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Virginia Gardner Becker Collection

Identifier: WV 0053

Content Description

The collection includes an oral history transcript, 17 March 1999; various military papers from Becker's Navy WAVES service, 1943-1944; Navy WAVES publications, 1943-1944; “Sounding Off” newsletter, 29 June-27 July 1943; photographs of Becker in uniform, 1943-1945; WAVES black leather shoulder bag; WAVES wool havelock.


  • 1943-1999

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical / Historical

Virginia Becker (1919-2013), of Murfreesboro, North Carolina, a longtime bookkeeper, served in the United States Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from June 1943 until October 1945.

Virginia Gardner Becker was born in 1919 and grew up in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. She attended Chowan Junior College and graduated from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1940. She worked at Thomasville Chair Company after graduation."

In June 1943 Becker joined the WAVES as an ensign and completed basic training at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, in July 1943. She was assigned to temporary duty in Scotia, New York, until she could attend Supply and Disbursing School at Harvard University in October 1943. In January 1944, she became assistant officer in charge of the Commissary Store at the Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. On 20 April 20 1945 she married Bernie Becker, an employee of Pratt Reed Company, but she remained in the WAVES until 31 October 1945. She was discharged as a full lieutenant.

After the end of World War II, Becker and her husband lived in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Maryland before settling in Martinsville, Virginia, with their three children. Becker spent many years working as a bookkeeper, first for a tobacco company and later for a church. She died on 19 September 2013 in Martinsville, Virginia.


0.21 Linear Feet (4 folders, Sounding Off newsletter in WVHP oversize box 2, textile box 1)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Condition Description

The condition is fair.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew McCarthy.

Virginia Gardner Becker Collection
Matthew McCarthy
2022 December
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US