The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on October 22, 1952 · Page 7
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 7

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 22, 1952
Page 7
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OSCEOLA 'Off Ig&SCBS "The gratitude that »ho»'*<l in their beaming ttau would make t< , ... -: ••• •» , ». * If, Despite prilling, Drafty Quaters SuePennington Liked WAC Duty L "WTi*n T BclfAst Vffw e.._ .— - ' ' .. -„ —»__. . . V w. nw n»« no croM IT»VB wi • inuixtenve nonce Eight a suspension bride* to get to our o* UK 30 «Irls boarded a plane and m««s hall wh«n we wer* itationed toft without knowing where thev tw r!«\n.*»v,t(..*. wrfl -._ . .... u ; j _ j ,.. ,. ° . . nitj When I asked Mrs. Sue Gwynn 'Term Ing ton how she liked being a WAO during th« World War IT, her reply was: "I'd do It all over again;" That was the answer I was looking for to get this story. - . •': "First of all, most persons thought that a woman's work in the w»r effort would be largely staying home and keeping (lie home flres turning and that part was all very well, too," began Sue'a story, "but when you had two brothers in the service, it made you look on war from a different angle. 'Exactly a year to the month, May, when the WACS were created as aii auxiliary to replace and relieve men. to. combat duty, I was sworn serve. The coincidence ol it was that my oldest brother, Joe Brown Gwyn, went Into service Dec. 29, 1S41, my younger brother went in on March 29, 1043, and was £ent overseas.' on Oct. 29 t of the same year and two of us "got our discharges on the Mth." Sue added, "that Is something for 'Believe It or Not.' ' 'I was working for the telephone company in Osceola at the time and took a military leave of ab-. senoe from the company, really'nev- er planning on coming back to my old job, but I did and have almost 13 years with the company. *« "WlK-n I went Into service, the * VACS then were called WAACS— and .the ruling was, that If a girl had brothers, husband or father iri one branch of the service, they couldn't be in the same branch. My .two brothers were In the Navy so 1 had to take the Army. "THIRTY DAYS after I went in. the ruling was changed. Every application that was shoved in front of me!" continued Sue, "asked for overseas duty. I took my basic training at Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., and was sent to Newport News, Va., where I was to be shipped out. The Army was awful nlc'e to me," smiled Sue. "They gave me 36 hours at home before I sailed. We sailed on the British 'ship./'Empress of Japan.' The ship has since been renamed 'Empress of Scotland, and ' goes It's a small as th« saying world. "Mary Ann Crain went to Europe this past, summer on the ship. At the time-; I went over, everything on the'ship was written fn Japanese. It took us seven and one half days to make the trip to North Af• rica and we had no convoys. "There were 5.000 men aboard fcand Too 'women which included an t Air Force unit. I was with the Signal Corps. Working:'for the telephone company back home is why I had the Signal Corps assignment. I had to drill Just, like the other girls regardless of the work : was to do, but believe It or not," smiled Sue, "I loved the drilling—cotton stockings and all; "The Arabs and French thought we were crazy. They were as fascinated with us as we were with them. They couldn't understand the freedom of American women and they didn't want the native women getting Ideas that women were as smart'ns men, so we saw very few of the.women. The women sat in church balconies behind screens. We wanted -to go to their churches but were not 'allowed. "They believe when a child dies; they are pulled to heaven by their hair. All children under 12 had a long stock of hair down the center for that'p'iirpose. The children are the biggest problems,:They are almost as thick as. ants wherever you went.' We were warned constantly never to give them gum or candy - — "• w.w ->. because th>y woiild worry" us to wa!n 't interested in any, except death but that's a hard .thing "to ^ do when you sea the'lr pleading eyes T' "" . ' * •-•.?-.,'. : "I MADE THE terrible mistake of not taking the advice given me and stopped one dav «nd gave 'a rajged, filthy little child •'"• bar of candy and she grabbed at it' like a dog. "When she did, her finger nail dus into my hand and I nursed a M " T • •!'» -PW VpW*«UT X ww M choMtrfrocn the U* and I .^ »«•_*._! I_ _.._! __ il.1 I . , . . """• » ~;^T ... i . WQ " ?" "P or wnere they were The eitr «• *>IH to two by a going. AH we knew, 30 of u. were »rn th.». «. *,. w. .1. — ...._ «org« that by tlavet during Caeur'i rein. W« had to . Sue Gwyn Penninrton , . . wonld do it an over bad hand for several days. After tions. "Standing In double ' line at" the Red Cross Building one afternoon, for Ice cream, one of the boys in the line opposite me asked where 1 was from. When I told him Arkansas, he said. 