Turning Points and Transitions
“Washington just really about finished me up. I mean, I really was very, I don’t know whether it was homesick or just a feeling. It was really hard being there when you didn’t ever see anybody except all these people that you don’t know... I was miserable and my friends talked me into it cause I didn’t think there was any chance of me getting a transfer but they talked me into it. They said ‘you need to do that’ and I did apply... The night before I left, I was in my room and I heard all this screaming and I went down to see what it was and everyone was saying ‘Germany has surrendered, Germany has surrendered.’ It was pitch black outside but we went out in the pitch black and the newspaper had been printed and we didn’t know what we were grabbing but we were handing money and getting a paper and I did get a paper and I paid for it but it was really exciting. The only thing was that Germany had not actually signed a surrender. They didn’t sign it for two or three days later but somehow it had gotten to the news that they had surrendered.”
Editor's Note: Edith’s first posting as a WAVES officer was in Washington, D.C. with the Bureau of Ships. During her time in Washington, she witnessed several historic events including President Franklin Roosevelt’s fourth inauguration and his funeral procession only a few months later. After requesting a transfer, Edith relocated to the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida. In the quote above, she describes her last night in D.C. and the eruption of celebrations when newspapers prematurely reported that Germany had surrendered.