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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Mary Cugini Necko to her sister Dena, March 19,1945

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Object ID: WV0094.4.002


Creator: Mary Cugini Necko

Biographical Info: Mary Cugini Necko (1924-2009) of Brighton, Massachusetts, served in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve from November 1944 to May 1946.

Collection: Mary Cugini Necko 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:

Monday 3:30pm

19 March 1945

Hello Dena,

Always thinking of you and wondering how goes life with you. I'm always having[?] to tell you all that things that go on in my new life, but I don't have time.

Here I sit in the nice hot sun. One of the fellows is cutting the green grass. It smells so good. I have my slacks on, sitting in the backyard. I have a small shift at mess duty. My hours are from 5 a.m[.] - 8 p.m. Then 10:30 a[.]m[.] – 2 p.m. The rest of the day is mine.

Before I forget. Please send me my two piece bathing suits. The white one & the blue flowered cotton one. We have a swimming pool here, just being built. The nearest salt water beach is too far- Here we can swim anytime. Only I hate chlorine water.

It's just beautiful here. Gee! You know how I love spring. I was just thinking, maybe you'd like to come here in the late fall. Not in the summer because it's terribly hot in the South. I know I'll die in this heat- If it's this hot in March, what will it be like in the summer?

Mess duty is okay. Leonard wrote to me & said he had it for 2 months, here I'm thinking it only one. We have male Marines help out in the galley – They also work in the maintaince [sic] shop here, so they float around. They stand guard here at the gate and the Navy Annex. All these fellows came back overseas.

Am going to NY next weekend. Am getting off duty at 2 pm Sat – and my liberty is up at 0100 Mon. morn.

Last night, my girlfriend Gunny[?] from Boat Camp went to a USO in DC. I played ping pong with a soldier and talked with him. He said I was the first onl first Marine he ever talked too. In the meantime Gunny met some 3 sailors from Chicago – her home town. So we went to a huge roller skating rink. At first, I felt funny, because I didn't want to go with sailors – They are kids. The Marine Corp[s] sophisticated me. But am I glad we met Dena, it was swell. The ring was huge and beautiful. All service men there. My friend Don taught me to skate and I didn't even fall once. He did. ha ha! The music was surely pretty as we skated along. We wore shoe skates. They had pretty lights, and couple skating. Gee! It was so much fun. Try it sometime. Well, we ate, then they took us to the camp, outside our gate. They were so surprised to find out we needed liberty passes and had to be back at 0100. Then when the[y] saw the guard at the gate who checks us in – they know now how the Marine Corp[s] operates.

How are you making out? Just take it easy and you'll have your fun. But it isn't all fun I'm having. We mess girls work so hard. Who cares tho, I'm used to it. Besides I'm a rugged Marine – I remind myself.

Tell Barney I bought him a Marine sweat shirt – and will send it first chance I get. Ma is supposed to have a kerchief for you and another sweater for Pat. Did you see my [Latue?] Club picture? She's got that too.

Don't broadcast the fact that I'm on mess duty. Those Italians will think that's my job – I'm still in Quartermasters Dept.[Department]

You know I have about 15 letters to write. All I do is write to you and Lenny.

There's an airport two miles from here. The planes fly so low, you can actually see the pilots. Up on our navy annex hill, you can see them go into the field for a landing. Sometimes those planes scare me, they are so low.

Oh about Ft.[Fort] Meade.

Ginnie[?] Canter[?] is my best boat camp friend, who is on mess duty in Lejeune. Her dad is a Sgt[Sergeant] in the army for 25 yrs.[years] The live right on the post in cute little red brick houses. Last Wed.[Wednesday] I visited them. Oh they treated me so nice. Now I know how the fellows felt when we showed them hospitality. Their daughter Louise was sick so Sgt Canter[?] and the wife showed me around. Sgt Canter[?] is quite a guy around camp. He introduced me to loads of fellows. We saluted an officer at the same time he did. Smart stuff had! Anyway, it's a huge camp. It's a P.O.E. We saw them load soldiers on the troop train. What a bunch of sad looking guys. He also showed me the German Prison Camp down there. They also have them doing all types of work in camp. Of course, guards watch them constantly. The prisoners still think Germany will win the war. They also stop to stare at me. The service clubs is beautiful. The camp is so desolate looking. All camps are. That's why they need recreation for the fellows. The firing range keep going all day. They have those 77 mm[millimeter] guns, which shake the house, once fired. Then they drove me to the station that night. They expect me down again soon – so Ft. Meade, here I come! Incidently [sic], Ginnie Canter[?] is a regular society girl. Before she left for the Marines, they had a parade at the Fort in her honor. 20,000 marched. An Army girl joins the Marines. He[r] pictures were in loads of papers.

Dena, those Wacs [WACs] down at the fort are the sloppiest things I ever did see. There [sic] barracks are so GI looking. Ours are regular college dormitories, and ours are so clean & spotless. The army lets those wacs get away with murder.

We get away with nothing. We have to be on the beam. Don't I sound as if I'm Marine happy?

anyhow Dena, all this chatter and have said nothing. Only I know you like to hear about what I do. My only regret is, that you are not here to share my experiences.

Give my love to all

Hope you are feeling okay

Give the kids at the office my regards. Bill[?]

Loads of Love

GI. Mary