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Vivien Lenore Curtis Beldowicz
- Name: Vivien Lenore Beldowicz (Curtis)
- Location of Birth: Itasca County, Minnesota
- Date of Birth: January 31, 1918
- Date of Death: December 27, 1983
- Parents: Joseph Curtis & Eve (McKeeby) Curtis
- High School and Class: 1936 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
- Highest Rank:
- Branch: Marine Corp
- Other Branch:
- Date Sworn In: February 23, 1942
- Place Sworn In:
- Date of Discharge: February 6, 1946
- Place of Discharge:
- Military Awards:
- Military Highlights:
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - August 14, 1942 -"Dear Mrs. Kittleson: I was quite surprised to get your letter this noon and I can assure it was quite a pleasant one, too. Your letter was very newsy and made me feel a bit homesick. No matter how long it will be before I ever come back, I will always regard Bovey as my hometown. I have been here since March. I signed up for foreign service with the University of Minnesota unit and we have been waiting for sailing orders for quite some time. Our unit is Base Hospital, Number 26, and will be established somewhere behind the lines if any permanent battle fronts are ever made. The weather here is very hot, let me assure you. Down here we dress for comfort. We work only half-days and usually spend our afternoons at the swimming pool of the Officers' Club. I have managed to acquire a nice tan as well as quite a few freckles!! The Army life is quite a novelty to me. I have enjoyed my stay here immensely. I have met people from all over the world, from every walk of life. Civilians are few and far between here and we really stop and look when we see one. As yet we nurses are not in uniform and surprisingly enuf we are not in a hurry to don uniforms. We are really hoarding our civies!! I am going to get a 7-day leave in October, which I expect to spend with my mom in Arizona. I have never been there and I do look forward to it. It really seems funny to think of all the kids being married. It has been about 6 years since I saw most of them, but I don't feel any older now than I did when I left home. I must close now. Please greet everyone for me, and I'll drop in some day for a cup of coffee. I haven't had a decent cup of coffee since I left Minnesota. Thanks so much for your letter. I'll write again. Yours, Vivien L. Curtis."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - January 8, 1943 - "Somewhere in England - Dear Friends: I was most happy to receive your Christmas box which was certainly packed with thoughtfulness and consideration for us away from home. Thank you all very much. Needless to say I couldn't wait for Christmas! Life here has proved very interesting and educational. Little did I think years ago when I read history and English books that I would one day view with my own eyes the same sights. Everything here is very beautiful and very old and if you don't mind, a bit dull!! Home was never like this. I received a letter from my aunt, Mrs. Kersting, today. My mail has been rather scarce lately, some trouble somewhere, I presume. I shall write from time to time to let you know where I am. Thank you once more. Vivien L. Curtis."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - April 16, 1943 - "Monday, March 28, 1943. Dearest Neva: Finally, after trekking all over this hemisphere, we are at our permanent location. We have spent the last week traveling and arrived here very dirty, but happy and definitely not hungry. We have eaten our meals out of cans for over a week, but our kitchen is on the beam finally, and we had pancakes for breakfast. Our situation here is ideal. Not too far from a big city. The scenery is beautiful. Our hospital will be a tent hospital with Nissen huts for the main buildings. Two of us girls have a wall tent for ourselves. My roommate is a big overgrown kid, but we get along pretty well together. We had a lot of fun on our trip - saw real camels - bartered soap for hardboiled eggs along the way - ate figs, dates - got hot coffee from Red Cross Canteens along the way. Saw some real adobe hut settlements, made by the Arabs - used biffys that are the funniest I have ever seen. It has been raining, and is so muddy. Our hi-topped shoes, coveralls, raincoats and fatigue hats are ideal garb. I wear a skirt and long soxs so seldom, I'll probably come home wearing the same nylons I bought in Duluth over a year ago. We get plenty of gum and candy thru our quartermaster, as well as Kleenex, etc. I wouldn't be surprised but what we're better off here than you are at home as far as some things. We get all the coffee we want. Lang isn't here yet, and of course, I'm rather lonesome, but I'm going to get all my letters out of the way before he gets here. Our hospital is being constructed now, so it will be a couple of weeks before we get to work, but we're certainly anxious to start. This is my last sheet of this paper, so I'm going to write on the back. Yesterday we went to town and had a shower and washed our hair, and then went swimming in a beautiful pool. It really was fun. I hope we get some mail pretty soon. I haven't had any for quite a while. Write when you can. Love to all, Vivien Curtis."