Helen’s mother came to visit her in Corpus Christi. Some of the girls, along with Helen, took her to Port Aransas or Mustang Island, off the coast. She took photos of some of the WAVES, insisting they pose on the beach in nothing but their underpants and bras. (Helen is third from the left.)
“I loved the water … the ocean is my main thing.”
Though the war was full of horrible things and hard times, Helen wanted to make the best of it. For her, the easiest way to get through the difficulty was to have fun and embrace those around her. She grew particularly close to a fellow WAVE named Theda, and they were “partners in crime.” Theda gained a reputation for sneaking into town in her civilian clothes and was continually getting into trouble for it. Helen is pictured below (third from the right) with friends, celebrating at the Swan Club.
“And I remember … a big ol’ Texan that listened to us all arguing one night to the pros and cons of women in the Navy and he sat back and he looked around and he said, well, one thing I can tell y’all. Sure smells better around here.”