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Camp Croft, South Carolina
US Army Infantry Replacement Training Center
sketches of notable Camp
Croft personnel appeared in the weekly camp newspaper, "The Spartan",
and occasionally in the Spartanburg Journal as well. By clicking
on the image you may bring up a larger version of the artwork that
accompanied these articles.
By T-Corp. Walter Wingerter
The distaff side is again represented in this column this
Miss Laura Ellen Abner of Camp Croft's service club doing the honors. A
native of Corbin, somewhere in the Kentucky hills, Laura now lives in
that "suburb" of Camp Croft - Spartanburg - at 164 North Converse
Street and shares a room with the Blackwell sisters, who've been seen
around these 'chere parts many times entertaining soldiers. Her
telephone number is .... (Ed note .... Wait'll we make use of it first.)
She's been working in the service club for about a year as chief
waitress and dining room hostess. She says she took the job because she
loves men, any kind, big ones, fat ones, little ones, officers, and the
kind who haven't any money. That's why she took a job in an army camp.
Where else could she find so many men in one place? She means the kind
who can stand on their own feet without a shot of adrenaline. One of
her favorite pastimes is playing with babies, preferably between the
ages of 25 and 60. Another one of her weaknesses is kissing bald heads.
She has a passion for collecting officers' insignia, and so far has
been successful in cornering every insignia except that of a full
colonel. Her main worry now is to find a colonel who'd be willing to
give her an eagle. (All colonels please note).
FALLS OFF MULES
Her hobbies are horseback riding and falling off mules. She
latter trick one day when someone dared her to ride a mule bareback,
but he mule was not very cooperative. The mule came to a sudden stop
and Laura continued merrily on her way over the mule's head.
She is perhaps best known in the character of "Daisy Mae", a
hillbilly character she impersonates while entertaining Crofters. We
don't know whether soldiers clamor for her act because they like it or
because they like her costume which includes a pair of very brief
shorts that improves the scenery considerably.
Laura's habits are very regular. She doesn't drink and she
smoke. When asked why, she told us she preferred not to go into that.
We wonder why.
(Editor's note: We note with the deepest regret, and too late, that
@?!;xlb artist double-crossed us by plastering our gal's telephone
number smack in the middle of the drawing. Well, nothing left for us to
do except call 54.)
and Betty-Jo Blackwell
By T-Corp. Walter
We're so original we slay us. Everybody
interviews people on
a time, but we do things the hard way. We take them on by the pair, and
who knows, before the war's over, we might wind up with a whole platoon
The two ornamental things that are decorating the above panel
Dorothy Blackwell of Spartanburg, age 17, and Betty Jo Blackwell, who
has seen all of 14 summers, and is a charming little heart-breaker in
the making. Dorothy is already a finished job. The two sisters are well
known to Croft GI's, having participated in the special service variety
shows in the various battalion rec halls ever since the activation of
the camp. Dorothy is a cut little dancer whose been tripping the light
fantastic for the past seven years. She tripped off the stage once,
too, but she escaped without any broken bones although her dignity was
a bit bruised.
GI's Are Sweet Things
She's been coming to Camp Croft on an average of four nights a
three years, and she thinks that the soldiers are just the sweetest
things in the world. Her idea of the ideal man is one who is
immaculately groomed. He doesn't have to be handsome, but he must be
sweet. (The press section is presently engaged in finding out just what
constitutes "being sweet".) Her boy friends must be very attentive to her
all evening. Not a hard thing to do either. Her hobby is dancing. She'd also
like to ride a horse, but that's something that doesn't work. The horse
invariably come back to the stable before she does. Her ambition is to get
Betty-Jo, despite her 14 years has been singing for 11 years
first appeared on the "Kiddie Club" broadcast at the age of three.
She's a good singer. She says so herself, and who are we to doubt a lady?
During the times she doesn't entertain Croft's dogfaces she croons the
tunes with the Louis Clayton orchestra in Spartanburg.
She assures us that she is very smart. Her likes insofar as men are
concerned are exactly the same as Dorothy's, the only difference is
that they must be older than 16. Her pet peeve is a very reasonable
one ... is she doesn't like work. She does help around the house ...
with a little urging by her mother. We suspect the urging takes the form of
a hair brush. The thing she hates worst of all is washing dishes ...
and that's something she has in common with all you sad sacks who get
stuck with KP. She just loves the outdoors, green grass, birds, fresh
air, etc. consequently she spends all her time at home listening to
Just like a woman.
