Title: Arthur Forster [ESC 11]
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006472/00001
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Title: Arthur Forster ESC 11
Series Title: Arthur Forster ESC 11
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Bibliographic ID: UF00006472
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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lorld War II .. p ;.
wPE.fru.KI.) 1'^ t 'LA, 856C*

Por the records I'm 86 years old and I was boSn Pebzruay 24, 1890.
AL of now, I don't 1now exactly Wihat I'm going to say but I'm going to
try to tl~2i about World Wsr II, I don't Imnow just exactly what I can
tell you about T;orld ,War II. I can tell you some of my experiences
sid some of hviat v;ent on doval at the station bu t you have to remarbeor
t-.at 'the U. S. Zaval Air Stntion, Pensacola, Plorxda was organized prior
to 7orld VWMr II. Itts not like the lNavn.l Air Staimon as before World
W I, whea things wvere not orgC-aixcd. We hi.-d to do a lot of things
t-Zen tha..t vve didat'' have to do in 'Jcrld 7., Ii.
I -aink one of he firt things of Xinterest would be -te Apprpentice

'?roLp-:n cind the niZht school program that we had. We had a man that was
Director of te PenWaoola 2adO School and for come years before World
t:r IX he would co0me i0 te s1rdal Air Stantti aid I would& to teo
trade cool to talk oer all of ny problems about training and he wouic
help to set up classes in his Trade Sohool that fitted in the needs of
theo Ar Station. A, time wvent by there was need for a larger ze nd! more
u- to date vocational trade school.
Tj-s ;izr. Caharlbe Holle;, the Director of the Pensacola Vocational
Zrjade School, worked closely with ame the air station employees and
other trade and civic groups i i influencing the State of Florida to
locate in Pensacola one of several new trade schools proposed for national
emergency training an a couxre of needed tr~desmen for dependence employ-
I 2mew Oongom~ran Oaldwell end Senator Uolland; we were good
friends and I believe their knowing the position I had at the itval
,Ail" Station, that of Senior Supervisor, nd my urging to agt ateir

world Wa r I1

support probably had some anall part in etWang f his trade school building
built. TZis building is two stories high bhrcak faced nd it is on the
south ddo of Garden trceet junt v1eot of Spring Street here in PonaeWola.
Then athi nowa trade aohool W.n- built and afurnihed, I was given the honor
of deaicatineg thi building. I believe this building is now being used
o ithe Iedcquxrtemr of the ~asoasMa OoumiV School .oa1d.
I spoke of our Apprentic Pro,,Cr Mis program as sot irp with
-he aid of I3. Holley before the war oz" in 1958. P ovious to -tli time
we had a trade school set up but during the early part of !he 1930'ts the
labor unions in.Pensaoola had the ~r station lose down the Apprentice
pro ra m duo to e cenoral une=ploymat~et situation at that timeP Gettian
Sb6c too the appxZen3tot e program that e started in 1938, only one man is
: ._ ;.: -- -,-, - -- . : . . .. . .-". . . ."-- "" - --
ieft -on 164 station he ha& two Tyewa military service pian his appren-
tioo tesS, also pr~ otions in t-h dopaetment.. He has over 40 year'
goveonmena t service and i Senior Supervi~or of the departeat. Hie neme
is Len X Oobb. His father woke in the old joiner shop dfurina World Wr I
mun contitmed to work Mntil he retired.
All the other- men that started the apLsentico classes in 1938 e=r
all ando stpezrvisoxn and all of tema have retire as oT now*
Mr. Holley oet up conferences fo:r supervisors, inspector3 aun
ins=tretor training lcanecs fEor meahsnis serving as shop instrL tors
in the O&R shop. 2Ais ~Mr. Holley that was such a big help training
during the warz also made up special trnizg materials for -te ehopo.
le joined the Navy and hiD ability wan coon rooopizod by the Navy
Depoartnt. He wee sent to TWa&iinton to takO over Iall the ivilian
traini in 420e Mary

W6rol4 War II

Hot too long eao I received a letter fom this Commander Charles
Trolley, U8i/~3 anP i he was going over some of our exp-erieaoe we had
in Pensaoola before ana during World War II in reference to the Pensacola
2rado School and the needs of training at the NIaval Air Station. I will
only quote one pax arej of tbhi letter.

