Feb. 15, 1946, Omaha World-Herald
G. I. Wives Overseas
Will Find Living Conditions Poor
United States News
(NOTE: I’ve added this column because so many foreign born wives did not go to the states but went with their G.I. husbands to places like Germany.)
Anxious wives and families of Armey men overseas now are besieging the War Department to find when and how they may join their men aboard. The men themselves are applying by the thousands for permission to have their families sent over. Both are finding that it is a long process and that accommodations still are far from ample.
Dependents of the 846 thousand officers and men who are to remain overseas after July 1 now are authorized to join their husbands and fathers abroad, traveling on Army transports at Federal expense. But when they may leave depends on where the service man is located, how long he has been there and when he plans to return.
Thus far, the only places prepared to receive these families are the Bahamas, the Panama Canal Zone, the Antilles, Brazil, Bermuda, Newfoundland, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Hawaii, and the Marianas. Not until April will housing and facilities be ready for dependents of soldiers in Europe and North Africa. And only after May 1 will families be permitted to go to the Philippines, Japan, Korea and the Ryukyus.
Officers’ Wives First
Priorities, even then, will delay the departure of most wives and children beyond these dates. First to go will be dependents of officers and men who agree to serve at least two more years overseas.
Living conditions for these families at posts overseas will vary widely, depending on where the soldier is stationed. But in general these conditions will be found:
Housing will be poor and largely improvised. The Army will not construct quarters for dependents in occupied areas, according to present plans.
United States civilians in Germany are furnished houses requisitioned by the local Germany governments. But neither system will overcome the serious housing shortage throughout Europe and the Pacific. Use of Quonset huts is being considered.
Food will be provided through Quartermaster Corps commissaries, when local produce cannot be bought in large enough quantities. All food will be rationed.
Medical care is to be provided free of charge to families of service men.
Clothing will not be sold to civilians by the Army at first, but it is expected that some purchases may be made through commissaries later.
No Schools Initially
Education of soldiers’ children overseas is not to be provided initially, but plans are being considered for United States schools to be set up in some areas next autumn.
Travel by families after they have arrived at overseas destinations will be difficult and in most cases impossible. This is due more to snarled transportation systems in Europe and the Pacific than to Armey regulations.
Cost of living abroad, in most cases, will be less than the cost of living in the country. Rations generally will be obtainable at rates the same of lower than retail prices at home. Entertainment will cost far less, as there will be less to do. USO entertainment and G.I. motion pictures are free. Liquor is to be tightly rationed and night clubs in most instances, have little to offer. Social life in general will be similar to that in Army posts in the States.
Shopping also will be limited because of the dearth of salable goods abroad.
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