[Annotator's Note: The screen starts out black.] Cyril de la Vergne was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on 12 December [Annotator's Note: she does not give the year]. She lived in Pennsylvania. Her father was a dentist who went to school in Philadelphia [Annotator's Note: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. She worked all of her life. She does not remember much about the Great Depression. She was in Gulfport [Annotator's Note: Gulfport, Mississippi] in a swimming pool when she heard the news of Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941] over the radio. Her father decided to come back to New Orleans. He died when he was 42. They had family here so that helped. She was married during Pearl Harbor. She joined the Marine Corps around Iwo Jima [Annotator's Note: Battle of Iwo Jima, Japan, 19 February to 26 March 1945]. She got divorced while in the Marine Corps. Her husband joined the Navy but that is all she knows. Her brother-in-law was a captain in the Marines and told her to join, so she did. She went to boot camp in North Carolina and then went to San Francisco [Annotator's Note: San Francisco, California], where she was stationed the whole time.
Boot camp was entirely foreign to Cyril de la Vergne. She had never seen so many dumb women in her life. They did not last. It was good physical conditioning. They did not train on any weapons. They also took classes and it was quite interesting. In the mornings, they picked up cigarettes on the beach. The men were separated but they were not too far away. They had some socials. They had movies almost every night. They were near San Francisco [Annotator's Note: San Francisco, California] too. She had asked to go to San Francisco as a secretary. Mare Island [Annotator's Note: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California] was beautiful. She had taken a train there. She enjoyed it and made some good friends. She had friends in California too from when she had lived in Pennsylvania as a child. She did not know anybody else. Nobody was married at the time. Her duties were just like office work; typing, filing, and interviewing service men. She had all captains and majors in charge. It was all very pleasant. The climate, the scenery, and the people all make it nice. She had regular office hours. They would go out and pay for their own lunch. The barracks did have three meals if they wanted to. The food was not bad. She wore a uniform. [Annotator’s Note: de la Vergne shows a picture of her in her uniform.] She wore makeup all the time. There were men around. She does not remember what she was paid. She had dates, she went to movies and dances. She had her own apartment in a boarding house off base with a friend from New York [Annotator's Note: New York, New York].
[Annotator's Note: Cyril de la Vergne was stationed at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California.] They did some discharging there. They also replaced a lot of the men there who were resentful of the transfer. The women got along fine. It was just like working in an office. There were men captains and a woman captain. They paid no attention to the woman. De la Vergne was a staff sergeant. Her family wanted her to be happy. Her brother-in-law was stationed in New Orleans [Annotator's Note: New Orleans, Louisiana]. There were rumors of the Japanese internment [Annotator's Note: Japanese-Americans]. The base was very secure. Every now and then they had an air raid drill. They would go to designated places to hide. They could get two-week furloughs [Annotator's Note: an authorized absence for a short period of time], which she did a couple of times. She picked up the same routines back home. She missed her friends. You make good friends in service like that. She has kept in touch with some of them.
Cyril de la Vergne was in the Marine Corps about for two and a half years. It was office work and did not change after the war. She met Walter Winchell and he took her out to dinner. They had a good time and went dancing at a hotel. He had a bodyguard who carried a bomb in his pocket in case Winchell was attacked. He was a fairly good dancer. She went out with him twice. When she lived in New York City [Annotator's Note: New York, New York], she went out with him a couple of times. He liked her but she did not like him too much. He was fun to go out with. She was discharged in California. She went home and then to New York. She always had a love affair with New York City. De la Vergne did not have a hard time adjusting to civilian life again. She did not miss it. She got a divorce in New York and then remarried. She has very pleasant memories. She made good friends and they were happy days. She has no complaints.
Cyril de la Vergne's second husband, Jacques, was in World War 2 in the Army. He taught flying afterwards. He had been in France during the war, but she did not know him then. He talked a lot about the war. He did not have bad dreams. He had a lot of French girlfriends and she heard a lot of wild stories about that. She does not think her service made it easier to talk. Some people talk about it, and some do not. [Annotator's Note: A person offscreen talks about Jacques being at Adolf Hitler's office. They then talk about it together. She has not heard the story being discussed.] De la Vergne only brought home memories. She still has her uniform. She might have thrown it out. She does not remember. She enjoyed what she was doing. It was a very pleasant war for her.
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