The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Ellis Island Interviews

by Peter Morton Goan

p. 31 – Mr. Gallo - “Same thing held true with the war brides. We had a big influx of war brides after 1947 to maybe 1950. While the GIs were in Europe, they married everything and everyone. The British, French, Italian, everyone. And these girls used that as a way to get into the country, because that was the fatest way to get into the country, because you didn’t have a quota. You were the bride of a GI.

I was in charge of the project, and I use to handle all their papers. And they used to come in, we used to hold them here until the GI would call and say, “Mr. Gallo, you got Mrs. So-and-so?” And I’d look at my file, and I’d say, “Yeah, she’s here. She’s waiting to be picked up.” They come out to Ellis Island, they’d have to identify themselves as GI, the husband on the marriage certificate, and take them home, these beautiful girls. I mean, these were outrageously beautiful girls. All different types. And they married some bum. [Laughs.] And I used to talk to these girls and say, “You know, by law you’re supposed to live with this GI.” I think at that time it was mandatory that they had to live with the GI for at least a year. And then they scat. They leave. But that was the fastest way to get here. Nine out of ten brides ended up on Ellis Island, just to be processed and to be picked up by the groom. “

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