CONSTANCE CAMPBELL CONAWAY
My name is now Connie Conaway. I was born Constance
Campbell in Ellwood City, PA. My dad managed a Kroger
grocery store and it seemed that we moved a lot. I remember my parents
saying that they rented places, painted and fixed them up - then it seemed that
the landlord thought the rental was worth more, so they raised the rent!
Anyway, we moved to Youngstown, Ohio and I entered Chaney Elementary
School. This school housed students from first grade through high school, so
this was the route I took.
We had a Braille class and it was my job to read to one of the students. For
this I received about 30 cents a month. I really enjoyed having this “spending”
money! I was active in the Glee Club, Girl Reserves, and was elected to the
National Honor Society.
Right after graduation my family moved to Whittier, California - this was in
1943. The war was in full swing and my dad went into defense work. I worked
for a tubing company and had the best job in the whole place. I was the “Mail
Girl” and I delivered inside all the offices and the warehouse. I was able to see
all the goings-on and to get to know many people
My ambition at that time was to become a registered nurse and I entered
training at the Los Angeles County General Hospital - later it became USC
Medical Center. I was capped after the six-month probation period and stayed
on for just a short time. I decided that nursing really was not for me and
received permission from my parents to join the WAVES. My dad had been in
the Navy during WWI, so this was a natural choice.
I departed California for the Bronx, New York in May of 1945. It was an
exciting time for me and I met many new friends - some of whom are still close.
I was still in boot camp when the peace was signed with Japan. From boot
camp I was assigned to Camp Moffett, Great Lakes Illinois. This was a hospital
corps training school. The training there was very easy for me as it was
practically a repeat of my first six months of hospital training