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FLORENCE MARIE THIES (HOPFER) (BOBIAK)

USNR,YEOMAN 2/c

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I was born May 16, 1924 in Clifton, NJ. My mother, Irene, and my father, Emil Thies, had two other children. As a middle child and the only girl, I know I was spoiled and cared for very well. We moved to Somerville, NJ just before my high school years. I graduated from Somverville High School in 1941.

After my graduation from high school, I worked during the day for the Johns Manville Corporation as a secretary. I attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ in the evenings and although I attended only two years of evening sessions, I gained my beginning college credits.

My older brother, Emil, was a Chief Warrant Officer with the army with Eisenhower in England. My youngest brother, Edward, was a sailor on a destroyer -- so I also felt the need to be in the service of my country.

I enlisted in New York City on May 20th, 1944 - 4 days after my 20th birthday. I booted at Hunter College where I was a member of the singing platoon. I was sent to Oklahoma A&M College for Yeoman School. My first duty assignment was a yeoman at the Educational Office (personnel) at the Norfolk Naval Air Station, VA. I worked for the Commander and met many interesting people who had fascinating backgrounds. I also was the Commander=s baby sitter for his children when necessary.

After the war, my Commander opened an auto sales company in Virginia and asked me come and work for him, but I decided to go home to New Jersey and marry. The remainder of my service time was spent in Washington, D.C. (during cherry blossom time) Personnel Department. I was discharged in May of 1946.

I married a returning sailor who saw difficult days in the South Pacific theater of war. I had a 19-month old son and lost my husband in July 1949, three days later our daughter was born. I returned home to my family and went back to work. Two and a half years later I married Harry Bobiak. We had 3 boys together and enjoyed 42 years of married life before he passed on in 1995.

My service years were memorable as I met many good people, learned how to get along with the outside world as well as my small town folks.

I feel I added to the war effort by doing my job successfully while I was a WAVE.



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