The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

JEAN - An English WWII War Bride Travels on the E.B.Alexander

I was an English war bride, I travelled from Southampton and the Tidworth disembarkation camp. I boarded the E.B Alexander in Southampton bound for New York in March 1946. The E.B Alexander had been confiscated from the Germans in WWI, it was military transport which had been used to previously bring home the US military.

I was given detailed instructions on the number of trunks (one) and it had to meet specifications, size, locks, straps etc (this was checked by the military members at Tidworth disembarkation camp). The instructions also included packing personal items, such as having small personal hygiene items, toothbrush, face cloths and creams, also suggestions on clothing etc.

There was information on the required shots (smallpox always required for re-entry to U.S) and related health information. Passport, visa requirements and copies of travel instructions as a military dependant.

I arrived in N.Y. then on to Virginia on 26th March 1946. In Lynchburg, Virginia the American Red Cross, the Junior League, Electric Company and the Gas Company each gave out separate and individual functions for the war brides of that community, of which there were 26 of us, from mostly Europe and some Australian. The organizations went out of their way to Welcome us newcomers and to introduce us to the U.S ways of cooking. Each of them had welcome parties for the brides, thus cookbooks were part of the welcome.

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