Hoyt W. & Alma M. Thompson, 1944

This is a "short version" of the life of my parents during World War II.

Hoyt & Alma were married on Oct. 29, 1942 at the Nazarene Church Parsonage in Konawa, OK. Alma's dad gave her $10.00 for her wedding dress and all the trimmings.

They lived with Hoyt's folks for a month and then moved to Ada, OK. where Hoyt worked making $17.00 a week. They had 2 little rooms and a shower for $5.00 a week and it was THEIRS. They spent most of their evenings going to the movies and were happy to be "on their own".

Hoyt worked with one of his uncles in a garage and Alma baby-sit for his children and kept house until he got his call for the Service (June 29, 1943). They had only been married for 8 months.

When Hoyt left for the Navy Boot Camp in Pendleton, Calif., Alma took a job for the same relatives driving all over OKC for car parts.

Not long after Hoyt left, he wrote and wanted Alma to move to Berkeley, CA., which was not to far from the camp where he was stationed. She had never been very far from home and was scared stiff, but she packed up her "homemade" chest that her oldest brother had made for her and some suit cases, got on a bus and she was on her way - to who knows what!?

On the bus, she sat next to a girl a lot like herself. They took turns at the window so they could throw up. They got so car sick they though they both were going to die before they got there. It took 3 days and lots of stops and changes. At one stop and layover, Alma met a girl that was going to the same Army base in Calif. to marry some one she had never met. They exchanged names and address and kept in touch for several years.

On the way and though the mountains, the brakes went out on the bus! The driver told everyone to hang on to their seats and pray. Oh God, how they did pray! Some how they made it to the next stop and changed busses and got back on the road.

The next stop was Oakland, Calif. The bus went right by Camp Pendleton where Hoyt was. He was supposed to meet Alma when she called the camp, but he couldn't leave at the time. She was scared stiff and didn't know what to do. She cried in front of everyone at the bus stop because she had to get to her destination before dark, which was in the next city, Berkeley, Calif., where she was to stay with some friends of her in-laws that had moved there from Oklahoma.

While she was standing there trying to figure out what she was going to do, she turned around and there was a tall, handsome sailor standing there. ---NO, it wasn't Hoyt, but he must have been her Guardian Angel. She told him her husband couldn't meet her and she didn't know what to do. She told him where she had to go and how scared she was. He picked up her suitcases, took her across the street to the city bus stop and told her to tell the driver where she needed to get off and to walk 2 blocks east and she would be at the place she was to go. After she thanked him, he told her, "you sure don't want to be alone on these streets at night." She found her friends just before sundown. Thanks to her Guardian Angel.

Her friends took her to see Hoyt the next day. She rented a small room with kitchen privileges in the same block they lived in. Hoyt got a leave from camp and they got to spend the weekend together. He was to be shipped out just a week or so after that.

On the day he was to leave Alma had only been to the camp once & saw one bus leaving and just knew it was Hoyt's. She thought she had missed him, but one of the guys on the bus waved and called out her name - "Hey, Alma! He's still here!" It was a school classmate from the same town they were from. Later Alma found out he was killed in action.

The desk sergeant called Hoyt's quarters and he came running down to the front gate and Alma went running his way. The Sergeant told Alma.... "You can't go on base!" But she did anyway.

Hoyt & Alma spent a little time at the front gate, then he had to go. His bus was the next one to go. ---- So after that Alma took a bus and went back to Berkeley to her lonely little room.

Soon after that she got a job at the Heinz Ketchup plant close to her little "home". She boxed the ketchup bottles as fast as she could or they would fall in the floor. She was then promoted to the lab, where they tested the ketchup to see if it ran slow enough. She laughs when she remembers that now.

After that she got a job as a "Rosie The Riveter" at the Richmond Kaiser Shipyard. She made more money, so she got a better place to live. By this time, Hoyt had been gone for 9 months to the South Pacific in World War II.

One day, she was just about to go through the gate to the shipyard and someone called her name and when she turned around and it was Hoyt. She dropped her lunch pail and her hard hat fell off as she ran to him and for some reason, didn't work that day or the next.

He was soon shipped out again, so Alma went back to work at Richmond Calif. shipyard and worked cutting steel to build bunk heads for the ships. Not long after that, Alma found out she was expecting, so about three months later she quit working because it wasn't a safe job for an expecting mother.

She wrote and told Hoyt he was going to be a father. He was thrilled of course, but sad too because he couldn't be there to take care of her. He told her to go back home to Oklahoma with his folks so she would be safe. So she did. She lived with her in-laws until her son was born on Mar. 28, 1945. When the baby was 3 months old, they moved out to themselves. Alma had bought a 5 room house that had a 4 car garage with it for only $500.00 and a lot in town for $75.00. Her oldest brother helped her set things up and get settled in. She used a little Kerosene lamp at night until she could afford to have electricity put in.

It was Nov. of 1945 and Alma and her son, now 9 months old, were anxiously awaiting the day Hoyt was to come home from the War. Hoyt had only seen pictures of his son and was anxious to meet him and of course see his beautiful wife, Alma.

They finally got the word that Hoyt was to arrive in Norman, OK. on Dec. 1, 1945. She and her son along with Hoyt's folks, sisters & other family members, took off to greet him. The little one had always been afraid of anyone wearing a sailor's cap, but he went with "outstretched arms" to his daddy....like he had known him all his life. Alma was thrilled that the meeting of the two went so sweetly. It had been 18 months since she had seen her "Sailor" and she was happy to present him with a beautiful baby boy and a brand new home all waiting for him. Hoyt couldn't believe she had done all this... but she was a farm girl from the start and able to do anything she put her mind to.

The War was over and now they had to start all over again. Hoyt found work and they settled in to make a home for their son, Richard H. Thompson and themselves... and then in Sept. of 1946... I arrived... ;) The "after-war" baby and author of this website, Sandra F. Thompson-Eskew, "Sandy". In 1951, another daughter, my baby sister, Peggy L. Thompson, was born.


slc6-thompson-17 Alma & Richard Hoyt Thompson
April, 1945

This is the picture that
Alma sent Hoyt while he was on the SLC
of her & their new
10 pounder that was born Mar. 28th, 1945


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