Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive: Saving the Legacy oral history project, ACCN 2070

Saving the Legacy oral history project, ACCN 2070

Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah's World War II Veterans, has the mission of interviewing veterans living in Utah and the Intermountain Region. The American West Center later expanded their mission to include all war veterans.

Dorothy Beutler (b. 1924) reminisces about life in Utah during World War II, including work as a radio tube inspector

Charles (b. 1926) and Frieda (b. 1924) Bytheway recall growing up in Salt Lake City. Charles enlisted in the Navy Air Corps in 1944.

Marjorie Campbell (b. 1924) discusses her family history and growing up Utah. She recounts her experiences working at Fort Douglas before joining the Navy (WAVES) in 1944. She trained in Brooklyn before being assigned to the commissary at Annapolis. She was discharged in 1944, and talks about her marriage, the death of her husband, and raising her four children while working for the Selective Service and the the Bureau of Land Management.

Clark (b. 1921) enlisted in the WAC in 1943 and attended training in Kentucky before being sent to Bolling Field (Washington D. C.) as a typist. She received the WAC Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

Margaret Conaty (b. 1917) recalls growing up in Depression-era Denver, Colorado. She worked at the Fitzsimmons Army General Hospital and lived in the nurses' quarters, so war began and nurses began going overseas she volunteered for the Navy Signal Corps. After being trained to operate the Link flight simulator, Conaty was stationed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Norma Anderson Day (b. 1923) worked at the Remington arms plant before enlisting in the Navy in 1944. She was stationed in Washington, D.C.

​​​​​​​Mrs. Donkin (b. 1918) details her family history and recalls growing up in Lewiston, Idaho, graduating from North Cache High School, and attending Utah State University. She joined the Navy (WAVES) in May 1944, received training at Hunter College and Cedar Falls, Iowa, and was assigned to the San Francisco District Discipline Office. She was discharged in April 1946. She also talks about her marriage and raising five children.

Eliza Fife was born in Switzerland in 1929. She recalls life during the war, coming to the United States in 1949, and her subsequent life in America.

Fox (b. 1911) recalls her childhood in Manti, Utah, and working at the parachute factory during the war, while her husband was overseas. She discusses raising children, teaching, and tells many stories of her life. At the time of the interview, Mrs. Fox was ninety-three years old.

Born in Salt Lake in 1925, Georgell worked in an arms plant in the early days of the war. She reminisces about life in Utah.​​​​​​​

Joan Gould (b. 1919) took her nurses training at the Seton School of Nursing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She joined the Navy and served aboard the hospital ship USS Samaritan, which was stationed offshore during the landings on Iwo Jima, Peleliu, and Okinawa.

Mrs. Greguhn (b. 1921) grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was married in 1937 and her husband joined the army after Pearl Harbor, serving in Iran. She recalls joining the WACS in 1945 and being sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas where she was assigned to a medical unit and received training. She worked as a surgical technician in Louisiana and Georgia before being discharged at the end of the war.

Lillian Crenshaw grew up in Independence, Missouri, and received her nurse's training at the University of Kansas. She was sworn into the army at Fort Leavenworth in November 1942, and worked as an operating nurse until her unit was shipped out to North Africa where hospital units were being formed to support the European invasion. Her unit followed the troops ashsore in Salerno, Italy. She spent her entire service time in Italy.

Howard (b. 1924) talks about her birth and childhood in Utrecht, Holland. She recalls hearing about the German bombing of Rotterdam and the surrender, which took place five days later. During the war she worked for a company that cleaned the homes of German officers. Topics covered include food shortages, German roundups of men and resistance workers, the black market, curfew, the liberation of Holland and postwar events, and converting to the LDS Church in the 1950s.


Hyatt (b. 1922) recalls her childhood in Manti, Utah, and describes her nurses training and entlistment in the Army Nurse Corps. She met and married a fellow officer during her period of basic training and was shipped out to various bases in the Pacific.