'I know it couldn't possibly be Osceola'— 'But it te.' I assured him,, and . how. did you know?' I asked him. He told me a boy in his company by "the name of Roland Anders was from Osceola and I .almost fainted to think I would run upon an Osceola boy that far away from home, and that easily. The boy told me they were in a- hospital unit, anchored In harbor waiting for orders to go to Italy. .. "I asked him if he thought we would have time to eat our 'ice cream, that I had to see Roland before he 'called. I was gettinz' awfully. home sick by now and "when the boy said, 'Osceola",' T thought somebody would have to throw water In my face to revive. me. That meeting with 1 Roland broujht other boys from Osceola.. M. C. Stiles, R. D. Mears, Malcolm Caele, Junior Cramer, and I talked "to D. £. Young over the phone. "The way I got in contact with the boys was accidental. On Dec, 1, 27 of us girls and an officer were sent on detached service to Constantine. Algeria. After cleaning our barracks, we wefe allowed to go to the Red Cross, which was the former opera house in Constantlne. "The first thing any QI does when they go to the Red Cross, is to look through the books containing names and addresses of all the servicemen, hoping to find somebody from your home town. The names are kept In 'separate books under their native state, so of .course -I ' , Arkansas. I came up on Malcolm's name'a'nd thit'was aj far as I got. I sent a note to him and he was on duty. The boys In his unit had been expecting the bunch of WACS and had saved all their meat and fruit rations until our arrival, and they threw a big barbecue dinner for us. Of course, Malcolm didn't expect any one from Osceola. We were the first American girls the for the COURIER NEWS in Osceola, call BILLY BEALE, 567-M bojs had seen m a year. That was a . — j^.vin, \jays,. j/iitei uuifc nan seen ir that I pretended I didn't know-what memorable dav they wanted. Nobody In this coun- seeing some one irom try could visualize the poverty and red letter dav for us flllh among the lower class of na- In ConsUntin*. HI never' forget a filthy dUfigured beggar th»t stood at the end of the brldg*. We wer« notified h« wa» a professional beggar and not to give him anything. Tho»e things are hard to believe, but we had seen this man on the streets .one d»jr. He was pointed out to us by our escort. He was as nice looking and clean as a pin and could walk aa good as anybody. Over there.. professional beggars are proud of their trade as If they held a legitimate job. We were taught an expression to say to all the beggars and they wouldn't bother us. We didn't know what It meant, but It sure worked," smiled Sue. Sue asked me if I could Imagine 500 girls without a mirror in the crowd and I can't. They weren't allowed to take anything breakable with them when they left the states. "The first. soldier that asked any of us .if we needed anything to make ourselves more comfortable we invariably acked for mirrors, so we finally did get hold of a few and they were the biggest assets we had. When we first landed in Algiers, eight of us girls were not assigned to immediate duty so they put us to work on cleaning 500 frozen chickens. The feathers were taken off hilt we had to.rlo the rest. We resolved then, never to eat a frozen chicken the rest of our lives and 1, for one, never have," added Sue, • *. * "WE FOUND that necessity is the mother of invention nnd what we could do to a can of pop corn! We weren't allowed any cooking fat but we all stocked up on the theatrical size of cold ereamf before we left the states so we could use our helmets for a cooking vessel put the cold 'cream In it and popcorn on the furnace top. We actually cultivated a taste for it, wasn't too bad really,, even though It doesn't taste like picture show pop corn. "Constantine Is about the size lemorable day. In their, lives .and not hav r-g been bombed here was ri r fVT ? ^ "' " S "'""' '° " erD semg some one from home made it ! no rubble like Ihr^hernl,^ ^ Catholic churches as a unit. All o: :d letter day for us. saw canaii i,-'. ±f "?