Betty Magnusson Collection
Scope and Contents
Letters from Magnusson to a friend at home in Duluth, Minnesota, chiefly document Magnusson's service with the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in Iowa, Virginia, and France. Letters from Fort Des Moines describe WAC uniforms; drills, including a gas mask drill; WAC facilities and buildings; and social activities at the fort and in Des Moines. Letters from Newport News detail Magnusson's perspective on the South and southerners; the reaction of male soldiers and civilians to the WACs; entertainment, including dances, movies, holiday parties, and snowball fights; and dating and weddings in the military.
Detailed letters from Paris, document Magnusson's overall impressions of the city and specific sights; Red Cross and army facilities; leisure activities, including Christmas celebrations, Parisian nightclubs, military weddings, music, and service clubs; overseas uniforms and patches; and war news. Magnusson also provides vivid descriptions of VE Day parades and celebrations and explains her conflicting desires to remain in the service and to return to civilian life.
Also included is a 1943 letter from a male soldier stationed at Camp Peary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- 1943 - 1945
- Magnusson, Betty (Person)
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.
Betty Magnusson of Duluth, Minnesota, served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. She attended basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in 1943 and was then stationed at Newport News, Virginia, from April 1943 to at least January 1944. Magnusson served in Paris, France, from September 1944 to June 1945 as secretary to a general with the 29th Traffic Regulating Group.
.08 Linear Feet (24 items (1 oversized folder))
Language of Materials
Betty Magnusson of Duluth, Minnesota, served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.
Letters from Magnusson to a friend at home in Duluth, Minnesota, chiefly document Magnusson's service with the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in Iowa, Virginia, and France. Frequent topics include WAC uniforms; WAC facilities and buildings; social activities and entertainment, including dances, movies, holiday parties, and snowball fights; and dating and weddings in the military. Letters from Newport News detail Magnusson's perspective on the South and southerners and the reaction of male soldiers and civilians to the WACs. Detailed letters from Paris document Magnusson's overall impressions of the city and specific sights; vivid descriptions of VE Day parades and celebrations; and her conflicting desires to remain in the service and to return to civilian life.
Collection is arranged chronologically.
Method of Acquisition
Purchased in 2006.
Offensive Language Statement
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Processed by Beth Carmichael, February 2006.
- Iowa -- Description and travel
- Magnusson, Betty
- Paris (France) -- Description and travel
- Sectionalism (United States)
- Southern States
- United States. Army -- Military life
- United States. Army--Women
- United States. Army. Women's Army Corps -- History
- Virginia -- Description and travel
- Women and the military
- Women in war
- Women soldiers -- Minnesota -- Correspondence
- Women veterans -- United States
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Female
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- United States
- Betty Magnusson Collection
- Beth Carmichael
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note