Regarding the manning of Corpug hria~ti aud Jaekwsonville,
you m7Cn recall that with your counsel and strong support,
most of 1the shop trades were taalysed (broken down into
blocks and jobs) and organized into training guide for
shop stainingg. Many of thco te trade and job an lyses were
aen to oier aSaX stations aen naval eotablishments at the__
aoeuBi of 1e sp ato ,te avy, ihes_ material.
were of help to orpu agnd tax in their nditial stages of
development. I ive you nuich credit for getting this whole
job done. You xha a mnaor hmA in it. Also all of our
suporvisozy conference reports were widely distributed
among all naval establishments.
Itts been a lonag time, 5 yerra more or less, since this Commander
Holley was in dhoage and he did create a lot of good training foars that
we used san I had copies of all of tbhm and I turaea them over t tohe
Pensaoola Historioal Sooietr 2lMceum for their uae. I hope some day
they have a use for them. I didn't wet to turn them over to the Navy
museum at the Naval Air Station becanae that's something that pertains
to civilians and that is NO2 a civilian organization, itto strictly

Wo"ld War II #4

I believe, I'm not sure but I believe and I think this is some-
thing that happened before I came to Pensaoola. I believe the first
aviator that was killed was named Murray and they nnied Murray Boulevard
on the reservation after that Murray. Now you might think it was funny
that the Navy Boulevard from Garden Street to Warrington was named
Murray Boulevard and it was. It was named after the Commanding

World War II #3

Officer we had at the station at that time. Now I won't say that

that was politics, far be it from me to mention politics when it

comes to the Navy but I will say that it was named after this "dmiral

Murray. Now there were other officers that came along after Murray

that probably didn't like .:dm. Murray. I don't know this, I can't

prove it, I'm not going to attempt to prove it but I think, I'm only

thinking now, that some of these officers that came later, now remember

we had a mayor for ten years by the name of Mason and I think that

Murray Boulevard was changed during the lifetime of Admiral Mason.

I'm not sure, I don't intend to prove anything but it's what it should

be, it's Navy Boulevard and it has the right name.

You -know' we havethis plac-e- ver" here -ca lled Navy Point.-Navyi~-

Point was created about when the Naval Air Station started World War

II activities. Now understand we started World War II activities

before World War II started. In other words, we started about 1940

and they started building Navy Point. While they were building Navy

Point they built a lot of houses on Corry Field Road and quite a few

other little settlements were made around town. People bought those

houses up and some of them bought them very cheap. There was a board

set up that looked into the rent situation, or in other words, how

much rent were we paying. I have a few rented houses and I was

involved. I had forms that I had to fill out and I had to change

the rent on some of my houses due to my tenant's objecting. You

could get some tenants in your house that you didn't like and you

couldn't get rid of them and I also did that.

To be honest with you as far as the real estate is concerned,

nobody in this general area was sure of just what was going to happen.

World War II #4

Houses were being built, people had put down deposits on houses that

were half finished and people were trying to fill houses and we didn't

know in Pensacola but what we might have quite a depression. We did

have one after World War I but there were very few people around

here that remembered it but I was here. It didn't affect me any

but it did affect a lot of people. This bugaboo of a depression

that we might have expected failed to materialize and instead of that

business started booming. There were quite a few people laid off at

the Naval Air Station. You see at one time during the war orders were

issued by the Bureau that in the shops where civilians and enlisted

men were working, the civilian supervisors were in charge but they

had officers over them and I'll tell you it made a hell of a job

somet'imes.- You didn't know whether you were coming or going. You

were trying to make the military men do the work and the officers

were trying to keep the military men from doing the work. Anyhow,

the Bureau put out an order that the civilians were in charge of

the work in the shops and all the military were suppose to do was

to see that the work was done butthe civilians were responsible for

having it done.

