Ellen Zukunft McGrew Papers

Manuscript Collection #723
McGrew, Ellen Z.
Physical description
0.4 Cubic Feet, 260 itmes, consisting of correspondence, photographs, military papers, orders and publications, newspaper clippings, and miscellany.
Preferred Citation
Ellen Zukunft McGrew Papers (#723), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1942-1958) including correspondence, photographs, military papers, orders and publications newspaper clippings, and miscellany.

Biographical/historical information

Ellen Zukunft McGrew (b. 1919) of Portland, ME, was an x-ray technician, completed three years of college, and joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service or more commonly, Women in the U.S. Navy), of the United States Naval Reserve (USNR) in 1942. McGrew's naval training took place in Cedar Falls, IA, and at the Bethesda, MD, Naval Hospital, (1942-1943). McGrew was commissioned as an ensign (1943), served with the 6th USNR District Headquarters in Charleston, SC, and the Naval Training Center in Sampson, NY, resigned her commission (1946), and remained in the Naval Reserves until 1957.

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence consists primarily of military orders, promotions, rules, regulations, and duty requirements. Also included is a list of officers attached to Charleston (1944) and a certificate of commendation from Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal (April 17, 1946). Miscellaneous personal items include certificates, awards, anecdotes, cartoons, drawings, post cards, poetry and prose concerning military service during World War II, a list of magazine articles on women in the Armed Forces (1951-1952), and notes from Ellen McGrew concerning her military career.

The collection also contains World War II and later military publications including Ahoy! (1944); Going Back To Civilian Life (1945); Armed Forces Talk (1948); It's A Big Decision (undated); WAVE Recruit Training (1952); and a WAVE songbook. These discuss news, entertainment, civilian readjustment, recruitment, and veteran's benefits.

Other materials include a report from Camp Pendelton, CA, "Psychiatric Experiences of the Eighth Air Force 7-4-42 to 7-43" that focuses on an officer's difficulties after the first bombing raids in World War II, his treatment, and prognosis. Newspaper clippings include information on Navy tug UMPQUA rescue operations(1944); effects the Atom bomb may have on Navy operations (1946); stigma attached to military desk jobs in wartime (undated); and miscellaneous. Many photographs complete the collection and most depict daily life and travel during World War II.

Administrative information
Custodial History

February 7, 1996, 260 items; Papers (1942-1958) of USNR (WAVES) officer, including correspondence, photographs, orders, certificates, instructions, publications, regulations, clippings, and miscellany. Gift of Mrs. Ellen Z. McGrew, Raleigh, NC.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Ellen Z. McGrew

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
McGrew, Ellen Zukunft, 1919-
Corporate Names
United States. Naval Reserve--Officers
United States. Naval Reserve. Women's Reserve
United States. Navy--Women
War poetry, American
World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Female