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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Dorothy Avery to Eunice, 1943

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Object ID: WV0204.4.001

Description: Avery writes about her first day as a WASP at Avenger Field. Details include the schedule, her roommate and fellow WASPs, her quarters and new wardrobe, and the 40 percent washout rate.

Creator: Dorothy Avery

Biographical Info: Dorothy Avery (1917-1999) was a pilot in the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) from 1943-1944, then worked as an inspector for Navy-Lockheed Service Center.

Collection: Dorothy Avery 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 Eunice

Well here I am, and boy I'm in the Army now. I never saw so many regulations in my life. Boy we have to keep our quarters ship shape, but all the time.

Crossed the field boarder about 9:45 A.M. into an entirely new life. The girls that came in and all the girls here are sure grand, so helpful and willing all the time.

It is a beautiful field, plenty big. Hangers, rows of Barracks, mess'es [sic] etc. Nothing but women and more women. We do have men instructors but the cadets were taken away.

Anyway first off we filled in lots of papers, got our bedding, then our G.I. equipment. Coveralls, Flying Jacket, and gogles [sic]. Then we had lunch, swell food, after wich [sic] more papers, then put on our coveralls + drilled, showered and dressed for dinner, and now to straighten up our Bays and in bed at 10:00. Bays are our quarters. There are about 10 bays to each Barrack and rows of Barracks. We all got new ones, in fact they are not finished completely yet. They aren't bad a little better than I expected. There is even a bath in each one. Six girls to each Bay.

Well tomorrow really starts and according to the program we won't have time for anything believe me. So don't be surprised if you don't get a letter for [a] few days.

We march to everything, from Barracks to mess, to classes, to field etc. What a life. It is really swell though and it is going to be a great experience. A lot of girls are afraid already of washing out. They say about 40% do. Here's hoping yours truly keeps thumbs up. I'll try awfully hard.

The girl I met at the train is bunking with me. She is a swell person, but poor kid is in the hospital already sort of flu and tonsillitis. She might be out tomorrow or next day. I hope so. The other three girls in our bay are nice (but) you know how it is. I don't think by the looks of them they'll make the grade. I hope so though.

Well kid better straighten things up a bit and turn in. Taps will be blowing anytime. We are all confined to post for two weeks. Some fun or is it.

Till next time

All my love, Dottie

write: Dorothy A. Avery; 318 A.A.F.F.T.D; 43 W-7 Barracks J2; Avenger Field; Sweetwater, Texas.

I hope you got my other letters just discovered I put So. Oxford on them. If not say so and I will write them over again. Just so you get the stuff at Gillep (?). I have written two letters up to now.