Stars and Stripes U.S. Bureau

NEW YORK, September 24, 1944—When Johnny comes marching home he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do about those pictures showing him kissing French girls in jeeps and atop tanks when he rolled into liberated Paris.

The girls back home were almost a happy as the French girls were to hear that gay Paree was free again—but at precisely that point the parallel stopped, according to a survey of Iowa girls made by the Des Moines Register and Tribune and reprinted in the Sept. 25 issue of Life, a special edition titled “A Letter to GIs.”

girls paris ww2

American soldiers are greeted warmly during the Liberation of Paris

Soldier’s sweethearts and wives in Iowa heard that the mademoiselles in Paris were so happy to be free that they kissed every GI they could reach, and that usually a large number of soldiers found themselves within reach. Most of the home girls are going to demand explanations, the paper said.

Some girls are afraid the kissing episodes won’t stop there. They don’t want all the American boys getting married in France. But one girl was very happy about the whole thing. “It could be that if two out of every three fellows over there were to marry French girls, my post-war problem would be solved,” she said.

Mrs. John Wallner, of Des Moines, vehemently disapproved the French girls’ enthusiasm. Her husband is in the merchant marine, and may be in France, but she warned: “He’d better not be in Paris.”

Nineteen-year-old Wilma Hawking, of Kingsley, whose boyfriend is in France, declared she “didn’t like what goes on on top of tanks,” while 18-year-old Janice Soller, who only knows that her soldier boy is somewhere in Europe, wanted to know: “When they kiss old guys like Ernie Pyle, what are they doing to do to the young ones?”

Virginia Chase has a boyfriend in France and was willing to look at things from the French gal’s point of view, but she couldn’t believe “that they kiss over there just like we shake hands—those are awfully big handshakes.”

“We girls are pretty broadminded about the whole thing,” Mrs. Caroll Spillers said. She added that whatever her husband did in France was “his own business, but what he does when he gets back is mine.”

For Related Articles See:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past and Present WWII History Posts