SOURCE: WWII War Brides Association

GI Brides of World War II, WWII, American War Bride Experience

September 28, 2009 17:46 ET

International WWII War Brides Return to San Francisco After 63 Years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 28, 2009) - When Australian WWII War Bride Dorothy Berry left Brisbane for America in 1943 on the War Bride Liberty Ship, the USS General W.A. Mann, the first stop was New Guinea to pick up the famed American composer, Irving Berlin. The first site of the Golden Gate Bridge for the estimated 60,000 War Brides that entered San Francisco from 1943-1953 was symbolic of arriving in America. This Wednesday, Sept. 30, Berry, who will be 86 in a few weeks, will join 200 WWII War Brides, representing over 21 nations as they meet arriving from nearly every state in the United States and other countries to attend their annual reunion. This year they meet in San Francisco, CA. The Reunion will be held at the Doubletree Hotel at the San Francisco airport for five days, from Sept. 30-Oct. 4.

Members of the WWII War Brides Association will spend five days filled with receptions (Sept. 30), business meetings, video taping their WWII War Bride experiences, city tours, a luncheon cruise on San Francisco Bay (Oct. 3), and a grand Banquet with a keynote speaker on Saturday, Oct. 3. On Sunday, Oct. 4, the War Brides will hold a unique farewell breakfast where each national anthem is sung from the attending members. Then it is time to plan for next year's 2010 Reunion in St. Louis, Mo.

The WWII War Brides Association began in 1985 aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca. The gathering was organized by authors and daughters of WWII War Brides, Barbara Scibetta and Elfrieda Shukert to launch their book, "The World War II War Brides." From that first initial meeting aboard the Queen Mary 24 years ago, the WWII War Brides Association has grown to five hundred national and international members. Several years ago, the Association voted to include their husbands, children and grandchildren with full membership. Today, the War Bride children, who range from their late 40s to early 60s, are called War Babies and play a role in the Association's governing board and support roles. War Baby Robert Pence, 63, who will be the next President of the Association, said, "These wonderful women left everything behind during an era where they could not easily travel back home. What they have given to contribute to the greatness of this nation has never been fully recognized." "We are still here, God-willing!" said 92-year-old English War Bride, Sylvia Harris. Dorothy Berry added, "We came for the love of our GI husbands and gave our children to this country. We have become very proud Americans citizens."

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Robert Pence
    President-Elect
    WWII War Brides Association
    (408) 219-3737
    Email Contact