Recorded interview of Phyliss Smales née King by Peter Foulsham, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette) (MC 376/509a/1)
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Recorded interview of Phyliss Smales née King by Peter Foulsham, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette)


MC 376/509a/1

1 side of audio cassette

nd [1998]

2nd Air Division Memorial Library/Oral History Project

Peter Foulsham, Phyliss Smales née King

Glen Miller music at start and end (00mn 12s to 00mn 36s and 45mn 11s to 45mn 46s) has been redacted because of rights reasons.

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Starts and finishes with Glenn Miller's 'String of Pearls'. Phyliss Smales describes working at the American Red Cross [ARC] Club at Rackheath airbase from the time it was built. Recalls being interviewed by Field Director Ralph Adams and Gladys Richards (manageress of British staff). Recalls starting in kitchens with Mrs Gwen Kenton (head cook). Describes moving to live on airbase from October 1944. Short discussion about the behaviour of the American servicemen. Describes warmth in Nissen huts and food. Recalls cooking breakfast for Major Paul [surname not given] and Richard Adams away from airbase. Recalls helping to cook pastry. Describes favourable working conditions and pay. Recalls taking inventory of kitchen before opening and describes the cooking range and fridge. Describes some of the men who worked nearby, including those detained by the Military Police and those working to deliver coal. Recalls cycling to friend's house in Salhouse where servicemen visited, including Don Snyder and Earl Keifer [ground crew]. Anecdote about getting lost returning to airbase with Don Snyder and getting in trouble with Military Police. Recalls dances with WAAFs, WRNS and ATS girls from Yarmouth. Talks about more recent friendship with Col Shower and remembers his drivers who used to take her and her friends out in the car. Reflects on leaving the airbase and Americans leaving equipment behind when they left. Describes moving with the ARC (with colleague Doris Randall) from Rackheath in July 1945 to Tidworth, Hampshire. Describes Tidworth as processing station for returning infantry and then GI bride reception centre. Describes accommodation with Americans Miss Juneman and Dot McLennan (club directors). Reflects on different attitudes of infantry to air crew. Describes move to the 103rd General Hospital, a hospital with German prisoners doing construction work. Describes GI bride processing and dances. Refers to English girls Molly Farrelly, Joan Spanswick and Jane 'Lizzy' Parry. Describes some German prisoners and the Austrian singer Ralph [Richard] Tauber. Describes food and entertainment provided for American servicemen. Describes another English employee, Gladys Keep. Reflects on her enjoyment of parties and attitudes towards American-British relationships. Talks about leadership at Rackheath, including Col Shower, Ion Walker, Maj Woodward and English manageresses. Anecdotes about dancing, invasion warnings on airbase and comments on rats eating candles in accommodation. For tape insert, see MC 376/509b. For administrative records relating to interview, see MC 376/512. For the continuation recording, see MC 376/509a/2.