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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Dorothy Avery to Mary, 1943

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Object ID: WV0204.4.008

Description: Avery has had a successful first solo flight and wanted to celebrate, but decided to stay in Sweetwater instead. She notes that everyone is tense and wondering who will wash out; several WASPs released their tensions by going out during the weekend. Avery also describes going to church and having lunch afterward with one of the families. Her friend Mary has enlisted in the Navy, which Avery encourages, but Nelson does not.

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: Hi Mary

So you went and did it eh. Signed up with the Navy. I think its swell and I know you'll like it after you get started. It will be strange at first like this was for me. But you'll get used to it quick enough.

Gosh this week end was a trail [sic] for me. I wanted to really celebrate my solo and I was sorta fed up on this small town stuff. Bored to death. The two kids I hang out with are quite [sic] souls and satisfied and contented. I almost hooked up with some other gang for the week end. One bunch went to Aboliene [sic] the other to Big Springs although Big Springs is out of bounds. Quite a few of the kids went to either place. I had a bit of a tussel [sic] with myself as to whether to go or not, and finally didn't. Good thing too. There were a couple of automobile wrecks and at 1 o'clock this morning, there was a lot of them that staggered in; what a lot of noise between the barracks, it woke us up. This place is sorta [sic] getting on every ones nerves. It’s the first two weeks strain of who is going to last and who isn't, and the change in living conditions etc. They just felt like letting loose. I don't blame them I really could have tied one on in my mood. I'll get over it so will all the other kids but I still have a little left. Maybe it's that little medal around my neck that is standing me in good stead. Like that tight spot the other day on my solo flight, when that girl cut me off my course.

Anyway today was sort of a Sweetwater, Avenger Field day. All the churches invited all the girls to there [sic] places of worship after which, familys [sic] of Sweetwater took the girls home for noon dinner and a pleasant afternoon. Emy, Dottie, and I went to the Babtist [sic] Church and were taken home by a Mr. and Mrs. Beachor for a simply super fried chicken dinner. They were grand people. Simple home type with a nice little home, with chickens in the back yard. They also brought two of the church girls to keep us entertained. One of the girls plays the piano for the church, the other a violine [sic]. They were nice girls and so hospitable. We are going to have them here next Sunday and show them the post etc. But everyone here is so hospitable to us Avenger girls. The people next door to the Beachors had us over to play the piano and sing. Both familys [sic] said we were welcome anytime and just to come over anytime. It was swell being in a house and a home again. We even ate off plates. Here we eat off tin plates or tray's [sic].

To top it all I just went to Vesper Services here again. Now I am back in my bay for a quite [sic] eve and write some letters.

Your letter was here when I got back. I appreciate Nelson's good wishes and thank him for them for me. I didn't like the next paragraph at all. It certainly is strange that he would write that way and it is so hard on you. I know how it hurt you. I hate to see you hurt. It hurts me and makes me feel bad. I think its swell you joined the navy, its just what you need and I'm all for it. You really don't want to stay there. There is nothing for you to stay for. You just think there is, but you'll get over it. Your [sic] not a Sissy either, you can take it better than anyone, that's one of your characteristics that I use for my inspiration. You get in there and pitch for Uncle Sam, get that chin up and start pluggin [sic] and punchin [sic].

Don't let it throw you. Everything will turn out alright. Thanks for seeing about the film. We got some other size, and are going to borrow somebody elses [sic] camera. You may get some pictures yet.

Love, Sunny