By T-Corp. Walter Wingerter
This week's victim of the "Croft Sketches" ghouls is Miss Ruth
Bradley of Vernon Street, Spartanburg, telephone No. 3198. (O.K. boys,
we're always glad to oblige. The next beers will be on you). She's not
exactly in the army, but her eligibility for representation in this
column is based on the fact that she has been attending GI dances ever
since the service club opened for business back in 1941. She doesn't
know why she attends them either. Now we don't want to start anything,
but a possible reason is because she thinks these "damnyankees" can
show the boys South of the Mason-Dixon line a thing or two about
hopping the light fantastic.
Her opinion on the dancing abilities of
Northerners excludes those
Broadway hot-shots who imitate a nervous bat every time the band plays
anything faster than a waltz. She definitely does not like jitterbug
calisthenics. Pet hobbies are dancing, playing bridge, and collecting
phonograph records. The romantic South Carolina moon gets her, too.
Secret ambition is to be a private secretary and sit on her boss's knee
provided the boss is as cute as the one she's got now. Her idea of a
man is one who's tall, manly, and has curly hair. She doesn't intend to
get married until after the war's over. When she settles down with her
husband, she would like to have three children. If it turns out to be
more, well ...
We don't want to commit ourselves as far as to say she
a regular habit of it, but we did spot her smoking a pipe like a
veteran in the service club one night. To get back to her likes and
dislikes in the field of men, she emphatically states she favors white
men. The kind who wear shoes.
By T-Corp. Walter Wingerter
When we call Miss Hester A. Brown "GI", we
believe she is fully
entitled to the term even though she does not belong to the Army. She
has been at Croft longer than most dogfaces stationed here, having
first come to the "rezavashun" two years ago.
A little trick from Gaffney, "Bub" Brown is employed by Camp
headquarters. How she got the nickname "Bub" is another one of those
universal mysteries, unless it's because she's always bubbling over
with a lot of energy like a kitten who has just discovered the
fascination of a ball of yarn. All that pep of hers is a little
embarrassing in the AM when we drag our dissipated carcass into the
office and watch her buzzing around like a freshly charged storage
"Bub" Brown just about touches the five foot two mark, is single, not
bad to looks at, and can be reached by calling telephone 455, Gaffney,
anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. She tells us that she hasn't got a steady
boy-friend. That's a poor reflection in the sad-apples around this neck
of the woods. What are they waiting for?
"BUB LIKES SOLDIERS just
a little better than civilians, possibly
because everybody under the age of 40 is a soldier. The glamour of the
uniform, however, is secondary. She's interested in the thing that
fills out a uniform. Her ideal man is one not too tall; is
distinguished looking; must have enough money to get along on, and must
not be fat. She was very emphatic on that last point. We assume he must
also be able to make love.
Her most embarrassing moment was the time she was at the beach
recalcitrant bra which was part of one of those two piece bathing
briefs that make the beach scenes interesting. It seems all those
intriguing little ribbons that are supposed to hold things up suddenly
didn't. Anyway, the bra took a swan-dive to the sand, where is
definitely didn't do "Bub" any good. A bath towel saved the situation
somewhat, and Brownie made her way back to the "cabana" wearing a
slightly mauve complexion.
By T-Corp. Walter Wingerter
THE NEXT TIME you put in your long distance
call home and find that you've completed your basic training before
your call goes through, this woman is the one who is partly
responsible for the SNAFU'd detail. She is Sybil Humpreville,
Camp Croft's telephone hostess in the service club No. 1.
That bright smile that shines out at one from
behind the switchboard was imported to Spartanburg from Asheville,
which is directly opposite to the way the soldier travels, to
Asheville from Spartanburg. Sybil's been giving out wrong
numbers at Croft for the past two years. She likes her job
too. She worked with a bunch of women before , but she is very
emphatic when she says that she'll take men any day. Well, why
not? She's a gal, isn't she? Her love life is a very settled
one. She decided not to fall in love with any mop slingers
here at Croft because her husband may object to it.
Her happy is playing pocket billiards with her
husband. She shows a sharp sense of originality when she
nudges the ivory spheres with the cue stick. She plays the darn game
on the floor. Anyway, that's where the billiard balls usually
It seems that all Southern women ride
horses without staying in the saddle a hell of a long time.
