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FLYING THE ARMY WAY

“Zoot Suits”

Army issued flying gear: mechanics’ coveralls in men’s sizes only.

Seems like the shortest ones got the biggest. Rub- ber bands were at a premium, because you couldn’t buy them, and you either had to roll up or tie a string around your leg, or something, to keep them off the ground so you won’t stumble over them. But we had a lot of laughs over them. To wash them, we’d stand in the shower and take a shower and wash them at the same time.

Ruth Underwood Florey, 43-4

Trainees from class 44-7

The crotch was exactly at my ankles. The shoulder was exactly at my elbows. We boiled ‘em, didn’t help a bit.

Tex Brown Meachem, 43-7

They came in 3 sizes. Large, large and way too large.

Florence Shutsy Reynolds, 44-5

When we fi rst got to Sweetwater, there were still cadets there, which made it very interesting. Their barracks were right next door to our barracks, and there were no shades on the widow. And if you stood up at night in a state of undress, (whistle) came in through the window. So we had to learn to walk around—all crouched over like Groucho Marx. And the CO got wind of this and found out there were no shades on the windows—he had the windows painted black... Well, we had to open the windows to get some ventilation, so the problem never went away as long as cadets were there.

Marion Stegeman Hodgson, 43-5

We actually chipped ice from the bottom of the shower stall-- it was that cold!

Lee Warren Doerr, 44-5

Trainees Leonora Anderson & Micky Axton, 43-7

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