Since Some English girls say that the American soldier brags too much about himself and his country, YANK’s photographer Sgt. Steve Derry asked some WACS in England this question:

“What do you do when a GI starts telling you what a hot-shot he was back home?”

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S/Sgt. Florence A. Irvin, a mess sergeant, is from Los Angeles, Calif. She answered by saying: “They don’t brag much. The only reason they brag to the English is to get rid of a complex. I find most of them shy and a little backward. Maybe it’s because we all come from the same place.”

wwii wac

Pvt. Mary A. Harrison is from Concord, N.H., and is 23 years old. She thinks that “everyone who comes from America has the right to brag. I do sometimes myself. If a GI starts bragging, I give it right back to him. It usually ends with him silent and me still talking.” Mary has been “too busy” to meet English soldiers but she thinks England’s fine.

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PFC. Shirley E. Emhoff, 22 years old from Detroit, Mich., had this to say: “I don’t think the Yanks brag too much. I haven’t any certain rule for dealing with them when they do. It depends upon what kind of a soldier you’re with and whether he thinks he can get away with all that stuff or not. If they make too much noise, I’m ready to tell them off.”

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PFC. MARTHA K. CAVINESS, of Bethany, Okla., is 22 and has been in the WAC for nearly a year as a typist. “I just ignore the GI when he starts bragging,” she said, “but I find they don’t brag very often with me” She likes English soldiers, too. Doing a little bragging herself by singing cowboy songs, she made a big hit with one English audience.

wwii wac

PFC. MARJORIE E. SNOOK is from West Englewood, N.J. She answered: “When a GI starts giving me that great-guy stuff, I tell him to lay off it because I come from the same place he does and there’s no reason to blow off to me. As for his manners–well, good manners are optional to me.”

wwii wac

PFC. MARY F. HOLT is from Atlanta, Ga., and she has been in the WAC for about nine months as a cook. “Not much bragging with me,” she said.” I reckon I’m not the type they want to brag to. It usually ends up with them listening to me talk and then taking out pictures of their old girl friends and showing them around.” She likes England, but it’s not Atlanta.

For More on the WAC in WWII Check Out:

Mollie’s War: The Letters of a World War II WAC in Europe

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