FEBRUARY 16, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Sunday morning I attended the first anniversary ceremonies of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve. I stood with General Vandegrift outside of the chapel at Fort Myer while some 1400 girls marched smartly by, and I marvelled at their ability to stand the cold and look comfortable in spite of the fact that I heard murmurs of: "A palm tree on Guadalcanal would look quite pleasant today!"
The ceremonies in the riding hall were appropriate and all the speeches were very much to the point. These girls of the Marine Corps deserve a special commendation for having earned themselves a place among a group of men who were so proud of their organization that they did not want to admit anyone who might let them down. That is past history now and they know the girls are doing them credit.
After lunch, two servicemen from the Army Air Force Orchestra, Staff Sergeant Virgil Fox and Corporal Glen Darwin, gave us a wonderful half hour of music. Corporal Darwin has a fine voice, and though Sergeant Fox is an organist, he played the accompaniments on the piano in a delightful way. They go to Walter Reed Hospital every Wednesday, and I imagine that the hours they spend in the wards are hours of great pleasure to the wounded men.
In the afternoon I attended the memorial service for Raymond Clapper. The men who spoke paid him the highest tributes, but I hope the memorial which we were told is being set up in his memory by his friends, will be something living which can promote his ideals and standards of journalism.
After dinner Sunday night I went to the opening of the Labor Canteen under the auspices of the Washington Industrial Union Council. It was crowded with servicemen and the hostesses were very busy providing entertainment and refreshments. I think this will be a popular canteen, and I am sure that those who work there will find it very rewarding.
Colonel Oveta Hobby came to my press conference yesterday morning and she reminded me of an interesting branch of the service in which the WACs are being used, the Army Airways Communication System, which is a wing of the Army Air Forces. Colonel Farman, commanding officer of the AACS, from the beginning of the program has insisted that all WACs assigned to AACS be given the same training, the same opportunities, and the same jobs as men. Several WACs are actually serving regular shifts as control tower operators at domestic Army Air Bases, probably the most important and exacting duty at any airdrome.