The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

9/25/1945 - Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, NV)


Australian War Brides Arrived


The world’s greatest floating baby carriage pulled into San Francisco today and discharged a gay but somewhat bewildered cargo of 545 Australian wives of American service men and their 220 small children.

This nursery special was 18,163 ton Lurline, once gleaming queen of Matson line luxury cruisers, now a grim, gray troop transport along whose crowded decks the wails and laughter of Australian-born American youngsters mingled incongruously with the talk of 2325 discharge-bound soldiers and sailors.

14-Day Trip

The 14 day voyage from Brisbane was so uneventful that none of the big-eyed Australian brides had much to say about it. As the big ship heeled over slightly in warping into her berth beside a flag-decked pier on which an army band tootled brassily, one bright blond girl exclaimed. “Coo, this is the roughest part of the trip.” And that about summed it up.

An impromptu but efficient nursery, set up by the ship’s chaplain, Navy Lt. L. M. (Mac) Kennedy of Spartanburg, S. C., won the praise of everybody. Without it few mothers would have gotten much to eat on the trip, for the jammed dining saloons were busy 10 hours a day.

Greatest accolade, however, went to a baker’s dozen of gluttons for punishment – a groupd of GI’s who voluntarily constituted themselves a “diaper detail” and spent their waking hours seeing the junior had an adequate supply of dry pants.

Some of these were among the lucky 18 men who accompanied their families’ home.

“It was just a lucky accident,” said Sgt. Joseph C. Whys of St. Charles, Mo., as he cuddled his 15 months old daughter Yvonne and smiled at his wife, Lorna, a Melbourne girl. Whys, a Philippines veteran of the 648th engineers, boarded the ship in Manila and met his wife as she came aboard at Brisbane.

Another who didn’t trust to luck was Yeoman 2/c Robert Latarte of Carrollton, Mich., who said his commanding officer arranged the trip for his Brisbane wife and 3 months old son as a reward for long service.

Reno Evening Gazette - Sept 22, 1945

650 Australian Brides Arrive

(AP) - The Liner Lurline, with 650 Australian war brides amone the 4000 passengers, will rech San Francisco Monday for Brisbane.

The Lurline is carrying 822 civilians. The rest of the passengers are miltary personnel.

Fifty or 60 of the Australian girls have babies with them.

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