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - June 18, 1943 - "North Africa, April 15, 1943. Dear Club Members: So sorry about my delay in writing to you but we are so busy working and glorying in it that letters to my family are about all I have time for these days. You probably would be interested in knowing that we are living in tents here in Africa. No, we didn't have to pitch them ourselves. Our trusty enlisted personnel did it. Our hospital is composed of tents and hutments, too. You would be very surprised to find out how complete our setup is. The Bovey Press arrives in batches, but is read from column to column. I really pore thru the paper. A few days ago, my tent mate and I made a few little seats by using boxes and covering them with formals we brought with us. We have made book shelves out of boxes and the next boxes we can argue the quartermaster out of will be used to make a dressing table. Thanks so much for the paper and I'm sorry I must run now, there's a movie tonight for the patients and we always go too. Regards to all, Vivien L. Curtis."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - June 18, 1943 - "North Africa, Saturday, April 24 - Dear Ann: I've been reading your letters in the Bovey Press and you'll never realize what a kick I get from them and I'm sure everyone else does too. So many things have happened since my last visit at home in February 1942, that it really makes me stop and wonder if this is really me. I've seen a good deal of this side of the world and I don't want to quit yet because when I do come home, I'm going to stay. At the present, we're working hard every day. Ours is a tent hospital and all our personnel live in tents. Two of us girls have a tent 9x9 and we really have it fixed up cozy and cute. Formals make the best things for to drape stools and make curtains for our cupboards. We have electricity and in addition I have a little kerosene stove which we use for heating when its cool and we can make coffee or boil eggs on it. Tomorrow is Easter so we're going to paint some eggs for a couple of our friends. There really isn't much to do for amusement. We have movies twice a week. There is quite a large city near but the Yanks haven't been there long enough to Americanize it. The scenery here is beautiful, there are mountains all around. Wild flowers grow in profusion here, making very colorful fields. Large red Chinese poppies grow wild and you can see miles of them. We've been eating lots or fried chicken here. The Arabs sell it and a friend of mine provides me with fried chicken. He even cooks it himself, and let me tell you it's really wonderful to eat something you can chew. I wish I could tell you some more of the things we've seen, but it would be cut out so I won't. At any rate, I wouldn't change places with anyone at home. I wouldn't miss all this for anything. I've learned more in the last year than I ever dreamed of knowing. Formal education really is just a lot of printed words. Travel and experience teach more. Everyone knows this I guess. Must stop for now and go to work. Greet everyone. Neva said you wanted a picture of me. I don't have any but my mother has and I'll write to her and tell her to send you one. My regards to all and best wishes to all in service from home. I hope to run into some of them over here. Sincerely, Vivien L. Curtis."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - December 31, 1943 - "Vivien L. Curtis - Hello Everybody: I want to wish you all the joys and greetings of the coming season. This goes sincerely to all of you on the home front and especially to those of my compatriots on the fronts of this war. War is hell, but we have to keep plugging, and so we can all come home. It isn't fun to be away from home, but we all miss home more at a time like this. I'm afraid this won't arrive in time for your Christmas issue, but it should arrive in time for Dec. 25. Next year we'll all be home and then we'll roll a three year celebration into one. I am happy and well taken care of, and that's all one can ask."
Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – February 11, 1944 – “Italy – Jan. 15, 1944 – Dear Folks: This is a trifle late for any sort of a greeting, but I just want to say hello to all you good people back home. It’s an old story to you now about how worthwhile your efforts are, but let me thank you again from the bottom of my heart. I have already received two copies of the Reader’s Digest and I have perused them from cover to cover. Of my 6 roommates, only one gets the magazine too – so 2 magazines for 7 girls is a lot of reading. Thanks again. At present, I am on night duty and managing to keep pretty busy. Our shift is from 11 – 7 and not too strenuous. I have some work to do now so must stop. I enjoy the Bovey Press a lot and look forward to each issue, even if it is a month old. Sincerely, Vivien L. Curtis.”
- Wars Involved:
World War II
- MIA / POW:
- Civilian Life:
Vivien Curtis Beldowicz is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri. She is survived by her husband Edward J. Beldowicz, Jr.
- Tribal Affiliation(s):