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Lillian Bair (we don't know her maiden name) enlisted in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (U.S. Navy)) in 1944 and served until 1945. When Lillian Bair graduated from high school in 1940 she got a job at a company that dealt in war batteries. Being a small town, there were hardly any men there because they were all in the military. She worked for a company called Microswitch and she played baseball and basketball a lot. In May, 1944 she decided to join the WAVEs. Her brother was a co-pilot in the Air Corp; he served in Africa for three years until he was killed in a plane crash. For boot camp she went to New York and she said she marched so much that she wore holes in her shoes. She did enjoy the experience of being with other women from all around the country and felt like it was a turning point in her life. From boot camp she was assigned to Grandview Air Base, outside of Chicago, and that was where she spent the rest of her enlistment. It was only 120 miles from her home. In the beginning she did some wiring on airplane wings and then later worked in the tool shop, where she met her husband. She signed up to go overseas but because of scars on her lungs she didn't qualify. When they had off duty time they went to the Aragon ballroom where they had big bands playing, and it was a very popular place to go. Her husband got out of the service first and took a job with the telephone company in Springfield, Missouri. When her enlistment was up, she joined him. They raised a family of four children, transferring to Holton, Kansas, in 1954. She was interviewed by Suzette McCord-Rogers on Nov 11, 2007. She was born in Wakefield, South Dakota, on October 18, 1921, and graduated from high school in Shreveport, Illinois in 1940. She came to Kansas after the war. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Doniphan County Historical Society (Troy) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Creator: Bair, Lillian
Date: November 11, 2007

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Item Number: 218589
Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 218589

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