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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Catherine Katopes to Dena and Jimmie, 1942

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Object ID: WV0122.4.005

Description: Katopes' describes her last week of basic training to her sister and brother-in-law. Activities including her company being filmed parading and doing calisthenics, seeing a live concert broadcast on TV, receiving winter uniforms and a Congressional bill that will prevent WAACs from wearing civilian clothing, and training classes.

Creator: Catherine Katopes

Biographical Info:

Catherine G. Katopes (1912-1979) served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and the Women's Army Corps from 1942 to late 1945.

Collection: Catherine G. Katopes 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 Dena and Jimmie:

I received your letter yesterday morning and I felt pretty bad about your postscript.

I too received a wire from Charlie about their intention to move out of the Country. Please don't worry about it. I know you can't help it and I felt pretty bad the day I got the wire.

After all when our time comes to die, we shall pass on and nothing can stop it whether we are in a civilian life or in the service. This is the best way to think of it and easier on one's heart.

This is our last week of Basic training. Only the Army knows what we will do next. No one can figure out how they pick and choose people for various things so I am not giving it much thought since what they decide is what will take place and not what we want.

We certainly are enjoying it here when were not too busy.

Today we went down to the Parade Grounds for the benefit of M.G.M. movies. I imagine this is also for Joan Crawford's picture. We did our calisthenics with a movie camera focused upon us.

There were plenty of us on the Grounds and I imagine it will be quite a sight to see.

Last night we went to town (first time for me since I arrived on the Post). We went to see Phil Spiltany and his All-Girl Orchestra, which broadcast was dedicated to the Waac's. If you happened to have the NBC network on Sunday night, then you probably heard your little sister singing though you may not have been able to distinguish my voice from the other 3000 or so.

We enjoyed the program and after the broadcast they put on a little show for us. We left 5 minutes before it finished so as to escape the crowd.

Tonight at 6:30 we are going to Classification and we were told to take a pencil. Goodness knows what the results will be.

I'm sure I sent on the letter in which Charlie mentioned his promotion.

Perhaps after this week my letter writing will be caught up, I hope. However, I still have quite a few cards to send.

The weather had been fine and you should see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets here. They are simply gorgeous. Orange, yellow blue purple pink aqua and any other color you can think of as though someone took a paint brush and splashed the sky with these colors.

I have finally taken some snapshots and as soon as I get them developed, I will send them on.

We have our O.D.'s which are our winter uniforms and they really are very nice. The overcoats are beautifully made too.

A bunch of new kids were marching into the classroom across the street from our barracks and the girls were teasing them.

When we march, the count is Hut, two, three, four and the girls were all yelling Hut, hut. All the new girls grinned.

It seems a bill is pending in Congress and when it is finally passed, we will not be able to wear Civilian Clothes as we shall then be part of the Army.

Most of our Lieutenants are being transferred two or three of them going to Florida.

All the kids hope our company stays together, but I doubt it. We shall all be separated on Saturday.

Some of our classes are Organization of the Army and we have to know what and who make up the personnel on an Army Post from the Post Commander down. Then we have Military Customs & Courtesies; Waac Regulations; Organization & Functioning of an Army Post; Close Order Drill; Wearing of the Uniform; Map Reading; Military Sanitation & First Aid; Defense Against Air Attack; and a few other things.

Well, this is all for now, folks. Regards to all.

Love, Cathy

P.S. Note address on envelope.