by Gail Broadman b. 1934
My brother, Raymond, the oldest, went into the Army as soon as the war started. My sister Phyllis went to work at the Watertown Arsenal. The arsenal was a huge collection of old brick buildings with its own railroad. They tried to keep it secret, but everybody knew they made weapons. Phyllis probably wasn’t supposed to tell me, but she said they made big anti aircraft guns. She told me because she wanted to tell me about what she and the women did to the guns.
The women called themselves “WOW” – women ordinance workers- and made jokes about that, but the most fun they had was writing on the barrels of the big guns in lipstick. Mostly they wrote notes to the soldiers like “Go get ’em G. I Joe” and sometimes they wrote fresh things, but some, like Phyllis wrote the names of family members and friends. Phyllis wrote “This one is for you Raymond” and other messages.
Everything was about the war back then.