The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Feb. 11, 1946, Omaha World-Herald

‘Here comes the Brides’
Greeting to Liner

Compiled from Press and Cable Dispatches
[picture of ship with brides] caption: British war brides of American service … wave from the decks of the liner Queen Mary as the vessel docks at New York. –
AP Wirephoto
One of the greatest overseas journeys of women and children in history ended Sunday.

The giant Queen Mary docked at New York with 1,666 wives of American service men and their 668 children.

Her rails were crowded with girls, many carrying children and braving biting cold for their first glimpse of America, the Associated Press reported.

The ship was met by an Army Transportation Corps vessel aboard which a band played “Roll Out the Barrel” and “Here Comes the Bride.”

As the last notes of the traditional wedding air faded, a woman’s voice from the small craft called:

“Welcome to America, girls”

That drew a great cheer from the women aboard.

As the Statue of Liberty loomed larger in the wintry haze, a group of girls, straining far over the rail to see her, murmured in a moving chorus:

“We’ve waited a long time to see her.”

Two girls were leaning on the rail when the ship’s horn blew three deep-throated blasts of welcome.

“This don’t make me homesick, not arf” said one in a cockney accent. “That thing’s noise only reminds me of the factory.”

Representative Sol Bloom (Dem. N.Y.), who returned on the ship with the brides said, “They were just lovely. I just wish I were 20 years younger, I’d go after them myself.”

Only one question troubled her, Mrs. Violet Adam, wife of former Corp. Loren Adam of Fairmont, W. Va., told the United Press.

“Do American women hold it against us for marrying their men?” she asked.

The Queen Mary was the second ship to bring a large contingent of service men’s brides to America. The Argentina arrived last Monday with 458 brides and 175 children, the AP pointed out.

There was a lone “GI husband” aboard -- a British naval office coming to join the WAC he wed in England. He is Lieut. Commdr. Robert Burrows, husband of former Sgt. Nancy Naylord Dennis of Bennington, Vt. The UP reported.

One enthusiastic wife waved a picture of her husband, the features indistinguishable from the distant dock, and yelled, “Is he here?”

How do you think you’ll get along with Americans? A reporter called up to the cheering women as the Queen Mary tied up.

“Oh, Americans are wonderful,” came the answer, almost in chorus.

Debarkation will continue through Monday. Husbands and in-laws of five hundred of the women and children waited impatiently at the Seventh Regiment Armory, which the Red Cross was operation as a welcoming center for those who were met in New York.

The six-day voyage had been a rough one, and many of the women and children had been miserable as only a seasick person can be. But that was forgotten Sunday.

Jubilantly they pressed against the rail and tossed coins to Army personnel and reporters on the pier.

According to the AP, the American liner Vulcania and Bridgeport sailed Sunday from Southampton, England with 1, 123 soldier’s brides and babies for the United States. About 20 thousand wives and children still await transportation.

[ picture ] caption: En route to new homes in the United Stated are … (left to right and their new address) Mrs. Joyce R. Cassler, Columbus, O.; Mrs. Joy Yeggy, Ohio; Mrs. Ann B. Karesh, Charleston, S.C.; Mrs. Mary Karow, DeForest, Wis., Mrs. Karow’s husband was killed in an accident in Australia. She will visit his parents. – AP Wirephoto.

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