Interview of Martha Clayton Transcript Number 224

Good morning.  My name is Paul Zarbock, an occasional staff member at UNCW’s Randall Library in Wilmington.  Today’s date is the 18th of September in the year of 2002.  We are in the library at the university.  We’re going to interview this morning Martha Clayton.     

INTERVIEWER:   Martha, I’m going to start off by asking you the usual question.  When did you go into the military, where did you go into the military and why did you go into the military?

CLAYTON:   I went into the Navy in March of 1943, in Atlanta, Georgia.  I had joined the military because the war had just come about and three of my brothers were in the Navy and I decided I might as well be in the Navy too.

INTERVIEWER:   Were you the kid sister?

CLAYTON:   I was the oldest one in the family, but I had just turned 20 years old when I joined.  You could not be in unless you were 20.

INTERVIEWER:   But your brothers were already in the service?

CLAYTON:   Well we were all very close together.  My mama just shelled us out like peas (laughter).  So my older brother was a Navy pilot.  He was in the Navy program for flyers and he was an ensign when he was 19 years old.  My next brother was a navigator in the Navy Air Force and my younger brother was just a seaman.  He didn't go in until toward the end of the war, but he already had the ____ to be in the Navy.

INTERVIEWER:   Maam, what did your parents think when you announced or decided and then announced to go enter the Navy?

CLAYTON:   My mother was a little bit apprehensive about her young daughter going away and being in the Armed Forces, but my father was like good riddance because he figured it was one less to be bothered with (laughter).

INTERVIEWER:   Why the Navy?  They’re aren’t many oceans around Atlanta, Georgia.

CLAYTON:   No, but I always had leanings toward the Navy.  Then when my next sibling was in the Navy, I decided that would be a good place.  I think the women in the Navy were more sheltered probably than the women who were in the Army.  There were as many different locations that we would be sent to and all of them were in good areas and good schools.  I went to Hunter College in New York for my training.

INTERVIEWER:   For your boot camp, did they call it boot camp?

CLAYTON:   They just called it Naval Training Station.  It was the coldest I think I’ve ever been in my life.  It was in the area of New York where I’ve forgotten the name of the lake, but the wind blew from that lake and we had to march down the street in the cold wind.  It was bitterly cold in those days, I thought, coming from the south.  Of course that was my first time out of the south.

INTERVIEWER:   I was going to ask you if you had traveled much before you enlisted.

CLAYTON:   No, not much.  Just in the south.  I had been to different states in the south because my father used to take us around to visit the mountains and the ocean.  We’d go down to Florida and places of that sort, but never up north.

INTERVIEWER:   Had you been on a train before?

CLAYTON:   Yes, I had been on the train before.

INTERVIEWER:   So that was not a new novel experience?

CLAYTON:   No, that wasn’t new.

INTERVIEWER:   Well take me back.  So you enlisted in Atlanta.  You must have been in some room with some other people and stuck up right hand and pledged allegiance to the United States.

CLAYTON:   Yes, yes, we did.

INTERVIEWER:   And then what happened after that?

CLAYTON:   Then they gave us where we were going to go.  They collected all of us and we were told what to bring, underwear, toothbrush or whatever.  We were on the train and the Navy took care of all the details so we didn't have to do any of the itinerary.  They just took us up on the train.  When we arrived, we got off the train and were taken on a bus to the training place.  We lived in dormitories of the college.

INTERVIEWER:   When did you get your uniforms?

CLAYTON:   They issued those almost as soon as we arrived.  They were Navy blues.  We were fitted very well.  We didn't have any sloppy look about us (laughter). 

INTERVIEWER:   How long was training?

CLAYTON:   It was about 10 weeks.

INTERVIEWER:   And what was the nature of the training?

CLAYTON:   It was the rules and regulations of the Navy and your disciplinary things like one of our troop leaders, the group leader was from Louisiana and her name was Betsy LeBlanc and she didn't know her right foot from her left.  The Marine sergeant who was our trainer, he got tired of her getting the ten of us out of line and he stepped on her foot one day and said “That’s your right foot and don’t forget it” (laughter).  How could she forget.  So our group had to sweep the armory which in those days was the size was unreal.  That was our punishment.