*"?," ?" e . Con 8regat tori was all French taken "ON'E DAV I was sitting in a veapon's carrier and the guard at our barrack . door called out my name. I looked up and there stood M. C. at the door. "It was'beginning :u> look like ill the boys from Arkansas were at this particular • pln.ce. M. C. told saw. Calla lilies and carnations grow wild theie and are lots larger thpn our hou ? "rwn plant "There \\ere the prettiest sights we saw The country surrounding Constpntlne Is filled inlth ccme- tmer No vehicles are allowed in their rcm-tenes and thej nre per- le«ve on a prepare moment's notice. Eight »«r» headed. In five weeks they ewiw back and related thefr experience* with those left behind and that wi« how we found out what we had missed. ' "MY FIRST Christmas was the first mall I had received since I had left Newport News on October 29. .1 had bragged about Osceola and its wonderful people so much to the other girls but they couldn't believe me until I got my mail that morning. It seemed every body in Osceola had sent me Christmas Greetings. All but eight of the-500 girls lived in cities and they didn't know what It meant (o live fn a small town where everybody Is your friend. But when they helped me open all of the messages, they were convinced. "They all agreed with me after that, there is nothing small about 3 small town but the space it takes up. I had to wait on my Christmas presents until I got back to the states as I had left for overseas duty after (he October ID deadline on mailing packages. I was so excited that day over getting so much mail that the boy sitting next to me in the mess hall had to feed me. Mail then was the most important thing-, in all of our lives just as It Is now to those boys and girls in Korea. I'd like to say this that If anybody knows a boy in Korea they should take time out and drop them a card if they don't want to take time to write, a letter. '•Civilians have no earthly Idea what it means (o those boys to be standing in line for mail call and all the boys around nre gettln; mail from home and some are left out. "WE TRIMMED OUR Christmas tree, made from a broom handle the time- we made ornaments out of the cigarette tinfoil and colored balls of paper with our lipsticks the tree looked pretty good and all of the boys thought It would have Blvfhf.v7i7,,"~Tr 7 rf""iT '" c .""' "' heen nn awful dul1 Christmas if we an m^n'ritv h ,h ?" oeclared hadn't rigged up a Christinas tree, an open cltv bv thft fipt-mmie n nH i.<-n»..i-4 ~... _- PAW to and teach those people our llvinc. While our group ml!»ion.ry iy of hi Constantlne, we witnessed the parade In honor of General DeOaulle. That was the most colorful spectacles we had ever seen. All of the Arab chieftains and sheiks paraded In their finest raiment. The beautiful horses were all bejeweled in rare stones. There would be a unit of nothing but black horses, shin- Ing as though they had been greased, then next would be a unit of the most beautiful mow white horses we ever naw. / "The high back saddles were studded In precious stones. Over there, horses are treated better than the children are Irom wealthy families. They would put on an act equal to Rlngllng Brothers Circus, Tile native's never laden * hors; down. They use camels for that purpose. It Is a common sight to see an Arab walking and -leading his horse. "THE BIGGEST probelm we girls had was taking baths In Algeria \vc climbed HI steps to get to the bath room. The government took over the Museum of' Pine Arts for our barracks. The windows had been blown out by bombs before we got there and we had to go to bed a lot of times to keep warm. During the day v;e drilled so much we didn't mind the coltl but when we. went back to our"barracks It was so cold In the building we 600 girls didn't even argue about who was to take H bath first. There were only two tubs and two showers in the immense bathroom. We had to climb two flights of stairs that took us to the 'garden, then -we had to go ihrough the garden, walk through nnally 'Fuel was the scarcest commodity during our stay in Algiers. The huge patio before we reached the bath room. nee, muue irom a nroom handle, uy uurmg our stay In Algiers. The But Kg had the spirit anyway by building was never Intended for a th» Mm* « n „,,,.;„ „. L. ...! bunch of American girls to sleep in and there were no heating facilities whatsoever. That was the coldest' winter . I ever went through," added Sue. "A lot of t hire were s were too enormous to the fine pieces of sciilp- stilr Intact because they 'y be moved o was a French aken to nearby cities and saved and we couldn't .understand a word I from the bombing. We saw some All of the smaller ones hart, been nearby cities and saved to fcctls kept "During Churchill's and but the services were so beautlfullv conducted .and the church itsefr :was so beautiful that we were awc- 'trl'ken The priest was original!; from Little Rock He asked us to '.ing some of our American traditional Christrms =ongs We all san? g roup icther thev understood a '- said or not they were the of the finest statues the world has ever known In this museum. Fruit was plentiful and we were allowed to. visit the old market places, provided we had ample escorts. One day I had just come out of the dental clinic and was feeling a girl friend of mine. An" Arab ARR GAZING On« yw «go, this took me for better 9p««kln« from this end, I've