Beulah Morehead

This an excerpt from an interview of Beulah Morehead by Tiffany Munson.

Tiffany: How old were you when you enlisted?

Beulah: Twenty-one. You had to be twenty-one.  <illegible> story about your age, which I wasn’t.

Tiffany: Changed, hasn’t it? Were you drafted or did you volunteer?

Beulah: Volunteer.

Tiffany: What branch of the service did you go in?

Beulah: Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps

Tiffany: Where did you go for basic training?

Beulah: Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

Tiffany: How did you get there?

Beulah: A bus. 

Tiffany: Did a whole group of you guys go, or was it one?

Beulah: No, when was it, God you asked me a question. I can’t remember a whole group I couldn’t tell you. I had to go to Cincinnati, Ohio to be sworn into  the army, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.  And then I had a few days waiting period before I was gone for duty, and then I was posted Roanoke, and from there, I don’t remember whether I went by bus or by train. I don’t. <illegible> Because when you think about it all the troops you trained for traveling.

Tiffany: Had you been far from home much before you entered the war?

Beulah: Oh yeah, I would take vacations, see new places.  Well I went to <illegible>, New York.

Tiffany: What was that like?

Beulah:  That was exciting. They had pavilions for every country in the world, that you could go and visit, and I went to Virginia Beach. I worked for the telephone company when they thought of two weeks vacation.  They went to somewhere.

Tiffany: Do you remember how old you were when you went to the ?fair??

Beulah: Oh.  I was probably nineteen.

Tiffany: What was basic training like?

Beulah:  Well it was twelve weeks of it.  The women did the same kind of training that the men did.

Tiffany: Was it strenuous work?

Beulah: We didn’t do everything that the men did, because we didn’t use training with guns. You’d have to do that obstacle course, same kind of phys ed., and had went by the same rules.

Tiffany: Was it coed?

Beulah:  Coed, no.

Tiffany: What branch. . .sorry? I guess. . .

Beulah: Every part of the army.

Tiffany: What was your drill sergeant like? Do you remember?

Beulah: I believe a man was our drill sergeant.  Now I can’t remember any complaints about him, and then of course, we had a sergeant that drilled us too. She was a woman.

Tiffany: Was there very many recruits from other places?

Beulah: Oh yeah, all over the United States.

Tiffany: Do you remember any from any particular place, any friends that you made, or that you’ve kept in touch with or anything like that.

Beulah: Well I hadn’t kept in touch with them for years, well just the basic training, I never kept in touch with any of them. Now when I was over seas, I kept in touch with a lot of the women for a number of years. It’s been along times since I’ve heard from them.

Tiffany: Were women treated differently from men?

Beulah:  Well you mean when we was in the auxiliary, yeah. A woman in a uniform couldn’t go in a hotel and sit down in a bar, or the black MP’s, the MP’s would arrest her. Cause you couldn’t sit at a bar with your uniform on.

Tiffany: But the guys could?

Beulah: Oh yeah.

Tiffany: So. . .

Beulah: That was a little different, wasn’t it?

Tiffany: Did you feel harassed?

Beulah: Why no.

Tiffany: No?

Beulah:  I didn’t worry myself at it.

Tiffany: What all were you trained to do besides. . .

Beulah: Well basic, after I finished basic training, I served as a WAACMP. One of the first WAACMP.  Of course I would be the one to write a ticket, if I saw someone sitting at a bar.

Tiffany: Did it help you later in life to have done some things like that?

Beulah: No, not a bit, really.

Tiffany: Do you think your experience in the service helped you in life in general?

Beulah: Well I guess, you have your GI benefits and your retirements. Now that’s a lot of help.

Tiffany: Where did you go off for basic?

Beulah: I went to, where did I go?

Tiffany: Uh huh.

Beulah: Well I worked at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, as a WAACMP. I was a supply clerk.

Tiffany: Now what is that?

Beulah: A supply clerk, clerk. You, it’s kind of like quarter master. If anybody needs a shirt, skirt, or blouse, they go through the supply clerk, to get it.  I did that as well as the desk sergeant for the MP’s. <illegible>

Tiffany: So you did work in the field?

Beulah: uh huh

Tiffany:  How did most people travel across the country? by boat, I mean by train?

Beulah: Train.

Tiffany: Were the trains nice?

Beulah: Were the trains nice?  I don’t imagine. It could get pretty crowded on troop trains could.

Tiffany: Was that mixed sexes and stuff? Did you guys mix, was it ever coed? Was it like, did you ever come in contact with any other men that you worked with?

Beulah: You mean traveling?

Tiffany: I mean traveling, or battle, or during the war or anything like that?

Beulah: No. When we went overseas on the boat, the men weren’t with the women.  They were on a different deck.

Tiffany: You guys weren’t allowed to meet, or anything like that?

Beulah: They were pretty crowded.

Tiffany: Oh sorry.

Beulah: Boats packed like sardines, packed like sardines.

Tiffany: When did you ship out overseas?

Beulah: Alright. I shipped out at October, 28, 1943, at Hampton’s Roads, Virginia.

Tiffany: Where did you go?

Beulah: I went to Casablanca, North Africa, right out there on November, the 5th.  It took eight days and nights on the boat.

Tiffany:  Were you nervous about going over?

Beulah: No.

Tiffany: How did you feel?

Beulah: It was all right.

Tiffany: Was it like an adventure?

Beulah: It was like an adventure there the first day or two. I got over that. Everybody was.

Tiffany: I have to ask this. Did you think that you’d ever see home again?

Beulah: Well yes.

Tiffany: Do you remember what unit you were in, and who was your commanding officer?

Beulah: Yeah. Overseas?

Tiffany: Yes.

Beulah: Well overseas I was in the Simore Corp Platoon.

Tiffany: Do you know who your commanding officer was?

Beulah: Lieutenant ?Pace?.

Tiffany: Was she a woman?

Beulah: A woman.

Tiffany: What was she like?

Beulah: She wasn’t liked.

Tiffany: Was she?

Beulah: All of the officers wasn’t liked.

Tiffany: Where were some of your fellow soldiers from?

Beulah: Oh goodness. They were from Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Okalahoma, New Jersey, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Tiffany: Did you already, had you already known anybody over there, when you went over?

Beulah: No

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