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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to Family, 15 January 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.060

Description: Reeves, who has has recently arrived in New Guinea, describes their Quonset hut quarters, the terrain, orientation, waiting for assignments, the attitude of the men overseas, and looking for Jim. The back of the letter contains a note from her sister Catherine ("Kay") who was copying the letter to distribute to other family members.

Creator: Jean Holdridge Reeves

Biographical Info: Jean Holdridge Reeves (b. 1920) of Marion, Ohio, served in the Pacific as a member of the Red Cross from 1944 to 1946.

Collection: Jean Holdridge Reeves Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dearest Kay, Melissa, Forest, and ----

Just got my foot locker and have been looking at my pictures of you and the children. We had mail call and heard from the folks but none of you. Expect it will be coming through as soon as they get us straightened out and assigned. Until further notice use APO 707 and if I move area head quarters will forward it to us.

I was so glad to hear that Uncle Leonards had been with the folks for Christmas and they had had a tree and as much celebration as possible without any of us around. The possibility of their moving back to Ohio sounds even better than before. Seems to me that they swing it OK. If Daddy would covert his insurance policies so that premiums weren’t so high. Guess I’ll write him that since he wrote me a long letter about proposed plans. It really would be nice to be able to call one place home instead of this SD Iowa stuff where you’ve never lived and know no one.

Melissa I was so excited when we arrived at a Navy Base. The possibilities seemed very good for seeing Jim so I got someone to find out. I won’t be able to see him now but maybe some time at least I’ve getting out all my strings and will let him know my address as soon as possible. Nearly went mad when I saw some LCT’s but none with the correct number on. At least those in the Navy have a good chance of getting around. I know where he is so don’t worry to much.

These Navy quarters--quonset huts are wonderful. Twelve of us in one with showers and beautiful bath facilities. Still have sheets and beautiful navy blankets. We’re considering ourselves as being very lucky--think this is the first group of ARC girls to have been quartered here and hospitality is excellent--true navy style—-or am I prejudiced..

The terrain is very different from my expectation because there are so many hills. We happen to be pretty high ourselves so can see the inland lakes as well as the hills. There is a swimming hole which I understand is just about perfect and perhaps will get to go tomorrow.

For 2 days we’ve been going through orientation procedure learning the ropes and hope for assignments in another day. From the sound of things none of us will stay in any one place too long although we never know.

At the present it is very dry here summer weather like. We have had several very heavy rains but it has dried up rapidly. Don’t need my boots yet but suppose that is a couple months when the rains come that it will be very different.

Better not change my “Life” subscription until I send the permanent address which may come through today yet.

The attitude here has been very different from that in the staging area in the states. Don’t know whether the difference is Army and Navy or whether it is the overseas attitude. Our being the first group on this base makes a difference they are much more reserved than we expected and it’s a nice feeling to not be in quite such a goldfish bowl.

Hope you are all well--I’m fine all the time and see no reason for my not being.

Lovingly, Jean

On the outside of the envelope she had crossed out her first address and has:

APO 713 PM San Francisco

I packed her a box and have it is on the way in this mail. The Marion Star called me yesterday said they had word from the WLW that their correspondent in the Philippines has sent word Jean is there so she is moved by the sound of that. I am trying to find out more about it and then we will let you know. We think she may have sent this word back to us, have no way of knowing till I write her.

We are all fine but haven't any time to write, by the time I copy these letters it takes all my extra time.

Love Catherine

Jamie said to tell Grandma she is packing her suit case to stay [unreadable] when you live in Melissa’s house.