Somewhere in these records I think you have where I was on the

Board of the Vocational Training School. That is, I was on the State

Board. I was appointed by Colin English, he was Superintendent of

Public Instruction of the State of Florida. I went to Jacksonville

to a meeting one time and the day before going to Jacksonville there

was a whole new order put out by our department. I tried, getting

back a little further, I tried for about two or three weeks to get

World War II #5

a certain officer to order material. Now we were hiring men by the

hundreds and this fellow, he didn't trust anybody. He was a lieutenant

and every night he would take home these papers where we7-were making

application for tools. I'm not sure but I think we called that Form

16. Well at night he went home with a bundle under his arm. He

looked like a newsboy carrying newspapers. He would take them home

and bring them back in the morning and he.would never release any

material. After two weeks I went to the head of the department. Now

this head of the department, that is the O&R officer, he was production

superintendent down at my office. He had a desk alongside of me for

about a year and a half, we were good friends. Well I went up to

him and I told him that if this lieutenant didn't get off his butt

and start ordering some of this material we wanted around here we were

going to have a thousand men or so standing around doing nothing. Well

he held a meeting of all his officers. Now at that time I think they

had about 40, 40 officers in the department. Most of them were right

out of college, they had never seen an aviation station in their life.

They were the bosses over the civilians' bosses. Well anyhow they

held this meeting and they decided that they didn't want me to super-

vise the civilians, they wanted the officers to supervise the civilians.

So this officer, the O&R officer, in order to keep peace in the family

made me Plant Superintendent. He said, Forster I'm going to give you

one million dollars, I want you to buy tools for the shop. He says

that pile of stuff that this lieutenant has been carrying around with

him, I-want you to take it and I want you to spend the money. Get the

tools that you need, he doesn't know anything about the place. He said

I found that out. So I took over the job of Plant Superintendent.

World War II #6

I made a trip the next day to a meeting of this School Board,

a State meeting. We were holding it in Jacksonville. There were

two men from Atlanta that ran a hardware store in Atlanta and they

were trying to sell the State of Florida some machine tools. They

weren't having very much luck. So I said to the fellows, one of the

fellows, I said listen, you're just the man I'm looking for. I said

I need you in Pensacola. I said I've just been put in charge of a

department to buy tools for the Naval Mir Station. We're hiring men

by the hundredsand we can't get any tools. He said fine, I'll be

glad to come.' I said but listen before you come I want you to do

something for me. I said two weeks ago in Pensacola I went to all

the hardwarestorea-andl_-obiigatedeverypiece _ofhose and air gun

and electric tool that I could find. I told them that I would be

after them right away, just hold them. They seemed to have plenty.

But I went back there the other day to let them know that they could

start bringing them down and they all told me that somebody came over

from Mobile and got it all, the Mobile .ir Station over there. So

the material is not there so what I want you to do is to go get in

touch with your people in Atlanta and make arrangements to hold every

air gun you can get your hands on, every air tool and every piece of

air hose that you can find in Atlanta or anywhere around Atlanta.

Cancel the orders and get ready to send it to Pensacola. Then I want

you to meet me in Pensacola Monday morning. I said you come to

Pensacola. I said for goodness sake don't tell them I sent you, just

come to sell the Government some tools. You have to go up to see the

Commandant. The Commandant will send you over to my boss. My boss

World War II #7

will probably send for me and introduce me to you and then I'll have

charge of you from then on. I said I have one million dollars to

spend. They said, we'll be there! So Monday morning a fellow came

from the office to my office, that was the plant office, and said

there were two men in the office the boss wants you to see. I knew

who they were because I had seen them going in there. I. went in there,

my boss introduced me to them and we became friends right away. I

took them over, took them into my office and in my office I picked

out one man and had him set up an organization to look over all of

these old forms that we had that were made out, these Form 16's, to

see how many duplicates we had and to see just what we had to buy.

A pile under a man's arm wasn't.worth anything, you had to have them

laid out on the table to see what you've got. So finally we got in

the office and I introduced these two men to a mechanical engineer

that had been on the job a long time, an electrical engineer that

had been on the job a long time and an officer that had just come

into the department but he was a mechanical engineer by trade. We

started talking. Before the day was up we had all of the rubber hose

and all of the tools that they could find in Atlanta all being shipped

to Pensacola. In addition to that we bought 16 16" lathes that cost

$16,000 apiece. Now figure that out. Then we-bought two 18" lathes

that cost about $20,000 apiece. These men stayed around about two

weeks and we were six months getting all the material in that we ordered

but it didn't hurt those two fellows to come to Pensacola when I

suggested that they come here. Now these lathes that we bought were

called Monarch lathes; they were the best lathe that you can buy for


World War II #8

There is another thing that we had to deal with down there every

year and that was the war bonds. It became my job being I was the

senior civilian, regardless of what job I was holding temporarily,

I was still the senior civilian and I was in charge of the war bonds

for the O&R Department. Of course I've got lots of nice letters on

my record showing where I did a good job but I'll tell you one thing

about it, buying war bonds or at least selling war bonds is not an

easy job.

