Patricia Ruth Lippincott Hunsche
WAVES USN Yeoman 3rd Class February 1953-1957
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I was born near Blair NE on 16 July 1934 and lived on a farm my young life with my parents, an older sister and two brothers. I graduated from Blair High School in 1951, attended Dana College for a year then worked at t Dry Goods Warehouse as a PBX operator. My cousin Lyla Guyer was a WAVE and I always thought it sounded exciting. I received permission from my parents to join the Navy February 1953. Another recruit, Elizabeth Smith from Iowa and I took the train from Omaha to Baltimore MD where we went by bus to Bainbridge Recruit Training Camp. I was in Company 111 and was thrilled to be on the Drill Team. However, I caught the measles from another member and was hospitalized a week. When released I was given the choice of returning to the Drill Team and being set back a company but I decided I wanted to graduate with my friends. I then stayed at Bainbridge for Yeoman 'A' School in the Service School Command.
We graduated in July and several of our class was sent to Quarters 'K' Arlington VA. I worked at the Pentagon for the Office of Naval Intelligence beginning in the ONI File center checking Security Clearance records. Later I was transferred to the CNO Chart Room where daily briefings were held for High ranking Navy and Marine officers during the Korean Conflict. Our staff consisted of several Naval Officers a Marine officer, two or three sailors, two civilian draftsmen and me. I spent a lot of time walking the halls of the Pentagon delivering messages and making coffee runs, while in the office I did some typing and charting ships on the maps prepared by the Draftsmen. We had a teletype informing the officers of the latest news for their briefings. It was an exciting time in my life but after three years I was transferred to Service School Command USNTC San Diego CA. I really hated to leave the friends I had made in the D.C. area. I still have contact with a couple WAVES I was stationed with, also attended the WN Convention in Boston with my friend Theresa Normandin Burke of Leominster MA in 1996.
In San Diego I helped the Navy Recruits headed for the Missile System Program fill out the DD form 48 Personnel Security Questionnaires. Many of the young men were clueless as to their prior background. I enjoyed the beaches and sunshine of Sunny CA and after I was discharged in February 1957 I went to work for Convair Aeronautics which was s later merged into General Dynamics/Astronautics. I worked for GD/A until 1964 when I returned to Blair and married Warren 'Bud' Hunsche, had one daughter Terri and worked as a Drive-In Teller at Washington County Bank for 33 years retiring in 1996.
Since retirement I have become involved in the WAVES National Flatwater Unit #98 NE as Treasurer. I also belong to the Washington County Genealogy Society, doing research for other people as well as my own family and five years ago our county began to build a Veteran's Tribute Plaza here in Blair. I volunteered to be on the committee to make sure the women veterans were recognized. I have researched nearly 6,000 Veteran's names to be engraved on a granite wall and will be dedicated on Veteran's Day in November 2008. I have learned a lot of local history on this project and am thankful for my military experiences. Although my mother really did not like my joining the Navy, it is something I will never regret.
I took a tour to Washington D.C. in 1999 along with several from our WAVES group. When it came our turn to tour the Pentagon we were told they had 'met their quota' for the day. What a disappointment that was, but they did have a 'gift shop' something they never had in the 50's. I understand my office was destroyed on 911. I never could remember the CNO room number, although it was in the outside wing. I guess it was a Top Secret number in my mind so never had it written down. The Quarters 'K' Naval base is now a parking lot for a hotel. Now I understand the U.S.Air Force Memorial is located in that area off Columbia Pike in Arlington VA.
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