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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

MARY SABOURIN ORAL HISTORY AND UNIFORM

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BIOABSTRACT

Mary Sabourin (1922-2008) of Ogdensburg, New York, served in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserves from 1945 to 1946 and in the Women Marines from 1949 until her retirement in 1976.


BIOGRAPHY

Mary Sabourin was born on 28 December 1922 in Ogdensburg, New York, and graduated from high school there in 1940. She worked at a drugstore before taking drawing and engineering courses. In 1943, she went to Syracuse, New York, to work in a defense plant as a draftswoman.

In 1945, Sabourin enlisted in the Marines. She attended basic training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and then worked in the post exchange (PX) there from May 1945 to June 1946, when she was discharged. Sabourin attended a year of engineering school at Syracuse University, New York, on the GI Bill in the late 1940s.

In 1949, Sabourin reenlisted in the Marine Corps and was stationed at the Marine Corps Institute in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a drafting instructor in the engineering department. In 1952, she was sent to administration school at Parris Island, South Carolina. From there, Sabourin was transferred to Cherry Point, North Carolina, where she worked in administration with a woman’s detachment and male squadron. In 1955 she returned to Parris Island for recruiter school. Upon completing the program she was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to do recruiting. Three years later she was again sent to Parris Island, this time as a drill instructor. In 1961 she was transferred to El Toro, California, where she worked in classified files. Sabourin suffered a seizure in 1963 and was placed on disability.

Sabourin returned to active duty in 1967 as a special correspondent at Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Virginia. From 1969 to 1972, she served at the European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, in the Military Assistance Directorate. She returned to the States in 1972 and served at Headquarters Marine Corps as administrator for B Company, an officers company of 1,300 men. In 1975 she was transferred to Camp Lejeune, where she served as sergeant major for B Company. Sabourin retired from the Marines in 1976.

In 1991, Sabourin became involved in veteran’s organizations such as Women Marines Association. In 1999 she was Chairman of the National Committee for ROTC and the area director for six states. She was also involved in American Legion, Marine Corps League, and Fleet Reserve Association. Mary Sabourin died in 2008.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Oral history interview with Mary Sabourin, 1999
Item # WV0100.5.001
From the Mary Sabourin Oral History and Uniform
Women Marines summer uniform, circa 1950s
Item # WV0100.8.001
From the Mary Sabourin Oral History and Uniform
Women Marines summer garrison cap, circa 1950s
Item # WV0100.8.002
From the Mary Sabourin Oral History and Uniform

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
Green and white pinstriped shirt dress summer uniform with jacket and garrison cap, circa 1952; white gloves.