Betty Magnusson served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.
Letters from Magnusson to a friend at home in Duluth, Minnesota, chiefly document Magnusson's service with the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in Iowa, Virginia, and France. Letters from Fort Des Moines describe WAC uniforms; drills, including a gas mask drill; WAC facilities and buildings; and social activities at the fort and in Des Moines. Letters from Newport News detail Magnusson's perspective on the South and southerners; the reaction of male soldiers and civilians to the WACs; entertainment, including dances, movies, holiday parties, and snowball fights; and dating and weddings in the military.
Detailed letters from Paris, document Magnusson's overall impressions of the city and specific sights; Red Cross and army facilities; leisure activities, including Christmas celebrations, Parisian nightclubs, military weddings, music, and service clubs; overseas uniforms and patches; and war news. Magnusson also provides vivid descriptions of VE Day parades and celebrations and explains her conflicting desires to remain in the service and to return to civilian life.
Also included is a 1943 letter from a male soldier stationed at Camp Peary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
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Betty Magnusson served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She attended basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in 1943 and was then stationed at Newport News, Virginia, from April 1943 to at least January 1944. Magnusson served in Paris, France, from September 1944 to June 1945 as secretary to a general with the 29th Traffic Regulating Group.