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I’ll Be Home for Christmas

December 20, 2011

WAVES could, of course, get leaves to spend time with family and friends. But holiday leave – that was another thing. It was highly desirable and tough to get. And the Navy, unlike civilian businesses, didn’t take a day off because it was Christmas.

Betty Lord

Betty Bruns Lord in Uniform

It wasn’t until 1945 that Betty Bruns Lord would be allowed home – to Mason City, Iowa – for the holidays.

You didn’t get a lot of leave and sometimes you couldn’t get off because you were so busy.  Just couldn’t take it when you wanted to. And I know when the boys started coming home — the last year, in ’45, I did get home for Christmas which was something you didn’t get at that time. A lot of the boys said, “Well, uh, uh?”  He said, “These girls haven’t been home for Christmas since they joined.”  “Oh.” And so Commander Fair, we did get our leaves.  We thought for sure we were going to get cancelled. But no no no no.  He said, “No, you girls are going home. You haven’t had yours.”

On the airstrip with Betty Bruns Lord

Betty was stationed at Mustin Air Field in Philadelphia working on planes. She was one of the WAVES who not only worked on planes, but knew how to fly them. Her uncle had trained her as a pilot before the war.

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