INTERVIEWER:   But it was her mistaken command, wasn’t it?

CLAYTON:   It was.

INTERVIEWER:   But you suffered the result of her mistake?

CLAYTON:   All of us suffered for her mistake, yes.

INTERVIEWER:   Did she outrank you?

CLAYTON:   No, she was one of our group, but she was a big gal and she was chosen to be the, I forget, they call it a platoon in the Army, but I forget what they call it in the Navy.  Instead of going with the group, we went another way.

INTERVIEWER:   So she was selected on the basis of quantity, not quality, is that right?

CLAYTON:   Yes (laughter).  Mrs. Roosevelt came to see us when we had a dress parade and so we had to stand at parade rest with our hands behind us all during the time when Mrs. Roosevelt was there.

INTERVIEWER:   Now when was that, do you remember the time of the year and what year?

CLAYTON:   It had to be in the springtime because we were there in March so it must have been in late April.

INTERVIEWER:   And tell me again, what year?

INTERVIEWER:   Were you close, was there a sense of camaraderie and closeness with you and your other trainees?

CLAYTON:   Well yes there was because, well the group we went up with on the train were mostly from the area in Atlanta where we were.  And then all of us went in different, many of us went in different directions after we had the training.  Some of us went into flight, the ones that did led the planes in.

INTERVIEWER:   Aircraft control?

CLAYTON:   Yes, aircraft control, some of them did.  Some of them were sent to yeoman school and some were sent to various other assignments in different parts of the country.  The group I was with, we all went to Washington, D.C.

INTERVIEWER:   Were you given any option as to here or there?

CLAYTON:   No, you were told where you were going and that’s where you went.

INTERVIEWER:   Okay, so off you go to D.C.  Did you say the whole group went there?

CLAYTON:   No, just a number of us.  I don’t remember how many of us there were, but we went to the Navy receiving station to check in for our assignment in Washington and of course they had no facilities for women so we were acquainted with the ______ for the first time in our life and one of the girls said, “Oh, isn’t this a nice place to wash your hair” (laughter).  It was an overwhelming experience to arrive there in this vast naval barracks and all of these sailors and everybody all around.

INTERVIEWER:   Ms. Clayton, I think that is a remark that’s going to go down in history (laughter).  So you ended up in a Navy barracks in D.C.  Where was the barracks located?

CLAYTON:   They were down at the receiving station.  It’s down near the river, but I don’t remember the street.  Then we were sent to where we were going to be assigned and quartered there.  They built quarters across the street from what is now the Navy Communication Annex which was at that time the Mt. Vernon Seminary and we lived in the dorms until they built the women’s quarters. 

They had a cafeteria on the premises.  Then the _____,  which is Marriott was just beginning and they called ______, the food.  Marriott had two restaurants, well they had one and they had a fire and got the insurance and built the second one.  That was beginning of the Marriott and also the beginning of IBM and their extensive use in the Armed Forces.

INTERVIEWER:   What did they have you doing once you to a duty assignment?  What was your assignment?

CLAYTON:   It was in the communications part.  We were not allowed to discuss precisely what we were doing at that time and I think it’s all come out now.  They had told us when we got out of the Navy that we weren’t to talk about it.  It was the transmission of messages to the ships at sea.  Of course the Japanese captured the weather stations in the Pacific and so we had no weather reports from that area.  They intercepted the Japanese weather reports and that was what the Navy used in the Pacific to the ships at sea. 

When the _____ Admiral went up to the ______ was apprehended in Alaska, the messages were intercepted and that’s how we knew.  The Japanese transmitted it in German code which we had already figured out and so we were able to notify them where the ______ was.  But the Japanese hadn’t realized that the German code had been broken which was amazing because they had prisoners of war who were Germans who worked in the same area. 

