might be able to help me with;
1. How long did it take to process a discharge?
2. I'm assuming the fact that she and this guy eloped in the next county something we think the Navy found out about hence the early discharge. I have two REA shipping tags from this guy who was stationed at Hutchinson Kansas NAS.
3. I'm sure the navy could do without a lowly WAVE, but what would they have done to the ensign?
4.What was the protocol regarding officers marrying enlisted at the time?
Whatever happened their marriage didn't last, she filed for divorce in 1947 shortly before she married my father, the last we know of her first husband is a marriage certificate issued by the US foreign service in Calcutta India dated 1949 stating that this guy is marrying a British woman.
5.Not sure if this guy remained in the navy (what would he be doing in India in 1949?) or more likely working for an airline.
All in all, a rather interesting facet of my mother's past none of us kids were aware of.