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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Janet Muriel Mead to her mother, 20 August 1944

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Object ID: WV0389.4.001

Description: Mead tells her mother how basic training is proceeding, including her near discharge for an episode of "nerves," the job selection process, her hope to attend radio school, being issued more new uniforms, going for sundaes, and seeing a performance by Thomas L. Thomas and Jarmila Novotna. She also catalogs the things that she wants her mother to do for her and the items that she wants shipped to her.


Biographical Info:

Collection: Janet Muriel Mead 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 Mother,

Golly, did it ever sound swell hearing you and Judy over the phone. I don't get homesick as there isn't time, but I do get the urge to hear your voices. They sounded so natural and just as if I was talking to my next door neighbors. We had just returned from "Betty Boot Shop" and there we had indulged in huge sundaes (4 big dips of ice cream) and syrup for 20¢. They are delicious--even though we stood in line for one hour. We buy 60¢ & 80¢ stationery for 35¢--so until I leave here don't send anymore of my good stationery.

We had our selection interviews yesterday, and having came out way above average in my tests I was qualified for radio school--a course of 5 months. I also had to take a typing test as we decode messages & type them at the same time. As second choice I have storekeeper which is a 3 month's course at a school in Georgia. That consists of accounting, records, etc. of ship's supplies. Third comes mechanical drafting on an air field which would be a direct assignment. They all are suiting, yet the first suits me best, and I would also be stationed on an air field. 40 out of our 1680 will be choosen [sic] for that. They wanted me to be a link trainer instructing Navy pilots in blind flying--but I said, "No, positively not." The quota is 20 out of our regiment for that, but I don't want a job where I have to force myself on to anybody--who wants to be a teacher?

Hallie came over last night--I should say yesterday afternoon, and we had lots of fun. She gave Ann, Helen, & I lots of pointers and after that we roamed the place--ending it all with a delicious sundae.

Now that it's all over I can tell you--I nearly received a medical discharge on account of nerves. I was held under observation for a week, and during that time I spent many hours wondering and worrying. Finally I was called to an appointment with Dr. Allen (he is one of chief doctors) and he finally put "duty" on my orders. I received the good news just 10 minutes before the other girls left for their last uniform fitting so I was able to go with them. We came back loaded down--lined raincoat, 2 suits of blues, 2 summer suits of greys, 3 blue shirts, 2 white shirts, 1 more hat, 2 grey inserts & 2 white inserts for hats, 2 pr. white gloves, 1 pr. black gloves, 2 pr. of rayon & 2 pr. cotton hose, 2 dark & 2 light blue ties, 1 more pr shoes, and a beautiful leather bag with mirrow [sic], comb, etc. in it. It's a very thrilling experience, and I want you to think of your daughter when she steps out in her first review with her uniform on for the first time next Sat.

I want you to send me when you send my suitcase the following things: black pumps. sheer hose (not silk--but they are the light colored sheerest ones in the dwr. besides the silk ones--54 gauge I think it says on the top of them.) 2 good slips--my nice white one--and one of my prettiest blue or tearose ones. My pair of shorts. Woo[d]hue cologne if you think it can be shipped okay. The box is amongest [sic] those that were in the trunk. Yardley's bath powder in can.

When you are in town sometime will you see about my ring; also pay my insurance and get the cleaning. Be sure and draw money out for them--also for charges for sending suitcase. We get paid Thurs. and as I still haven't cashed my traveler's checks I will send quite a bit home. I hope I do get to go to school as it means more money saved. Just as soon as I can get to Student Hall I will have the navy deduct all of my insurance (even that at home) and pay it for me, and in that way it will save us all the bother. You had better send my insurance book (receipt book.)

If any of these cards are like the ones I sent you let Judy have them, and save the other ones.

The Chaplain that spoke at church this morning is chief chaplain of all the chaplains. He is elderly, and one of these kind of people that brighten a whole day for you. I woke up feeling "ouchy" this morning, but I was laughing when I left church. It was held in the amphitheater--a beautiful setting.

Last night we heard Thomas L. Thomas and Novotna in person. They are both very famous singers, and the crowd practically went wild. They have other famous stars billed for coming attractions, but as yet we don't know who they are.

Kewaunee sent the factory paper, and Esse Long enclosed a short note. I'll send many or all of my letters & those papers home with my clothes when we pack them next week.

Well, Mother, if I do any-thing to my nails or try my luck at several more letters, I will have to close.

A big kiss for you and Judy and scads of love to all.--

Your daughter