I was most fortunate because the commander of the unit I was in decided it would be well to let his whole group know what went on every day because you didn't even know what was in other room.  But he explained to us what the whole purpose of the place was which was…if anybody made a boo-boo, the whole bunch of us got put on restriction.

One time we were restricted to the Washington area for a month because somebody had used some plain language in a message.  That was a no-no in those days.

INTERVIEWER:   All of the messages have to be encrypted?

CLAYTON:   They did.

INTERVIEWER:   Did you do any of the encryption?

CLAYTON:   No, the officers did that.  I was never an officer.  I was supposed to go to OCS when I got out, but I got married and didn't want to go to OCS.  I wasn’t going to make Navy a career.

INTERVIEWER:   By the way, what was your rank upon discharge?

CLAYTON:   Telegrapher first class. 

INTERVIEWER:   That would be petty officer first class.

CLAYTON:   No, that’s the step just before the petty officer.  I never was a petty officer.

INTERVIEWER:   We were chatting before we turned on the tape about Washington, D.C., before the tremendous population explosion that has taken place in the last 20 years.  Reflect back, what was Washington like when you were 21 probably?

CLAYTON:   Yes, I was 21 after I was there, just 20 when I went.  You could go around town and you didn't have to be afraid.  You could walk anywhere.  You could go in any part of the city.  We usually went in pairs.  We seldom ever went ourselves.  People would stop and ask you if you wanted a ride and you could freely get in the car with anybody.  When we were waiting at the bus stop, people would frequently stop and say would you like a ride into the city and you could just get into the car without fear.  You didn't have to think what are they going to do to me or just say no thank you.  It was just a free and open society.

One time we had a WAVE who was killed in the park, but it was, I guess it was a crime of passion or something of that sort.  It was just an unusual happening.  That was just maybe one time in the whole time I was in there.

INTERVIEWER:   Am I correct that public transportation if you were in uniform was free?

CLAYTON:   Yes, you could ride the bus and go wherever you wanted to go.  We used to go, they had the Watergate concerts.  Do you know those?  They had a float that was in the river and they had these wonderful concerts and you could go to those for a very minimal fee or maybe it was no charge at all if you were in uniform. 

We would go to the opera at Constitution Hall  and Marion Anderson came.  Of course she was, at that time, it was a big controversy about whether they were going to let her appear at Constitution Hall because she was black.  It just seems unreal that those things had happened in all those years. 

We lived in the Washington area when Martin Luther King came to make his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, but that was in 1963 or something like that.  The Washington area, you could anywhere.  We went to a Greek restaurant one night, my friend and I, she was from Kansas originally.  She and I went and a Greek fella thought I was a Greek child, so he said “The dinner is on me”.  I told him I wasn’t a Greek child, but he said alright.

It was quite an experience.  You could stay, we would go to New York and you could stay at the Waldorf Astoria for $5.00 a night.  You could go to the shows for a couple of dollars whatever.  It was quite an experience.  We did things like you would never ever have done.  One day the officer of the day said that we girls could go have a day off.  There were six of us who were the first WAVE’s that came and the commander wasn’t going to have any WAVE’s in his unit.  The Admiral said that he was so we were the first six and we got some grubby chores to do.

Then after a while, the commander said, “Well you know what.  Those six women can do more God damn work that a dozen sailors” (laughter).  We were okay then.  After that he treated us like we were people.  One day he gave us the day off and we went over to Capitol Hill and we got to sit in the Vice-President’s chair.  We got to go in the cloak rooms and they took us on a tour all around the capitol which I’m sure that not many people ever had.

It was an experience that was in a sense a lot of work.  We had rotating shifts and sometimes when you were on mid watch you thought you couldn't stay awake.  But you would prop your eyes open and do it.  Then you had a lot of interesting things so it was quite a learning experience.

INTERVIEWER:   Let me take you back for just a minute.  The rejection of the you as a female military person, was that widespread or was it just located with a few officers?

CLAYTON:   It was pretty much widespread.  It was just that women couldn't measure up.  They didn't have the stamina.  They didn't have whatever it takes.  But I think that’s a male syndrome.  I think that males are just prone to do that because it’s hard for them to accept that women can do the same things, it might take more than it does a man, but they can get it done if they decide to do it.

