Montana War Brides Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s Montana War Brides Oral History Project. This oral history project focused on the experiences of twenty women who came to Montana as the result of marriage to a U.S. soldier during World War II or the Korean War. Interviewees recall life in their home countries, including Australia, England, France, Germany, Korea, Poland, and Wales, and the adjustments that they had to make when they became Montanans. The interviews were conducted between 2001 and 2003. The interviewer was Professor Seena Kohl, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Webster University in Saint Louis. Dr. Kohl conducted the interviews as a volunteer for the Montana Historical Society, supported with staff development funds from Webster University and a gift from the Friends of the Montana Historical Society. Where possible, audio format is noted. The collection is divided between oral histories that have been transcribed and those that have not. Where possible, length of typed transcription is noted.

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Transcribed:

Beatrice “Pete” Berringer interview, 2002 July 9. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2040). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 18-page transcript. In this interview Beatrice Berringer discusses her childhood in Australia; experiences during World War II including rationing; meeting and courting an American soldier named Ted Berriger; immigration to the United States in 1945; shipboard experiences; travel to and adjusting to life in Miles City and later Billings; and meeting in Billings with other war brides.

Elfriede Johnsen interview, 2002 July 16. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2038). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 22-page transcript. In this interview Elfriede Johnsen discusses her childhood in Germany; her experiences during World War II including being evacuated with all young children from her hometown in 1939; her father’s service in the German Army; experiences during bombing raids; the bombing of her father’s business; invasion and occupation of her village by American and French soldiers; meeting and courting an American soldier beginning in 1947; immigration to the United States; living in Broadus and later Miles City; challenges of adjusting to her new life including raising children and learning to cook; and thoughts about ever returning to Germany to live.

Elizabeth C. Goff interview, 25 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2031). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 18-page transcript. In this interview Elizabeth Goff discusses her childhood in Poland; her experiences during the first years of the World War II; meeting her husband to be, Richard Goff; travel to the United States in 1950; traveling to Great Falls, Montana, to live on Malmstrom Air Force Base; marriage to Mr. Goff; and adjusting to life in Montana.

Elsie Persicke interview, 30 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2034). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 20-page transcript. In this interview Elsie Persicke discusses her childhood in London, England; her experiences during World War II; meeting and courting an American soldier; immigration to the United States; and her life in Missoula and Whitefish.

Elvia Stockton interview, 17 July 2001. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 1941). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 24-page transcript. In this interview Elvia Stockton, native of France, discusses her experiences as a war bride from World War II. Topics include her childhood in a small community outside of Paris; her father’s service in World War I as an Italian soldier; being a teenager during the occupation of France; living conditions during those years; an incident where she met members of the Canadian Army in occupied France; meeting her husband-to-be who was attached to a medical unit near her hometown; reactions of her family to the romance; their wedding; her trip to the United States, after the birth of her first child, on a freighter; meeting her new family; moving to the family ranch near Grass Range, Montana; and the difficulty of being away from her family.

Evelyn Tuss interview, 17 July 2001. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 1940). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes. 26-page transcript. In this interview Evelyn Tuss discusses her childhood in Durham, England; her experiences during the first years of the World War II; living through the bombings; rationing; meeting her husband to be, Frank Tuss; her families concerns about her dating and eventually marrying a U.S. soldier; challenges of her trip, via the Vulcania, an Italian liner, to the United States; her reactions to seeing New York; reactions to her new home and family in Lewistown, Montana; dealing with homesickness; making friends and settling in to a new domestic routine; getting used to American money; cultural differences; and visiting England over the years.

Irene Owen interview, 9 July 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2041). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 23-page transcript. In this interview Irene Owen discusses her childhood in Manchester, England; her training in dance; experiences during World War II including bombings, air raids, rationing, and military service of family members; meeting and courting an American soldier named Dick Owen; immigration to the United States to live in Harlowton; shipboard experiences on the Queen Mary; moving to Geraldine; and adjusting to life in a small Montana town.

Janet Mohn interview, 11 September 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2045). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes. 25-page transcript. In this interview Janet Mohn discusses her childhood in Australia; experiences during World War II; meeting and courting an American soldier; immigration to the United States in 1946; adjusting to a new life in Kalispell; cultural differences she noticed; her new family; the Overseas Wives Club; and various part-time jobs she held from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Joyce Barry interview, 2 September 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2042). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 17-page transcript. In this interview Joyce Barry discusses her childhood in Cheshire, England; her experiences during World War II including air raids; meeting an American soldier named Ernie Barry; dating and getting married; immigrating to the United States in 1946; arriving in Kalispell and adjusting to life there; having children; and returning to England to visit many years later.