We have always had a few women working down there. We had women

in our fabric-shop, that is the women who put fabric on airplane wings.

You don't do too much of that now and I don't know what these women

or the people whotook their place are doing. But in the old days

there was a lot of fabric on an airplane and the women did it and

they did a good job.

Pt the Pensacola Trade School they set up classes to train women

how to do machine work. Of course, they were getting hurt every once

in awhile, women's fingers don't last very long around machinery.

I found that out. Anyhow it got down to where we put a lot of women

in our instrument shop and you get more arguments and trouble out of

a dozen women than you get out of a hundred men. Women never seem

to want to get along. They're always fighting and I don't know why

they're that way but at the Naval Air Station we were always having

trouble with women. I used to handle all the grievance: procedures

for the department; that was something that was not to be sneezed at,

it was quite a job. I'll tell you, the couple of hundred women that

we had down there as compared to the thousands of men, we had more

World War II

grievances on the part of the women than we had on the part of the

men. If I had my way and if I was running a shop, of course it will

never happen now with eoual rights, but if I was running a shop, I

wouldn't have a damn woman around the place.

There is something I forgot to tell you and that is in the early

part of the war we started hiring a lot of people. That is in the

records but in hiring these people, before we started hiring we had

roughly about 600 civilian employees on the station. Now we had

Building 604 and that building was suppose to be able to hold all the

employees of the O&R Department. The Navy didn't expect to give us

any more thanenoughi en to hold in that building. Six hundred was

the-limit, we-shouldn't- ask for -any more. Now I may be going-'back--

a-little bit before 1940, I might be going back to 1936 but I could

look over my records and I could find the letter, I don't know just

where I could find it, but I know I have it. I have a lot of that

stuff put away. If it becomes necessary to find it, I could look for

it. Now we were going on with 600 and 800 men and then we probably

got in a thousand of them and along came an order for us to ehang-e

200 of our best men to Corpus Christi and 200 of our best men to

Jacksonville. They brought officers here and these officers were

put in charge of Corpus Christi and Jacksonville and they were told

to hand pick the men they wanted out of our shops to set up good

organizations in both Corpus Christi and Jacksonville. Now each one

of these officers stayed around the shops for two or three weeks,

morecor less, just looking the place over and when they spotted men

that they thought that they wanted and could talk to supervisors

into going to Corpus Christi or Jacksonville, well they started getting

World War II I10

up a list of men that would go. Now there was no use sending anybody

to Jacksonville or Corpus Christi that didn't want to go to Corpus

Christi or Jacksonville. If you did that you would be wasting your

time because when it came time to go, the man would say no, I don't

want to go. So they had to get men that would go. Well as we were

hiring men and a lot of these old men we had in the shop, I don't

mean old by age but men who had been around a few years that saw a

good chance to become a supervisor in some other station, they didn't

have much of a chance here they thought so I lost out of the 0&R

Department, or lets put it a different way, I didn't lose, the O&R

Department lost about 400 of the best men, the most qualijfied-men-

we had in the department. _Now when you figure we started with600

and we let 400 of the best men go, just figure what we had left.

Well I-had to start, you might say from scratch and build up an

organization that could overhaul airplanes. That is the reason we

had so- much use for this training program that we had. We had to

put a very heavy training program on and this Lt. Holly that we speak

of, he did us a wonderful job. He did such a good job that the Navy

Department recognized it and they grabbed him up and they took him

to Washington. I guess that will give you a pretty good idea about

the type of men we had to contend with originally. We had roughly,

when the war started, about 250 permanent employees, the rest of them

were temporary or in other words they were subject to being laid off.

Now there is one thing I want to tell you about in particular.

This doesn't have anything to do with the war. In 1918 there was a

colored boy by the name of Walter Blount, he was 18 years old and we

World War II ;11

had about five old colored men. They were helpers and these men

worked around here from way back during World War I until World

War II. They were never any more than helpers. Now arrangements

were made by the Trade School in Pensacola that the Trade School

would give a three months' course in instruction in mechanics and

send the people down to the Navy Yard and they would be hired as

mechanics. Well at that particular time I wasn't on the Labor Board.