INTERVIEWER:   So was it outright cruelty or was it just kind of a disdain?

CLAYTON:   It was just kind of disdain.  He was a very nice man.  He had been in the communications, I believe he had been at one of the networks in the early days.  He was a very able man.  But women were just, in those days, inferior and regarded as more or less chattel than they are now.  There’s still a degree of it, but it’s not as overt as it was in those days.

INTERVIEWER:   Did you ever see any manifestations of cruelty, either among your peers or officer misconduct?

CLAYTON:   No, none.  I think that maybe some of the women officers were more likely to be cruel to the service women, to the lower ones.  Even they were not.  Some of them spoke down to some of the women that were not officers.  Of course we weren’t allowed to socialize openly with officers.  I used to go out with a commander and it wasn’t an open thing.  It was up and above board, but it wasn’t open.  The Navy didn't accept that, consorting with the enlisted.

INTERVIEWER:   Could you wear civilian clothes?

CLAYTON:   No, you had to wear a uniform all the time. 

INTERVIEWER:   What did you do when you were in association with this officer and some recreational activity?  Did you wear your uniform?

CLAYTON:   You wore your uniform.  If it was wintertime, you’d wear the blues, whereas in the summertime, we had seersucker uniforms and we wore those.  Then you had slacks that you could wear, but you always had to have your jacket and your hat.  Of course the hat had US Navy on it and you hoped when you walked past a building, a pidgin wouldn’t drop.

INTERVIEWER:   Well this would probably be the time to ask you the question about the best and the worst.  What were some of the best things of your Navy experience and some of the worst things in your Navy experience?

CLAYTON:   Well I had a wonderful roommate.  She was just a delightful lady.  Her aunt lived in Washington, D.C., Reservoir Road, not very far from Georgetown University where they were training the Navy B12.  Her husband had been a physician and he was on the Surgeon General staff.  He died so the dean of the medical school where the B-12 students were training had been a friend of his and hers for many, many years.

He asked her if she would quarter some boys in her house because the school didn't have facilities to house the B-12 program.  So she had six boys who lived in her house and she fed 50 for breakfast and dinner. 

INTERVIEWER:   You said 50?

INTERVIEWER:   She was paid for this, of course?  Food was rationed in those days.

CLAYTON:   Well she had all the ration books and there was a Safeway Store that was not very far from her house and she arranged with the Safeway butcher to let her know when the meat truck was coming so she could always take the ration coupons and have meat for these fellas for their dinner.  We used to go and visit and had great fun with these boys.  Some of them were unbelievable fellas.

INTERVIEWER:   What made them unbelievable?

CLAYTON:   The stories they could tell.  One of them was one of the Hearst family children and he had never been in a situation where he was with the common folk (laughter).   This was an awakening for him and he wanted to go, as they progressed, they would have to deliver babies over at the public hospital and he wanted to go with some of the students who were doing this. 

He was not at the same level as they and wanted to see a birth.  One of them took him and he passed out (laughter).  Then one of them had an embryo in a container in his room and the cleaning lady wouldn’t go in and clean that room because she didn't want to see this thing that he had. 

That was really I guess the real highlight in that area   Myrtle was the most wonderful lady.  This was my friend’s aunt and we would go to the concerts with her.  Bea would call and say could you go and she’d say, “Let me get my hat.  I’ll meet you there”.  The bus went right by her house and so we would all meet there and then go to wherever.

INTERVIEWER:   It must have been a huge house to feed 50 people several times a day.

CLAYTON:   Well it was quite a large house.  She made the most wonderful chocolate cake that you ever had in your life and the boys that lived there could smell it when it was baking.  She hid it in her washing machine in the basement.  Of course the boys knew where so one day she baked the cake and the phone rang and she put it on a ledge on the way down to the basement. 

The boys searched all over the house and couldn't find the cake so that became quite a joke which was not really anything, but we used to laugh about it.  There was one named Little Joe and one named Hank.  They were from Baltimore.  They were a pair of characters. 

