Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Back in 1944, my SWEET and only girlfriend wanted to back me up as a soldier by doing her part as well and so she enlisted in the WAVES, the United States Navy program for women.

I was not aware of her desire to be a servicewoman and was not made aware of her actions until the matter was initiated, done and then undone.
I never knew the exact details but the gist of the whole business was that
she signed up for a hitch with the Navy, was assigned to the WAVES as she desired, and was sworn in as a WAVE in Boston.

When it came time to put on a uniform, she was measured and re-measured and then once more after being told to make herself taller than the measurements seemed to indicate.

The WAVES required its members to be at least five feet tall. Even standing on her toes, Loretta's hopes were dashed when she only measured four feet, eleven inches. She was told she had to be five feet and that there was no unifom that would fit her at 4/ll.

Didn't they have anybody who could do alterations, stretch a uniform an inch taller.? All the other parts of her fit I was told but in any case, she was handed a discharge.

I needed to make this explanation after making note in yesterday's Memorial Day blog that during the cemetery services we decorated Loretta's burial site with a United States Flag "even if she did have only one day in the Navy."

We considered her a veteran nevertheless because of her intention and action.

L oretta did the next best thing and became a war effort machinist after a liittle training .

For the duration then, she manufactured, with other machinists of course, hundrds of thousands of machine gun shells for the GIs reading for battle with the enemies in Europe and the Pacfic Ocean area, working in a factory converted from jewelry findings to manufacture of munitions.

When the war was over in 1945, Loretta went back to making jewelry findings and high school class rings, a trade which helped her in her later business of selling rocks, minerals, jewelry and jewelry findings.

She was a SWEET lady.

- 30 -


  1. Yes she was. When JS was a little boy he couldn't wait to grow to be as tall as Grandma. When he finally achieved that goal the thrill was short-lived (no pun intended) when he realized, during the same trip that, while he was the same size "Grandma, you're short!"

  2. Such sweet stories Old Newsie.. I love reading your blogs just like Yarntanglers. I never know quite what to expect but I know I will totally enjoy reading them.