Virginia Gardner Becker Collection
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.
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Collection is open for research.
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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)
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Processed by Matthew McCarthy.
- Virginia Gardner Becker Collection
- Matthew McCarthy
- 2022 December
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Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository
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