Aviation foundation gets collection kept by one of base's first Woman Marines

donnie snow

Donnie Snow was one of the first Woman Marines to be based at Cherry Point. She kept a record of documents and photos from the early days of the Marine Corps air station that has been turned over to the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation.

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 09:27 AM.

Donnie Snow was into the details.

That much is clear in a collection of documents, photographs and ephemera on the early years of Cherry Point. The Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation has just started cataloging all the materials.

Lois Evelyn “Donnie” Snow was in the first group of 18 Women Marines to arrive at the newly established Marine Corps air station in the thick of World War II.

Snow stepped off the train on Saturday, May, 29, 1943, at 12:08 p.m., “Just in time for lunch,” as she writes in one of her documents.

“We were called the ‘first 18.’ We were the first Woman Marines to set foot on the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point. We had no washing machine, no dryers, ironing boards but no irons. What a mess!” Snow wrote under a photo of the group. “We had to wear our wool winter uniforms until the later part of July. It was miserable. We were all Buck Privates … $50 a month! We were going to be in a crash training program for Staff NCOs. At that point there were none … just had buck privates.”

Snow, who had joined the Marines in Des Moines, Iowa, went through boot camp at the U.S. Naval Training School at Hunter College in Bronx, N.Y. 

“We went through Boot Camp in civilian clothes. Uniforms were not available until a few days before we transferred out,” Snow wrote in 1993 prior to her death in 2008 at age 90. “When we first arrived, I drilled in high heels until my luggage finally arrived with my marching shoes. Talk about a ‘hot foot’ — take that times two and you know what my feet felt like (I longed for two buckets of ice water, one for each little hot foot).”

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