I had been on the Labor Board for over 20 years but during the war I

was taken off the Labor Board. So I had nothing to do with it. Well

I figured if they could pick up any colored man in Pensacola with three

months experience at the Trade School and make a':mechanic out of him,

they could make-a-mechanic out of this fellow Walter Blount and these

other four or five men that I had. So I went to the Board and I saw

to the fact that they were all made mechanics. Now all the old fellows,

they got old enough to retire and they were gone but this young fellow

Blount during World War II was still working at the station. He was

made a mechanic about 1943, he was a permanent employee. Most of the

temporary employees, t4,ft _siflV. e as they were called, they

were discharged. But this permanent employee, he had a certain status.

I remember now he had service from 1918 until 1955. In 1955 his fore-

man, who is not with us anymore, he tried to discharge this colored

boy because he couldn't do the work. He said he is not a mechanic

and he never will be a mechanic. He went to the O&R officer, a captain,

and told the captain that he wanted to discharge him, that he wasn't

worth a damn, you couldn't get any work out of him. A girl that used

to be one of my stenographers when I was down in the shop earlier

World War II

happened to hear the conversation and she called me on the phone and

told me they were getting ready to fire this nigger Blount. I said

what's the matter, oh, he couldn't do the work. I said I'll be right

down. So I got down to the office, or outside of the office, they

were in the hall and there was the O&R officer, this foreman, two

leading men and Blount. Now when Blount saw me coming in he says

boss they are trying to fire me. He says they're getting ready to

fire me right now. I said the hell, they can't fire you. The captain

was right there and he happened to say to me, what do you mean Forster

they ca-n't fire him. He can't do the work. I said oh yes he can.

I said he has been doing a satisfactory job for the last, since 1943,

12 years. I said, and I can prove it to you. He said how can you

prove it. I said every supervisor gave him a good efficiency for 12

years., He had the right to think he was doing a good job if he got

that kind of efficiency mark. I said it's not the man's fault that

he can't do the work, it's management's fault. Man.ament should have

gotten rid of that man long ago if he couldn't do the work or they

should have trained him. The captain said to Blount, he says go on

back to work. He says stay here until you get ready to retire. He

says Forster, the boss, is right.

In the present days we call them Blacks. We did call them colored

but when I first came here they called them niggers. Well anyhow, I'm

going to talk about something like that. This was about 1922 or 1923,

something along about there. Now remember, I went to work in 1916

and I had been a supervisor practically all this time. This colored

man, or nigger as you might call him, he went to work away back there.

World War II #13

His name was Armstead Barnett. The records will show when he was

employed. Now he was employed, I think, as a helper,- he went in

the shop. We started putting on more men and as we could train

these helpers to become mechanics we trained them to become mechanics.

is we got rid of a helper, we would hire another helper when we made

mechanics out of the helper. Well this fellow Barnett finally got

down to where he had been the longest helper in the shop. He was a

better mechanic than a good many of the helpers that we made of the

white boys. He was a pretty good mechanic but for some unknown reason

I just passed him over, I don't know why but he was passed over. I

guess it was because it wasn't the custom and I guess we went by custom

in the old days. Well he came to me and he said, Mr. Forster can I

speak to you for a minute. I said certainly Barnett, say what you

have got to say. He said well it's going to take a little time. He

said I want to talk about myself. I said well go ahead and start in,

I said I'm willing to talk and listen to you. He said do you realize

that everyone of these helpers that were made mechanics came here

after I did and I've been working in the shop longer than a good many

of them. I said Barnett I'll tell you the truth, I never even saw

you. I said I don't know if it was the color or what it was but I

said, I never even saw you. I never even gave you consideration, but

I said, I'm sorry. I said, I'll tell you what I'll do, if you can go

around the shop and if you can pick four men that will vouch for your

ability to do the work that is being done around the shop, go over to

the Labor Board and get an application and four references, bring them

over here and let me see them. So he did that. He got the four men

World War II

to help him fill out the references. Some of these men came to me

and asked me my advice about him. I told them I didn't see any

reason why he couldn't be made a mechanic, he could do the work as

well as the others. But anyhow, he got four good references and I

said Barnett come in my office a minute. We went in the office and

we sat down and I didn't hold the pen in his hand but I told him

what to put on his application. There was no law saying I couldn't

help a man file an application. Anyway I helped him file his appli-

cation, he already had the four references. Being a member of the

Labor Board, I signed my name, my initial on the application and I

got him to.go down to see this Mr. Willy Hanson who was a foreman

and also a member of the Board. You get him to sign his name on it;