Joyce De Long interview, 10 September, 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2046). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 17-page transcript. In this interview Joyce De Long discusses her childhood in Hampshire, England; experiences during World War II including air raids and recruitment into wartime work; meeting and dating an American soldier named Russell De Long; getting married in 1944; immigrating to the United States in 1945; travel on the ship Argentina; arrival in Somers, Montana; having children; and adjusting to her new life.

Joyce Vashro interview, 24 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2029). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 23-page transcript. In this interview Joyce Vashro describes her childhood in London, England; her experiences during World War II; bombings and air raids in London; family members’ military service in World War I and World War II; her work for the Women’s Land Army; meeting and courting Dick Vashro, an American soldier; getting married; immigrating to the United States in 1946; her experiences on the Queen Mary with a young child; arrival and life in Butte; her homesickness; moving to Austin, Montana, and living there until 1967; and thoughts about her home country.

Kim Van Dam interview, 27 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2032). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 23-page transcript. In this interview Kim Van Dam (Jung Ja) discusses her childhood in Korea in a village near the 38th parallel; her parents meeting as a result of Japanese occupation of Korea; being separated from her family during civil war in Korea; living in Seoul once her family located her again; meeting her husband to be who was a military chauffeur; attempts by family and military to talk her out of marrying an American; immigrating to the United States as a war bride; arrival in Conrad, Montana, and community reaction to her; and adjusting to new life including money, food, housekeeping.

Marie Elizabeth Houtz interview, 25 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2030). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 21-page transcript. In this interview Marie Houtz discusses her childhood in England; her experiences during the first years of the World War II; meeting and marrying a U.S. soldier; the journey to the United States aboard the Queen Mary in 1946; traveling to Montana; meeting new inlaws; and adjusting to life in Montana.

Muriel Morse interview, 9 September 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2047). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 23-page transcript. In this interview Muriel Morse discusses her childhood in Cardiff, Wales; her work for the Women’s Land Army; her friends’ and families’ views about American soldiers; meeting and marrying Herb Morse; traveling to the United States with her husband aboard a Merchant Marine ship; immigration; adjusting to life in new country while starting a new family; traveling to England in the 1950s; moving to Kalispell from Darby; and joining the Overseas Wives Club in Kalispell.

Norma Duff interview, 8 September 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2043). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 20-page transcript. In this interview Norma Duff discusses her childhood in North Rockhampton, Australia; experiences living close to a U.S. Army base; meeting and marrying an American serviceman named Roy Duff; immigrating to the United States from the port of Brisbane; experiences aboard ship with other war brides; and arriving in Whitefish. She briefly discusses adjusting to life in a new country.

Odette Saylor interview, 27 July 2001. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 1943). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes. 42-page transcript. In this interview Odette Saylor discusses her childhood in France; daily life during the early years of World War II; her work in various factories near Paris; her family’s flight from Ableiges when the German forces entered that area; refugees; returning home by order of the German Army; German occupation of the local businesses; her mother’s experiences with the Gestapo because of her British heritage; the arrival of American soldiers; meeting and dating her husband-to-be, Rueben Saylor; her family’s reaction to their relationship; her wedding in France; the trip to America by boat; conflicts about childcare between WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and French women; arrival and early life in Billings; homesickness; and reactions to American food.

Peggy Floerchinger interview, 29 July 2001; 20 June 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 1942). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes. 23-page transcript. In this interview Peggy Floerchinger discusses the evacuation of children from her hometown of Liverpool during World War II; experiences during bombings of Liverpool; meeting and dating her future husband, Tom Floerchinger, who was part of the post-war service force in England; their wedding; bureaucratic procedures she had to go through prior to leaving Britain; travel to the United States on the SS Henry Gibbon with her new husband and other newly married couples; traveling by bus to Montana; meeting her new family in Conrad; being homesick; adjustments to a new life in farming; and trips made to England over the years.

Ruth Poore Batchen interview, 9 July 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2039). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 26-page transcript. In this interview Ruth Batchen discusses her childhood in Liverpool; her experiences during World War II; meeting and courting an American soldier; immigration to the United States; and her life in Billings.

Sheila Buck interview, 10 September 2002. Montana War Brides Oral History Project (OH 2044). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape. 10-page transcript. In this interview Sheila Buck discusses the formation of the Overseas Wives Club by the Home Extension Service; her life in Kalispell; and her career as a teacher in the Kalispell area.

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Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

None.

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