Aviators’ Families Transcript

Kay Atkinson: It was an honor to be married to a military person.

Dolores Peterson: I thought it was great. It was something he always wanted to do. He had told me that from the time he was a child he always had airplane models.

Patricia McGlinchy: Oh, he loved the Navy. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Yeah, loved it. Uh huh. And then went to flight school after the war ended.

June Hays: He got his wings, and we had a good time, till he was told he was leaving. So, it wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either.

Peterson: (sighs) Let me put it this way: we had our daughter, in February of ’67, late February, and then he shipped out in May for Vietnam. I wrote letters every day, sent him pictures of the baby. The only way he, you know, see what she was like her first year.

Atkinson: We would have wives’ meetings and get-togethers and play bridge together. And you just shared the same thing, the same apprehension.

Hays: I picked up the Abilene paper one morning, and on the front of it, it said “The Intrepid Hit by Kamikazes.” I had no inkling that they were anywhere near there. You know?

McGlinchy: They kept emphasizing that he is not dead. He is not, he is missing. And they are searching for him. I think I never did accept the fact that he was dead. I had this vision and this is crazy. I had a vision of a yellow rubber life raft with him in it, and that stayed with me. For a long time. And I think it took years gradually away.

Atkinson: It’s a hard life, and the wives . . . I don’t say, don’t get recognition, but they don’t.

Peterson: And the time, thankfully went by, and they made it back. And that was nice.

Hays: And it was hard for them to come back. Because they had changed, and we had changed.