INTERVIEWER:   Did she have help in the house to prepare all this?

CLAYTON:   Yes she did.  She had a woman and her daughter and they came and they helped her with breakfast and dinner.

INTERVIEWER:   That’s a tremendous amount of food to be prepared and cleaned up after.

CLAYTON:   It is and she did it.  She was a remarkable lady.  She had been in the Philippines when Wainwright, they had been stationed in the Philippines with Wainwright and then when he was captured by the Japanese, he came back and they had a big celebration, well it’s now the Hilton, but it wasn’t the Hilton in those days, the Statler Hotel in Washington for him and Myrtle was invited.

She remembered that they had always called him Ducky because the humidity and everything would make him be drenched in perspiration.  So he would change his uniform several times a day and white ducks they wore in the tropics.  So they called him Ducky because he was switching so many times (laughter).

INTERVIEWER:   Were you invited to the reception?

CLAYTON:   No, no, she just told us about it.  It was just for the VIP’s.  They had the generals and whatever, people that he had known for all the time.

INTERVIEWER:   And this of course was after the war.

CLAYTON:   Shortly before the war ended.  He was returned, when we regained the Philippines.  My brother was in the planes that flew over the Philippines and he got shrapnel in his butt so he got a purple heart.

INTERVIEWER:   That responds, in my mind, to what were the good times.  What were some of the hard times?

CLAYTON:   Some of the hard times were when we were working on the mid-watch and we would have all of…things would be shut down for a while and staying awake was a hard time.  But then getting all the pressure of the work and being sure that it was accurate and being sure that you had done your work properly.  There was not any great deal of dissension and not many people that would be shirking in their duties.  So many lives depended on it so we were all very aware of that.

INTERVIEWER:   Ma’am, what is a mid-watch?  What time is that?

CLAYTON:   A mid-watch is from midnight until 8:00 in the morning.  We rotated shifts.  We had from 8:00 to 4:00 and then from 4:00 to midnight and then from midnight to 8:00.  We rotated two days of each one with 24 hours off between and then we would have 48 hours off at the end of the rotation of all the watches.  Then you could do whatever for 48 hours if you wanted.  If you weren’t on report, you could go out of town.

INTERVIEWER:   You did this traveling to New York and other things.  What was your salary in those days, do you remember?

CLAYTON:   It wasn’t a whole heap.  I think it was $20 a month when we were apprentice seamen.  Then I think it got up to $56 a month which you got to keep and you could do whatever.  It didn't take a lot of money in those days.  We didn't do a lot of drinking or swishing around like that.  We got a uniform allowance so we had money for clothing.  We didn't have to use our money.

INTERVIEWER:   I’m going to again go back to D.C.   What was sort of the general feeling in the town in those days?  That you might be bombed or was there any sense of terror?

CLAYTON:   No, I think we were conscious that there was a possibility that there might be destruction, but it wasn’t acute.  It was just a general sense that we didn't know which way the war was going to turn.  Sometimes it looked pretty grim especially when the Pacific Islands were falling, Guam, whenever the Philippines fell, whenever those things were happening.  Then when the Japanese came into Alaska, some of them, that was a little bit…but Alaska was not a state so they could move around without saying they were in our territory.

Of course you were aware that there were groups of Japanese, but of course they were interned and that was a sad thing that we did, to intern the Japanese civilians, the Americans.  But in wartime, things are not ordinary.

INTERVIEWER:   You mentioned ration books.  Did you have a ration book?

CLAYTON:   No, we ate in the mess hall and we had wonderful food.  If you were going on leave, you got a ration book to take home with you so that you could have food with your family.

INTERVIEWER:   By the way, did you go on leave during your military career?

CLAYTON:   Yes, we used to go once a year, you could go home or wherever.  I went on leave when my husband, he wasn’t my husband then, when he came back from overseas, I went on leave and we got married.

INTERVIEWER:   How did you meet him by the way?