when Minson saw my name on it, he signed his. Then I had to go and

see my boss. My boss came over to the shop, one of the bosses that

is, the construction officer, he came over to the shop and I said

listen I've got a nigger in the shop and I want to make him a mechanic.

He said what make a nigger a mechanic. I said yes, why not. I said

he is doing the work, he's been doing the work for years. He's entitled

to mechanics wages if the other fellows are entitled to it. He said

I never heard of it before. He says I'll have to go up and see the

O&R officer. Well he went up to see the O&R officer but he didn't

go up alone, I went with him. The both of us got talking and the

O&R officer said I never heard of making a nigger a mechanic. He

says Forster's running the shop and if Forster wants him as a mechanic,

make him a mechanic. He says you'll be leaving here soon and so will

World War II

I and the man will be working for Forster so if he wants him let him

have him. So the papers were taken over the Labor Board and he was

given a non-competitive examination, that is what they called it,

and he was immediately made a mechanic. He was a joiner and he

stayed a joiner until he died.

I went to work for the Government May 15, 1916 and I retired

May 31, 1955 after serving as Master Mechanic for close to 36 years.

Two of the other years I was also a supervisor.

One day I happened to be going up to Building 45 while I was

at the Naval fir Station. That was the Headquarters and.in the

hallway they were holding some kind of a military mast. Now I don't

know much about the Navy, whether they call it a court martial or

what 'ut they had a group of sailors in a row, about five or six

of them. On the other side there were two officers and a chief petty

officer. The chief petty officer would read off something and then

the officer who was a commander would say what have you got to say

for yourself. Just as soon as the sailor went to open his mouth the

officer would say shut up, three days. I heard that once and I stood

there to see what would happen the second time and the something was

repeated exactly. Well after hearing it the second time I figured

I heard enough of it. I had one son in the Navy and after hearing

this officer talk to these enlisted men the way he did, I felt sorry

for my son. It was the first time I felt sorry for him about his

being in the Navy. Now I have another son who was fortunate enough

to had finished college and he went in the Navy and he was one of


World Var II l16

these "90-day wonders." I didn't know but what he would be in

charge of some of these enlisted men some day and my only thoughts

toward him were that if he talked to his enlisted men the way this

commander did, that some of his men would catch him in an alley

some night and beat the hell out of him. But that never happened.

Bldg. 604 Wiomen

I have a small story here about worldd War II and its recruit-

ment of women employees. I think it will be interesting as well as

informative so they'll know for future reference. I'm going to

make a story out of.it; it is, however, the truth.

During the war we were hiring people at the Naval 'ir Station,

that is the O&R Department; I believe at that time it was called the

assembly and Repair Department and we were hiring them just as fast

as we could. We were training them at the Pensacola Vocational School,

bth en and women... guess we hired )'ro:_bly. as many :as 5, )') eople.

Down at what was known as Building 604 there were probably 50 or 100

women, more or less but I believe more.--

The toilet facilities-down there for-women were very limited

because we only had one fabric shop and-had about a dozen women in

it, more or less. They had a nice clean toilet facility and they

kept it clean. These were the old navy yard employees. Well it got

down to where that place got crowded so bad with 50 or 100 more women

hired in that building. Conditions had to be changed. So on the

west side of Building 604 there was room to build a frame building

and they were able to put about, I think, 8 or 10 toilets in that

place and, of course,-being it was a women's toilet they put partitions

between each one. yThey had plenty of space in there and there were

doors on them. They were not painted white enamel, they were ,a-inted

with this regular white paint that they are using at the present time,

this quick-drying stuff. They were all painted up white and they

were in good condition. They opened them up for the women. I looked

Bldg. 6o4 Vomen

in it before it wa.is used, it was nice and clean and I thought it

was a pretty nice place for the women to have. It had mirrors, it

was fixed uo nice.

