Segment 1


Fagot was born in Nicaragua. Her father was an American citizen from New Orleans and she was registered an American citizen at birth. She did not receive much schooling. Before the war, she worked at a gold mine with her father. The operator of the mine had an American wife who read American magazines like Life. Fagot saw an article in one of the magazines about the Navy W.A.V.E.S [Annotator's Note: Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service]. She was accepted into the W.A.V.E.S, but she remembers someone from the Navy coming to Nicaragua to interview her parents before she was officially accepted.Fagot saved her money in order to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana to become a W.A.V.E. She had an uncle that lived in the city who took her to the local Navy office where she was sworn in. She was sent to Hunter College, New York for boot camp. Boot camp was difficult for her at times because she was an immigrant with very little formal education and she did not speak English well. She was given an aptitude test and received good marks. She was one of twenty women that were sent to Iowa State Teacher's College for Naval intelligence.Fagot learned short hand and typing for five months before she was transferred to Miami, Florida. There were no barracks in Miami. They stayed in a hotel and Fagot walked to work everyday. She enjoyed Miami much more than Iowa. Miami was the center of international liason. She was assigned to Captain Howe as his aid. She would meet with international officials and take them to meetings and translate if she could. She was happy to serve in the Navy.Fagot remembers the meetings were for peace, not war time discussions. She remembers at one point carrying a gun in her purse and learning how to shoot it because she could be unknowingly carrying documents about the atomic bomb. The Navy trained them to use firearms. She remembers practicing on Miami Beach. She knew she could never kill someone with the firearm. She only carried the firearm while delivering secret documents.Fagot feels that her time in the service helped her future. She says it was hard at times. She did not make many friends and people were jealous of her for the privileges she received.Overall, it was a wonderful experience that made her a better human being.


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