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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

ELIZABETH WILLIAMS PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Elizabeth Williams (1916-1999) of New Bern, North Carolina, served primarily overseas as a Red Cross club director from 1943 to 1952, then had a long career as a teacher in New Bern.


BIOGRAPHY

Elizabeth Williams was born on 18 June 1916 in New Bern, North Carolina. She was raised in New Bern and attended high school there. In 1933 she enrolled in the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and graduated in 1937 with a major in social studies and a minor in English. After graduation she returned to New Bern. From 1937 to 1939, Williams worked as an English and social studies teacher in Madison, North Carolina. In 1939 she took up a teaching position in Sumner, North Carolina.

Williams joined the Red Cross in 1943 after difficulties in joining the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She took training courses in Washington, D.C., and was assigned clubmobile duty. In 1943 she was sent to Bayview, Maryland, followed by Midston House, New York, and Camp Patrick Henry in Portsmouth, Virginia. That same year she was sent on the SS Mariposa to North Africa. Williams was stationed in Morocco at a club for the First Armored Division. She was then sent to the Red Cross headquarters for the Twelfth Air Force in Algiers, Algeria, followed by Hamamet, Tunisia. From Christmas 1943 to April 1945 she was stationed in Manduria, Italy, in a combat area. She spent the summer of 1945 at home in New Bern and in Washington, D.C. When she returned to the Red Cross, Williams was sent to Calcutta, India, and flown out to Kunming, China. She was also stationed in Yangkai and Tientsin, China. In 1946 she was transferred to Yokohama, Japan. Williams returned to the States in 1948 and worked with the Junior Red Cross until 1952.

After retiring from the Red Cross in 1952, Williams taught school in Atlantic, North Carolina. She later taught at New Bern High School for twenty years. Elizabeth Williams died on 5 September 1999.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Elizabeth Williams hands out doughnuts, 1943
Item # WV0058.6.001
From the Elizabeth Williams Papers
Oral history interview with Elizabeth Williams, 1999
Item # WV0058.5.001
From the Elizabeth Williams Papers