Betty Magnusson Letters, 1943-1945 | Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives
Paris (France) - Description and travel
Sectionalism (United States)
United States. Army - Military life
United States. Army. Women's Army Corps - History
Virginia - Description and travel
Women in war
Women veterans - United States
World War, 1939-1945 - Participation, Female
World War, 1939-1945 - Women - United States
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.