But Sybil is even original when it comes to falling off horses. She
was riding along merrily one day and didn't see a wire strung across
the road. The wire was just high enough for the old grey mare
to amble past. Sybil's moveable body came into contact with
the immovable wire and she did a three point landing that would have
been the envy of any aviator had he seen it.
Her ambition has been achieved. She
married her husband. She didn't tell us how hard a job it had
been to finally land him, but that's neither here nor there.
She doesn't dance. She thinks its much nicer to put her arms
around her husband while sitting on the sofa without a band blaring
in her ears.
We've tried to convince some women of that
same thing before, but we usually wound up with snake-eyes on the
|2LT Mary H. Little
By T-Corp. Walter Wingerter
The future calling of Second Lieut. Mary H. Little, a
nurse in Croft's station hospital, was graphically foretold years
ago when, as a little tot, she had a passionate desire to nurse the
stubbed toes of her boy playmates. She wasn't interested in
nursing the girls ... they had to shift for themselves. They
shouldn't have been so awkward in the first place. As the
wheels of fortune had it, Miss Little is still nursing the boys,
only this time they a little bigger.
A native of Pacolet, S. C., Miss Little graduated from the
Spartanburg General hospital in 1933, and after several years of
private nursing duties, she came to Croft as a civilian nurse in May
and served to June of 1941. Then in March, 1942 she was
commissioned and pinned on the gold bars of a second lieutenant.
A very charming lieutenant ... take it from hundreds of GI
"sadapples" who found themselves hospitalized in her ward during the
year and a quarter of her assignment here.
Wrestling around with a lot of 160 pounders
who insist on cutting off fingertips with bread-slicing machines
needs plenty of stamina, and Miss Little gets it by doing
calisthenics every morning at 5:15 a.m. when most of Croft's
dog-faces turn over to get a few more winks of sleep. And to
help limber up muscles, she and her fellow nurses do close order
drill twice a week in June. Although she doesn't intend to
remain in the army after the war, she wouldn't think of quitting
now, felling that she can do most good for her country by remaining
an army nurse for the duration.
Miss Little likes to go horseback riding and
swimming, although the last sport almost cost her life when she was
on the verge of drowning at Rainbow lake near Spartanburg. The
handsome lifeguard might have had something to do with it, but Miss
Little assures us that she was thrown off some spinning gadget in
the middle of the lake and was stunned.
On her personal life, she was about
as eloquent as an undertakers assistance. She'd only commit
herself so far as to say that a girl in the service should not get
married until after the war. She also likes to go dancing and
attend the movies. The most adroit questioning of this
department could not unveil the fact whether she likes to go to the
movies alone or not. Her secret ambition is to enjoy a nice
quiet life with a swimming pool .. and with these South Carolina
summers, so would we.
THE NEXT TIME you find yourself entirely ignored in
the Sixth regiment PX with your tongue trailing on the counter for
that soda you asked for a half hour ago, its quite possible that the
gal who looks through you as if you weren't there will be Evelyn
Sanders of Jonesville, S.C.
Evelyn is sweet and doubles in brass
between her PX job and her high school study. She's been
filling Coca Cola glasses three quarters full of ice for the past eight months at Croft PX's.
After she graduates from H.S., she intends to attend a business
college so she can learn to take shorthand at 100 words a minute,
and then drive her boss nuts when she can't decipher her own hash
marks ten minutes later.
_________ sure us, however, that she'll
take a brown-eyed Adonis too. Her heart is color blind.
She definitely favors soldiers, and she has a favorite son of Uncle
Sam right here in camp. He's a second lieutenant in the 35th
battalion. Evelyn says it isn't that serious, but she secretly
wishes that it was.
HER SECRET AMBITION sort of reverses an
old, established rule. Ninety per cent of the male species
would like to go to Hawaii and watch scantily clad damsels doing the
hula. Well, Evelyn also would like to go to Hawaii and see a
lot of handsome native men do the same thing, and she'd prefer to
have them dressed in brief loin clothes.
Her most embarrassing
moment was when she opened a bottle of milk. She used the good
old tap and poke method, and the cover went into the bottle kind of
suddenly causing a tidal splash all over a poor GI waiting to be
We'll bet a dollar to a do-nut the dogface who took
that milk bath wore his last clean uniform, with the laundry not due
for another four days.