Mildred Ikard "Billie" Bourgeois Collection
The collection includes a portrait photograph of Bourgeois in uniform, circa 1944-1946; an oral history transcript, 12 May 2010.
- circa 1944-1946
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Biographical / Historical
Mildred Ikard "Billie" Bourgeois served in the served in the United States Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from June 1944-March 1946. She served as an aviation radio technician third class. Mildred Iker Billie Bourgeois (b. 1920) was born in Cyril, Oklahoma on August 7, 1920. Following her junior year at Oklahoma College for Women in 1941, Bourgeois attempted to join the Women’s Army Corps, but was not accepted due to being underweight. She then entered radio school and worked briefly in the signal corps in Red Bank, New Jersey, before being assigned to a position in Sacramento, California with the air force.
At her own request, Bourgeois was assigned to the Women’s Reserve of the US Naval Reserve in 1944. She attended boot camp at Hunter College in New York. She was then assigned to the Oakland Naval Air Station in California, where she served as a radio technician third class until her discharge in March, 1946. During her time at Oakland Naval Air station, she met her husband, and they were married in January, 1946. While awaiting her husband’s discharge, Bourgeois briefly attended University of California, Berkeley. Upon her husband’s discharge, they moved to Houston, Texas in July, 1946 for his job.
Billie Bourgeois worked as a park director in Houston until they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Bourgeois finished her bachelor’s degree and subsequently earned her master’s degree, both in education, at Peabody College. After receiving her master’s in 1955, her husband was transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she taught in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. In the early 1970s, Bourgeois earned a doctorate degree in teaching at UNC Greensboro, writing her dissertation on citizenship education. Bourgeois then taught at Lenoir-Rhyne College before becoming the director of citizenship education for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where she worked until she retired.
0.21 Linear Feet (2 folders )
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Processed by Victoria Hinshaw, September 2022
- United States. Navy -- History
- United States. Navy -- History -- 20th century
- United States. Navy -- Women
- United States. Navy--Women
- Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES)
- Women and the military
- Women veterans
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Female
- World War, 1939-1945 -- War work -- United States
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Women
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- United States
- Mildred Ikard "Billie" Bourgeois Collection
- Victoria Hinshaw
- 2022 September
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