en- Joyed all 53 »-ee)as ot my assign- newspaper ment and hope you c or worse.] same. m ujr the passed by with a basket of the most lusclom looking cherries. We wanted to buy then? but there was no Interpreter around and we were talk- Ing among each other how we could ask the Arab the price of his basket of cherries. We remarked how intellectual he looked and wondered if he was from the wealthy class. After we finished talking he smiled and started talking to us in perfect English and I fell over backward off the curb. He chatted with us for quite sometime and made us a present of his beautiful basket of cherries. * * . . "AFTER ALGIERS, my unit went on to Italy and T was sent back to the states for discharge. I hadn't heard a child speak in the 14 months" and to see an American child 1 believe, was my biggest thrill when I got back. My next biggest thrill after seeing my family was to lay my head on a pillow and sleep between clean sheets, something f hadn't done In M months. It took me quite some time to realize my clothes didn't have to be pressed between a mattress and springs and that there were such things as clothes hangers. "With all Inconveniences nnd living as we had to do In a lot of places. I'd like to go back. I would recommend it to any girl who lias graduated from high school. A girl learns how to handle herself In any situation nnd best of alj-'she learns how'to get along with others regardless of class, color, or creep\ H is an education that no college offers and furthermore there Is no tuition to pay—you get .paid well for your experiences. After seclii" how the other side of the world uves, you icalize you are a prelly Important neison in your o>ui country as well as being of service to the.greatest, old man that ever ex- . isted—Uncle Sam." The., world Itself is about w too* a world as might be. It hu bMa long In the making, it« furniture !• all In, Its laws are in perfect working order, and although wise men at various times have BUgge«t«4 Improvements, there Is on tht whole a tolerably unanimous vote of confidence In things M they exist. The miser doesn't possess gold' gold possesses him. No man can become i Mint la his sleep. • Never display a hurt, except to your physician. It is no sin to cultivate the ciety of your betters. • • . , The important thing Is you consider your betters. whom Dinner-party advice: Do not lor- get to take the menu with you it may help the coroner. 'Friends forgive— parents forget. Rah! Rah! Rah! This ts the foot- bail season cold, hard seats, sniffles and sneezing. Remember the old adage, sound as a dollar? - • There's a time and place for everything and that includes blowing your nose. Gene Cox. my little next door neighbor. Is attending Columbia Military Academy this year for the first, time. In a recent drill, the boys were ordered, "Attention." Gene blew his nose and the next orders he received was to.walk the . e bell ring for four hours. I'll bet Gene wpuid much rather be home having Mania Blouse gripe ibou* him mowing the grass. Gene, here's something to remember: "The worst is not so bad ns lime u we cih See' STAKR GAZING an Pa** » SI RAI<5Hr that's too good to miss The rest of the industry took a look — and. decided to make v a carbon copy. Over the years, these "hard top" jobs have spread to every price range — including the big-volume, lower-priced .three. ., ' . But this Buick version has forged ahead in popularity - and today it's the "best seller" in the whole "hard top" field bar none. And when it comes to price -you will find out this: What you pay for a SPECIAL, a SUPER or a ROADMASTER RIVIERA will shine by comparison with the price tag of anything in their fields. Isn't that enough to make you want to try out a RIVIERA today? the reason? ' Well, it is-as you can see-a smoothie to look at and a smoothie to drive. It's a Buick-with Buick's famous Fireball 8 Engine-Buick's Million Dollar Ride-Buick's exclusive A 'A u t 11 i - m Dynaf low Drive* - Buick's Power And how folks love ,t. The day it was Steeringt-Buick room, Buick comfort, first displayed, orders started rolling in, Buick style-and Buick durability. , tciesiories, trim and models *re subject to chngt *>itho*t notice. 'Stml<*d on RooJmMter, optional at extrt cost on other Sfrifi. Wptiontl * extrt cost on Roadnwttr ~J Super only. ' 5, this is a RIVIERA. Sleek and swift-lined, like a convertible. Solid- topped like a sedan. Six-passenger roomy-and just about the smartest number that's made its bow in years. Sure is true for 52 When better automobiles are built BUICK will build them of A* *Wr every Saturday and Ruklc'j own TV *ow T*. 0m* Hour* ewry four* Tuesday • • . * —^ ^^ ^^ • . ••— ~n»».,™~T cmrry rourm n—rtiy LANGSTON-McWATERS BUICK Co., Walnut & Broadway, Phone 4555

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