CLAYTON:   I met him after he was drafted at my aunt and uncle’s home in Alabama.  He was stationed there and they lived in a small town not far from the fort and they would have the soldier boys to their church on Sundays.  He was one of the ones that came and the families would take them home for Sunday dinner.  I was there that weekend.

INTERVIEWER:   Were you on leave from the Navy?

CLAYTON:   No, no, I wasn’t in the Navy then.  That was before I was in the Navy.

INTERVIEWER:   So you were probably 19 or thereabouts?

CLAYTON:   I was just 18, soon turning 19.

INTERVIEWER:   So this was just a family visit and a lonesome soldier had gone to church and then was invited over Sunday meal.

CLAYTON:   Yes, Sunday meal.  I think she had four boys to come to her house, my aunt did.  She was a wonderful cook.  Then later on when my children were going to church, the rectory said to my husband, “Why don’t you come to church”.  He said he made the biggest mistake of his life by going to church one time (laughter).

INTERVIEWER:   Was it love at first sight?

CLAYTON:   I think it was pretty much.  We sort of took to each other.

INTERVIEWER:   But your lives drifted apart geographically.

CLAYTON:   He went overseas pretty soon after.

INTERVIEWER:   Where did he go, in the Pacific?

CLAYTON:   In the Pacific.  It was overseas then, he was in Hawaii.  The ship was taking him to the Philippines, the troop ship was, but the Philippines fell so they took them back to Hawaii and he stayed in Hawaii for the whole duration of the war.  He got out in ’45 and came back to the States.  He was in the ordnance.

INTERVIEWER:   Were you married while you were still in the Navy and he was in the Army?

CLAYTON:   No, I was married in June of 1945, he was still in the Army and I was still in the Navy, but VE Day had already been.  And then VJ Day came in August so he got out.

INTERVIEWER:   What was Washington, D.C. like on VJ Day and VE Day?

CLAYTON:   Oh, it was a real celebration.  There was whooping and hollering.  People were running in the streets and everybody hugging each other.  People that you didn't even know, you would give them a big hug cause it was all over, all finished and it was just a day of joy.  The fighting had ended and there was no more of the slaughtering, the killing.

INTERVIEWER:   Did you ever voluntarily or as part of the military obligation attend any of the military funerals that took place at Arlington Cemetery?

CLAYTON:   No, I don’t think that we ever went as a unit and I never went.  We would see the procession of the people.  You could see the cemetery when you went along there, but I never did attend.  My husband is buried in a cemetery here in North Carolina.

INTERVIEWER:   Where in North Carolina?

CLAYTON:   In Jacksonville, North Carolina Veterans Cemetery and I have a spot right beside him because of my military service.  I will be at the same place as he is.  My son went up to see it.  He had seen the marker when he was here a couple of weeks ago and he said there was a grave that had a man and his wife with the same marker.  He said, “Ma, I’m glad  you’re not going to be buried on top of dad” (laughter).  So I guess the military was a plus for me. 

INTERVIEWER:   What an interesting life.

CLAYTON:   Well it’s been very interesting.  My husband graduated from Georgia State and I was a rising senior, but we didn't have enough for both of us to go to school so he went to the University of Pennsylvania and I went to work for the College of Physicians.  And then when the Korean War came, I had not kept in touch with the Navy, but they knew where I was. 

They sent me a communication and asked me to take a job in Philadelphia at the  Material Center.  So I did.  I called and a fella asked how soon could I come to work.  It was $75 a month more than I was making at the college so I went to work  I worked in the admiral’s office which was an interesting experience.

INTERVIEWER:   Doing what?

CLAYTON:   I was doing the same thing I had done when I was in the Navy in communications.  I had to stay until the admiral left or whatever.  It was an interesting job.  It was something that I wouldn’t have known the _____, but having been ______ for going there, I did.  I worked there until I was going to have my first child.

INTERVIEWER:   But you were a civilian?  You had not returned to military?

CLAYTON:   No, I worked with a woman who was a lieutenant commander who was an officer and she and I worked together.  We became quite good friends and I still keep in touch with her.  She lives in Pittsburgh.  There was a woman that worked there, an Irish woman.  When I was going to go back there to Atlanta for the child to arrive, my husband was still in school. 

