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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

MARY ELLEN WEST PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Mary Ellen West (b. 1922) of Dover, North Carolina, served in the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from 1943 to 1946.


COLLECTION SUMMARY

The Mary Ellen West Papers primarily date from 1943 to 1948 and contain printed materials collected by West while serving in WAVES in WWII. This includes a variety of base newsletters, military brochures and booklets, and newspapers from VJ Day. The collection also contains several WAVES uniforms and accessories, in addition to some correspondence, photographs, and personal materials from West's time in the service, and an oral history interview which document West's military service.

To view the complete contents of this collection, please visit:
https://libapps.uncg.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=256


BIOGRAPHY

Mary Ellen West was born in Dover, North Carolina. She attended Dover High School and graduated in 1939. She was enrolled at Louisburg Junior College for two years before transferring to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. West graduated in 1943 with a degree in business science and secretarial administration and received her teaching certificate.

West enlisted in the WAVES in 1943 and was sent to Hunter College, New York, for basic training. She was then sent to Indiana University for storekeeper school, where she learned typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping. West was assigned to Whiting Field, Pensacola, Florida, and worked opening an office at a housing project. In 1944 she was sent to Officer’s Candidate School at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was then assigned to the Bureau of Aeronautics in the Publication Division in Washington, D.C., where she worked in publications and procuring. West was discharged in 1946.

After the war West worked temporarily for the Imperial Tobacco Company. She went on to work for a general contractor as a bookkeeper and secretary. In 1968 she began work at the Electrical Equipment Company in Greensboro, North Carolina. West retired from the company in 1985.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Mary Ellen West at work in office, 1944
Item # WV0059.6.002
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
Mary Ellen West in uniform, 1944
Item # WV0059.6.003
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
Portrait of Mary Ellen West, 1944
Item # WV0059.6.001
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
WAVES navy trousers, circa 1943
Item # WV0059.8.003
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
WAVES enlisted soft-brimmed hat, circa 1943
Item # WV0059.8.001
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
WAVES officer's wool coat, circa 1943
Item # WV0059.8.002
From the Mary Ellen West Papers
Oral history interview with Mary Ellen West, 1999
Item # WV0059.5.001
From the Mary Ellen West Papers

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
To view the complete contents of this collection, please visit:
http://library.uncg.edu/info/depts/scua/collections/university_archives/wvead/WV0059.xml