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Romance Week!

February 9, 2012

With the approach of Valentine’s Day, we’re turning our focus to romance during World War II.

Margaret Anderson Thorngate, who we’ve featured before in these posts, met her husband Fred during the war:

 I was a member of the Fourth Interceptor Command. That’s when they had that — no radar in those days, so you looked for airplanes in the air, at sea, whatever. I belonged to that.  Another girl and I had the duties on Sunday afternoons, which we picked because they we could sun ourselves on the sand dune where the observation post was.  And so Fred was stationed in the beach club down the street, down the little ways. He came trotting up one day, when I was — one Sunday afternoon when I was sitting there in my black bathing suit watching for airplanes (laughs). With my glasses picked him up right away.

Margaret and Fred wrote back and forth to each other during the war,  while he was stationed overseas and she was in the WAVES in California. Eventually she agreed to marry him.  So in late summer 1945, he got a leave between assignments, so he returned to California.

He came back from overseas and we were going to get married. I met him at my aunt’s in Glendale. He rang the front doorbell and I ran out the back. I was scared to death (laughs). And she (Margaret’s aunt) made me — she made me answer the door and I couldn’t talk.  I couldn’t talk!   Absolutely, for 20 minutes I couldn’t say anything.  And he was just laughing. I thought, “This is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in your life!  You’re going to marry somebody you haven’t even seen in two years and barely know!”

They were on their honeymoon when the war ended.

Something worked about their unconventional romance – Margaret and Fred are still married.

The photo comes from the collection of Margaret Anderson Thorngate.

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