I went to my mother’s house and this lady said to me, “You may go south to have that baby, but it’s still a Yankee”.  (laughter)  Then after that, I was a connections official in Fairfax County where we lived.

INTERVIEWER:   How long did you stay in Washington?

CLAYTON:   31 years.

INTERVIEWER:   What did your husband do?

CLAYTON:   When we first went there, he was a college professor at George Washington University and then he went with the federal government in the Department of Agriculture Research Service.  From there, he went with the Department of Commerce in the Bureau of Domestic and International Trade.  He was an economist.

INTERVIEWER:   Well everybody has a GS number.  What was his GS number?

INTERVIEWER:   So he was super grade?

CLAYTON:   Yes.  It was an interesting life with him too.  He was a science and technology fellow and he had some bad times in the Nixon years because his wife was a Democrat.  He didn't vote in the primary because in Virginia, you voted in the primary as open.  Anybody can find out if you voted in the primary so he never voted in the primary.  But because Nixon felt that the husband influenced the wife, then if the wife was a Democrat, then the husband had to be too.

So he was shuffled around a little bit, but he still…I used to be concerned about him.  I’d say well let’s just go pick fruit.  We don’t have to put up with this.  But he would say that we had the children so he stayed.  Then when Ford came in, he was given back his status.  They took away his secretary, they took away his telephone, took away his parking space.  One other fellow this had happened to said just make your office be your ____.  So the government didn't get their full pay for price benefit ratio for him for that period.  Anyway some awful things happened in those days. 

INTERVIEWER:   But what a corrosive thing, to take away your telephone and your secretary.

CLAYTON:   First it was the parking space.

INTERVIEWER:   Oh, it was a status symbol.  On the basis of suspicion that he was a Democrat. 

CLAYTON:   But you know those things happen.

INTERVIEWER:   Yes they do.

CLAYTON:   They had a man whose job was, it was called the Office of Special Services and his job was to try to get these fellas to fire themselves.  That was the technique that was used.  You couldn’t believe it was happening, but it did. 

INTERVIEWER:   Well before we went on camera, I mentioned to you that because of the wonders of videotape, you’ll never be a day older to the viewing audience than you are today.  I, of course, cannot guarantee or even offer you immortality except on videotape.  You also mentioned you have how many grandchildren?


INTERVIEWER:   I’ve done this to other people being interviewed and I’ve always been impressed by the poignancy of their remarks, but here we go.  Would you look right into the camera and you’re now going to talk to your grandchildren.  If you please, would you tell them, reflect on what did you learn from wartime experience in the military?  How did it change you, what did it mean to you, how were you different from the 19 year old girl that got on board a train in Atlanta?

CLAYTON:   I learned discipline.  I learned respect for other people in the way that they thought.  I learned that to have joy in your life means a very great deal in making you happy and respecting yourself has a large degree of helpfulness in that you can learn to have self-esteem and regard yourself as a personality that has great potential whenever you’re in the growth process.  Don’t try to destroy yourself and don’t put down others because that is never helpful to them or to you or anyone else.

To my granddaughter who is a lovely girl, just keep on being your sweet self.  To my grandson, I do hope that you will become the person that your potential holds for you.

INTERVIEWER:   Do wars ever cure anything?

CLAYTON:   No.  They may bring an end to some things, but they leave scars that never ever completely heal. 

INTERVIEWER:   Someone once mentioned that wars don’t stop because the shooting stops.

CLAYTON:   No they don’t.  If you have ill feeling toward a person, you have to rid yourself of that so that you can move on and not let that stand in your way or progress or whatever.  You can’t harbor ill will toward anyone because it’s demeaning not only to that person, but to you.  If you regard other people as having a life and letting them live their life even though it’s different from yours, you have come a long way.

INTERVIEWER:   Ms. Clayton, it’s been an honor to know you, truly an honor.  Thank you for the time.

CLAYTON:   Thank you.