September 30, 2010

Bergstrazer veteran of World War II Waves program

Bergstrazer veteran of World War II Waves program

By ALLAN TINKER
The WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services) was the first way for enlisted women to serve in the Navy. The licensed or registered nurses could serve as officers, while the other women were in the enlisted area, said Lucille Bergstrazer, who was one of the enlisted nursing personnel serving in California during World War II.
She enlisted in San Francisco, then entered the Waves from Stockton, CA, and received her boot camp training at Hunter College in Bronx, NY. She served from 1944 until August of 1946.
“We were counted up on our points, and those with the most got discharged first.” Her rank was “Pharmacist Mate Third Class,” and explains that means three slashes under the “bird.” She smiled again at the inside military joke.
She has never joined the American Legion Auxiliary, she said, because she was really a veteran,’ which she admits surprises some people. She also noted that her reason for joining the service was because she wanted to see the world and was tired of her job of clerical work.
 


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