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"The camaraderie took place right away. I think that's something I'll never forget, how quickly we all were friends." (Audio interview, 19:20)

   Gladyce A. Pederson Nypan
Collection image
Gladyce "Pepper" Nypan shortly after bootcamp
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: 3rd Battalion of Storekeepers, 7th Regiment
Service Location: Hunters College, New York; Bloomington, Indiana; Cherry Point, North Carolina
Rank: Sergeant
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Growing up on a Minnesota farm as the oldest of eight children, Gladyce A. Pederson Nypan, known as Pepper, was more than accustomed to hard work. This served her well during her time in the Marine Corps, particularly during the endless marching and drilling she endured during basic training. In her oral history interview, she emphasizes the immediate and intense bonding that took place between the women Marines, and how devastated she was to leave her comrades at the end of the war. Returning to her hometown, she initially felt disconnected from friends and family, but eventually found solace through relationships formed with other former military members. Her time with the Marines gave her the confidence to pursue flying lessons through the GI Bill, apply for jobs, and travel the world.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (86 min.)
»Photo Album  (9 photos)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Working at a department store; going to dances with servicemen; realizing that women might be needed for war effort; deciding to join the Marines because she felt they were the sharpest unit. (05:16) Rigors of farm life; appreciated her upbringing but also wanted to leave farm and do something different; aspirations for her time with the Marines. (05:18) Arriving in New York City at Hunter College for basic training; instant camaraderie; tough instructors; learning discipline. (04:23)
Mustering out; shock of no longer being in the service; going home; feeling alienated from her friends and coworkers. (03:44) Returning to the farm to help her family; deciding to use GI Bill for flying lessons; meeting like-minded people; meeting her husband. (03:00) 

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  October 26, 2011
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