Letter from Margaret McCormick to John Mayhead, July 3, 1945


Letter from Margaret McCormick to John Mayhead, July 3, 1945


Letter from Margaret McCormick to John Mayhead about his return to New Zealand after being a POW, the disbanding of the WASP, and how she decided to join the Women's Army Corps (WAC) .


McCormick, Margaret E., 1908-1953




Materials may not be used without permission. For further information, please contact (940) 898-3751 or womenshistory@twu.edu


7 pgs.






MSS716_ Letter_19450703

Is Part Of

MSS 716c, Margaret McCormick Papers, 1943-1946.

Accrual Method



Mayhead, John

Rights Holder

Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University, P.O. Box 425528, Denton, TX 76204.


[Page 1]
Dear John:
Cannot begin to tell you how happy I was to receive the cablegram from you, and to learn you had been liberated.
I wrote you after, but had no way of learning whether or not you received my letters. Several of the last ones were returned.
You certainly had an exciting experience. Wish we could sit down and have a long chat. It must have been difficult to get back to normal existence.
Am so sorry to hear that D[?] and Eric are among the missing. Know you are proud of D[?]’s achievements. Do hope Quigg comes through OK.
Undoubtedly you were disappointed when you learned you would probably be demobilized on your arrival in N.Z., but everything happens for the best. I think you are a very lucky fellow. Can just

[Page 2]

Imagine how elated your mother is.
I received the beautiful Fleet air arm Wings. Thanks a million. You really do not know how much I treasure them. Shall wear them on my battle jacket. I still wear your gold navy wings. They are my good luck charm.
Many things have happened since I last saw you. Wrote as much as I could.
As you may know, the WASPs were disbanded Dec. 20th much to our sorrow. The reason for this was politics. All of the primary training programs in the States were discontinued. This threw several thousand civilian pilots out of jobs so they went to Washington and took drastic steps to have us “thrown’ out. They contended we were taking jobs away from then etc. These civilian pilots were offered commissions at the very beginning of the war, but they refused as they preferred (over)

[Page 3]
being civilian pilots working in the Army Air Forces. Most of them were draft dodgers. Anyway I had 31 months of wonderful flying for the AAF.
During our last six or seven months I flew the P-63, P-40, P-51, B-25, C-47, P-47, PBYs. Of course had a few AT6s and AT-19s thrown in and a number of trips in the C-64. Had a few co-pilot trips in the B-24.
After we were disbanded I went to Chicago for the holiday. My two sisters and Mother are now in Chicago so we had a grand time together during the holidays.
On January 2nd went to Jackson to stay with Dad for awhile. I was kinda restless. Just could not adjust myself to civilian life. It was too slow after the pace we kept in the ATC.
After visiting with Dad several weeks decided to go to New York and Lancaster, pa. for a while.
Had several flying jobs (over 2)

[Page 4]
offered me, but I dislike instructing
I finally got tired of being idle. My conscience was hurting too as I was doing nothing to help bring this horrible war to a successful completion. To make a long story short I decided to join the WAC. As yet have not become accustomed to being a private after being an officer. Will eventually be an officer in the WAC, but it takes time.
Am enclosing a clipping from Texacts. The story was also released by Public Relations to United Press. Had similar write-ups in newspapers. American Magazine is also running a story.
I sent you some pictures a long time ago. You will probably get them if they were not lost in the mail.
Am also enclosing a picture of ‘yours truly’ in my WASP uniform.

[Page 5]

Getting back to the WAC. Had my basic training at the 1st WAC Training Center, Des Moines, Iowa. Really rough. After basic was shipped here. Hope to leave this place soon, although it looks like I will be here several more weeks.
Wichita Falls is in the Panhandle section of Texas. It is really a “hell hole”. Nothing attractive about it. The climate is too hot now. The flies, ants and silver fish are driving me mad. They also eat my rayon stockings and underclothes. Wichita Falls is a dry town too. This doesn’t bother me though as I haven’t had a cocktail since entering the WAC. We can buy beer on the base though.
Cigarettes are rationed. We have a card which allows us 6 packages per weak.
There is a heliocopter school here. Have you ever seen one of the “egg beaters”?
I have a birthday Saturday. A friend of mine who is a Captain (over)

[Page 6]
with ATC is flying in. Hope I will be able to get off. At the present time am an M.P. (Military Police) on guard duty. I work 2[?] hours and get off 4 hours. Have been on guard duty for two weeks. I do get one day off a week. This is a 24 hour job, day in and day out. Will be so happy when I am relieved of this duty. There is one thing you can say about the army you never know what you are going to do.
Am also enclosing a snapshot of Mother and Coleman Richardson who is a friend of the family. The picture was taken in front of my sister Louise’s house in Chicago. Will send you some snaps in my WAC uniforms.
What are you planning on doing now? I haven’t any post war plans as yet. Perhaps I will do a little traveling. Assure you NZ will be my first stop.
Was hopeful that you would be able to get to the States before returning to NZ.

[Page 7]

Received a letter from Mrs. Fritz in Houston. She always asks about you. Wrote her that you had been liberated.
A number of the WASPs got married after we were disbanded. Some took instructing jobs. Several of us enlisted in the WAC.
It is so warm one feel[?] too lazy to even move. I have a hi[?] tan. By the time I leave here will probably look like an [?].
Write soon and let me know all about he your homecoming etc.
As ever,
P.S. Thanks again for the lovely wings.
In case you should lose the Sheppard Field address, I always get the mail sent to Jackson. Dad forwards everything to me.


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McCormick, Margaret E., 1908-1953, “Letter from Margaret McCormick to John Mayhead, July 3, 1945,” TWU Digital Exhibits, accessed May 18, 2024, http://exhibits.twu.edu/ex/items/show/194.