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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Constance Phillips to parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0082.4.006

Description: Phillips recalls a trip to Des Moines where they danced at the USO, mentions seeing a play starring Helen Hayes, and going to a party at the USO. She includes lyrics to a Des Moines WAC song.

Creator: Constance Cline Phillips

Biographical Info: Constance Phillips (b. 1924) of Concord, North Carolina, was an X-ray technician in the Women’s Army Corps from 1945 to 1946.

Collection: Constance Cline Phillips 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: Dear Parents -

This is supposed to be a class in make-up and review and as I have no making up or reviewing to do I must use this time to good advantage. No more time wasting til I get a pass or furlough - which will probably be after I get to my permanent station. I've been here nearly a month (doesn't seem possible) we have another month of basic, then several weeks in staging, then to school - so don't expect me soon.

Tuesday - Today we're having some more weather - slight snow with sleet yesterday so it's slick under foot. At 11:30 we got in from classes, and I got your lovely letter. Really, if all parents wrote such nice letters and sent such informative notes, the war would be soon over.

Later. We've just taken our first test and now we have a "Critique". So the Lt. said we had 6 mins [sic] and I continue. Saturday night we were free and I stayed home and cleaned up. Sunday we (4) went to Des Moines. Got on a dirty trolley that swayed from side to side. Then we reached Des Moines. First place we went was the USO - we - class!

Thursday night: Things have been proceeding at a rapid rate. As usual may I say. I started to tell you about Des Moines, but got sidetracked. Anyhow, we got into the town and got something to eat. Then we looked longingly at spring clothes and decided to wear our little OD until the Army issued us a new suit. After that we went to the USO. At which time we danced for a few hours. Just WAC's & WAC's. Strangest place I ever saw, but it's a nice USO, then we came on back out to the post (ORD influences) and went to bed. Monday was a normal day, but Tuesday night I saw Harriet. Had a good seat, even if I'm broke for the rest of my life. Helen Hayes is such a tiny little thing. I was amazed. The play was good, and I was scared that I'd be awol, and sleepy, too but still I enjoyed it. We got in about 12, with the aid of two dt's [sic], who got out of a taxi, so we wouldn't be Awol. Favorite remark from play "I'm tired, even into the future." - when I think of the pace we travel I know that means.

Then, last night, we went in as a company and were formally introduced to the USO and Des Moines. So now we know. The party was nice and the refreshments delicious. Tonight I'm spending in the barracks. Resting and writing letters. It's lonely. Really, I have more fun in the barracks talking to the gang than any other time. It's a good deal.

Song - You can tell a WAC from Ft. Des Moines; You can tell her by her walk; You can tell her by her talk; By her appetite and such; But you cannot tell her much. Tune: From the Halls of Montezuma.

Well, this letter is going to be filled with stuff, so I'll cease. Realized I've been gone a month? Can't wait for you to see how GI I'm getting. It's amazing. Have to write Carle and Mary, so I'll stop. Incidentally, Carle is going to Columbia, SC. Amazing. In fact everything is, these days. I stand with my toes together, eyes bugging, and just look and listen. Now to my other letters - I love you all, and I'm looking forward to seeing you already. Tell me about the capping - How is everything?

Love, babe

Dears - There was too much to go in one envelope - Please put the war bond & insurance stuff in the lock box. And please keep all the stuff I send home - want it for my grand children.

Love, Babe