Of course, bein, a mn I had no occasion to ,o in that ?l..ce

*again a;nd in ,about three months, more or less, I don't remember,

but in about three months after the place was opened uo to the -'omen

it became time for the Commandant to hCve inspection. The other

officers, during ':"eir inspections, they -. u ~l eliminate that s

part of the inspection but being it was the Conimnd. not's ins ectLon

he was to go in there and see that place. So I was with the CiT

officer and wr e went in. Of course w-e had to have a woman go in

there and shoo all the other women out that were in there so we

could be in there alone and we went in there and looked the place

ovef.. I never knew in my lifetime that women as a class of people

could write the filth and the dirt that they wrote in that olace,

making the dirty, filthy pictures that they made in that olace. I

never thought it iras in a woman to do a thing like that; it was the

first time in ry lifetime I had ever seen a alace like that. :,r.s

shocked, actually shocked and here I was a man, T.y ui in life but

I had never seen it. The women ha -1: -.s -eat the toilets in good

shape at the aval i Station u t t'Ui t.Le but this :as P terrible

place. It seemed to shock the Commandant as well and I think a11

eyes were pointed to the Master M-chLnic. ilow if you could tell me

how the Master Mechanic could have avoided having a pslce fixed uo

like that was fixed up, I would like to know.

3ldg. 604 -.omen

However, somebody gave orders to have it all painted and

they painted it one coat of this navy war point as they call

it down there, this gray. The place was closed uo and painted

and then opened up for use again. after doing a lot of cleaning

in there the olace was again presentable only it was painted this

gray instead of white. Jell, it didn't take three months for it

to look as bad as it looked after the first three months. It

seems that with the gray paint on there with the white paint

under the gray you could take your fingernail, nail or a piece

of metal ani there was plenty of metal in the shop, and you

could do any kind of -riting or-picture -making that you wanted

to do on this partition, door, wall or any place around in this

room and actually in less than the three months the place looked

worse than it did after the first three months because the place

was darker but you could see all these white pictures and the

white writing and printing all over the place.

I've been in men's toilets, gone in those places all my life

but I've never seen a place as filthy and dirty as those women:

were keeping that place.

Now I'm going to tell you a story about it. I had a girl,

a chief clerk, she was my stenographer. She wasn't a chief clerk,

she was a stenographer but she had been there a long time. I

don't think there would be anything to gain by using the name so

for the story we won't use names, we'll use positions. She was

the Master Mechanics stenographer, she was one of three girls I

had in the office.

Bldg. 604 Women

Somebody came up to her and buzzed something in her ear and

she went outside and got to the telephone and called somebody on

the ohone. I found out later the one she called was the chief

clerk, a single woman in the department. 3oth these women were

single. They went down to the place but in the meantime they

called the dispensary .and a doctor and a navy nurse with a basket

came over. :The_ ll went in this Ilece about the sometime and I

saw them leaving. Now I don't know what they left with, nobody

ever told me that is at that time. But vyer or so later I

heard, and only indirectly, that somebody thought they would play

a joke on somebody, I don't know who. But somebody buzzed the

information to me that so-and-so, and I won't mention-any names

either, said that her husband gave her a skinned young rabbit to

take down there and out in one of the toilets in that room. The

alarm went out that some poor woman had a miscarriage and it was

in the toilet that's what happened down there. The doctor never

reported what he found, that is the information never came to me

but I did know that somebody's husband gave this woman this skinned

young rabbit to out down in the toilet and that is the story about

hirLing women, tiring them for three months and tnen giving them

mechanics wages. That's what we did at Pensacola. afterr three

months service at a training school learning a trade they went to

the naval station and they got mechanics wages and they were the

kind of women that did do a lot of this writing on the wall.

So there won't be any question about it, this happened to be

in a toilet building that was built on the west side of Building

604, the O&R Department or !&R Department at the Naval Air Station,

Pensacola, Florida.

Building 604 Women '5

I would like to make a further statement. I don't think that

every woman that we hired ,was good with a pen and could write

pictures or would write pictures. I think we had some mighty

fine women but what could they do. They were just hired like the

rest of them end if they said anything they would probably get

in trouble with some of those other women who could be trouble-


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