Oral History Interview, 1999 March 30
Scope and Contents
West discusses her immediate family, recalling her family's farming past and her mother and sister's education; attending the 1939 World Fair in New York; and summers spent earning money as a typist. She also describes her time at the Woman's College. Topics include Spencer and Mary Foust dormitories; the park; her professors; the difficulties of being a transfer student; and hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor. West recalls her decision to become a WAVE in 1943 and discusses basic training at Hunter College, including the train ride to New York, drills, being quartered in apartments, and the uniform fitting. She also mentions her time at Whiting Field in Florida and living in the barracks there. Topics related to Officer Candidate School in Northampton, Massachusetts, include the trip there, her studies, the dorms, social life, and being a veteran in a school of new recruits. War-related topics conclude with discussion of West's time stationed in Washington, D.C, her living quarters there, attending cocktail parties and VE and VJ Day celebrations. Post-war discussion focuses on West's employment with a contracting company. Broader discussion topics include the treatment of women in the service, the Roosevelt family, and the effect her military service had on her life.
- 1999 March 30
- From the Collection: West, Mary Ellen (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
From the Collection: 7.00 boxes (2 boxes.)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English