Barbara (b. 1922) begins by telling about her rural childhood in Bennington, Idaho, including her entry into college at Utah State University, in Logan, Utah. Barbara wanted to enlist in 1942, but her father refused to give his permission so she accepted a contract to teach school for one year. She joined the WAVES in August 1943 and trained sailors in firing anti-aircraft guns.

Cora Lee Johnson (b. 1920) talks about her family's history as Canadian pioneers and growing up in Thistle, Utah. She joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was assigned to the post office in Palm Beach, Florida. She was later transferred to San Diego.

Wilma Johnston (b. 1925) recalls growing up in the midwest, and going to work at Boeing in Wichita in 1943. Her job consisted of riveting sections of the wing on B-29 aircraft. She later moved to Wyoming with her mother and met her future husband, who was home on leave.

Kimber was born in Grouse Creek, Utah. She enlisted in the Navy WAVES. Boot School and was at Hunter College in New York. Yeoman training was at Iowa State Teacher's College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was then stationed at North Island off the coast of San Diego, California, where she worked at the Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) as a Yeoman Third Class until discharged. She used the GI Bill to attend Utah State University. She taught school in Providence, Utah, and later in Grouse Creek.​​​​​​​

Klein (b. 1923) was born and raised in the midwest. She came to Utah to attend BYU and got a job at Remington Arms. She joined the WAVES in 1943, received her boot camp training at Hunter College, and training as a gunnery instructor in Pensacola, and spent the rest of her service time in San Diego.

James Konishi (b. 1918) grew up near Fort Lupton, Colorado. He was inducted into the army prior to the Japanese attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor. He served at various bases in the United States prior to being transferred to the canal zone in Panama where he remained until the end of the war. Jeanne worked at the state capitol in Salt Lake during the war.

Kristic (b. 1922) recalls her childhood in Butte, Montana, and her marriage to her fiance of six months the day before he was shipped overseas. She joined the WAVES and went to boot camp at Hunter College in the Bronx. She was stationed in Seattle, where she served as a storekeeper from 1942 to 1945.

Messick (b. 1923) discusses family life, the Depression, and growing up in Brigham City, Utah. She joined the WAVES in September 1944, took training at Hunter College, and attended yeoman school at Oklahoma A&M before assignment to the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. She was discharged in December 1945.​​​​​​​

Munk (b. 1923) discusses growing up in Fountain Green, Utah, and moving to Salt Lake City to work at Malouf Manufacturing and Remington Arms. She enlised in the WAVES in 1943, and trained at Hunter College, where she was ranked as hospital apprectice, first-class. She was assigned to Mare Island Naval Hospital and also served in a nearby psychiatric hospital. She was discharged in July 1946.

Leah Jo Neilan (b. 1922) grew up in Cleveland, Utah. She joined the Navy WAVES in 1943 and served at Hunter College, then Milledgeville, Georgia, and finally San Diego, where she was the Yeoman for the director of the 11th Navy Waves. She was discharged in November 1945.

Ethel Nielseon (b. 1921) describes her childhood in Ephraim, Utah, and working at a parachute factory in Manti, Utah.

O'Mara (b. 1920) recalls growing up in a small mining town in Pennsylvania during the Depression. She enlisted in the WAVES, was trained as an electrician's mate, and served in New York.​​​​​​​

McCool (b. 1926) recalls her Indiana childhood. Her father, a coal miner, sought work wherever he could find it and the family moved often. She talks about her brother, serving in the 8th Air Force in England, and about working for Briggs Aviation in Indiana. She worked on Corsairs, the Navy fighter plane.

Onstott (b. 1914) recalls her childhood in the rural South and describes joining the WACS after Pearl Harbor.

Della Petty (b. 1923) grew up in Salina, Utah. She joined the WAVES and was stationed in San Francisco, where she was a secretary for Commander Ross. She recalls life on the West coast during the war.​​​​​​​

Pugmire (b. 1923) recalls growing up in Paris, Idaho, and Logan, Utah prior to enlisting in the WAVES in 1944. She trained at Hunter College and was assigned to the post office of the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California.

Robinson (b. 1923) was a student at Carroll College in Waukesha when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She went to Milwaukee and worked in a defense factory, then enlisted in the Marine Corps, women's reserve. After boot camp at Camp LaJune, North Carolina, she went to Norman, Oklahoma, for aviation machinist mechanical school. She sailed aboard the to Pearl Harbor, where she was crew chief on an SN-J or AT-6. After returning home in 1945 she attended the University of Wisconsin on the GI Bill.

Mrs. Rushforth was born on March 15, 1918, in St. George, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1941 and joined the WAVES in 1943. She received officer and communications training in Massachusetts before being sent to San Francisco, where she decoded messages. She achieved the rant of Lieutenant JG, married, became pregnant, and was discharged in May 1945. She taught at Layton High School for six years.

Ann Sharp (b. 1932) talks about her childhood in Holland under German occupation. She lived in Rotterdam but was sent to Arnhem for a time. Sharp emigrated to the United States with her husband in 1953, settling in Salt Lake City to be near her sister, who had joined the LDS Church.

Silvey (b. 1921) was born in Natividad, Pangasinan Province, Philippines. She was in high school when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. She recalls her next door neighbor, a barrio lieutenant, being tortured for information. She joined the Luzon Guerilla Armed Forces and served for about five years. After the war she came to the United States and attended the University of Utah.

​​​​​​​ Sims (b. 1921) was born in Darlington, Wisconsin, and received her nursing education at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in October 1943 and boarded the SS Lurline for New Guinea. She served at the 54th General Hospital for the duration of the war with the exception of a few months spent in the Philippines. She describes life on the island, her duties and activities, her post-war marriage, and talks about her children. 

Dorothy Smith (b. 1923) recalls her childhood in Salt Lake City and working in the Arms plant shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She enlisted in the WAVES in October of 1944. She worked in the laundry, did secretarial work, and became a Teletype operator at Ream's Field in San Yisidro. She was discharged in November 1945.​​​​​​​

Sorensen (b. 1948) enlisted in the Navy in March 1968. She served as a Petty Officer 3rd Class Disbursing Clerk at the Naval Finance Center in San Diego until 1970.

Barbara Toomer (b. 1929) was born in Pasadena, California. She received her RN in 1952 from St. Joseph's College of Nursing in San Francisco, California. She joined the Army in 1953 and took basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. She served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, until her discharge in 1955. She contracted polio in 1956 and has been confined to a wheelchair since that time. She is a successful activist, petitioning for the rights of the disabled.

Ms. Teuro (b. 1921) grew up Oklahoma. She joined the WACs in 1943 and moved to Des Moines for basic training. She received additional training there in the cooks and bakers school. She was assigned to Camp White in Oregon, which was a training camp and also the site of a German POW camp. In mid-1945, Teuro was transferred to the Presidio in San Francisco, and then to Fort Baker, a nearby hospital, in 1946. After being discharged, Ms. Tuero worked as a cook for the Granite School District.

Henry (b. 1922) recalls being a young boy in Utrecht, Holland, during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945. He trained as a barber and describes cutting the hair of German soldiers. He explains his difficulties hiding from the Germans to avoid forced labor in a German factory or camp. He eventually came to the United States. Ann (b. 1923) recalls her own childhood in Utrecht, describes the German occupation, and talks about her life with Henry.

The Van Schelts (b. 1929, b. 1934) recall growing up in Holland during the Nazi occupation. Topics covered include employment, schooling, the black market, the resistance, and interaction with German soldiers. They immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s, where they met and married. Peter recalls working for Jordan Meat Company, Wasatch Meat, and Siegried's Deli, as a meat cutter and sausage maker (a trade he learned as a teenager).

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