Kelsey: Where were you born and
Hoffman: Newark, New Jersey.
And where did you live when the war started?
Hoffman: Newark, New Jersey.
How did you get into the defense industry?
Hoffman: I needed a job.
When did you go looking for the job?
Hoffman: I believe it was in the paper—I went to
And what year was that?
Had you graduated from high school?
Hoffman: No. I got my diploma later in what was
called at that time adult school.
And how long did you work for RCA?
Hoffman: Hm, ’42, ’43—about two years, a year and a
half, two years, in that category, in that area.
And what did you do there?
Hoffman: I worked in the stockroom filling orders
for various defense plants and government issue
Kelsey: What kinds of things did
Hoffman: Oh! everything was stock
numbers, so it was all different parts: parts for
airplanes, parts for bombs, different mechanisms
that they had—various parts. All you just got was a
sheet and you had to go through the whole area and
find what was on that sheet and stock it together.
Kelsey: And then when you left RCA,
did you go to work at another company?
Hoffman: A very short time at Newark
Kelsey: And what did you do there?
Hoffman: I worked a drill press.
Kelsey: And what were you making?
Hoffman: It was parts for what,
exactly, I don’t know. It was various….
Kelsey: And how long did you work
Hoffman: Hm, oh, maybe about six
months or so, and then I went to the telephone
Kelsey: What was the telephone
Hoffman: That was on Washington
Street. I worked in long distance.
Kelsey: So you were a switchboard
Hoffman: Uh-huh, an L.D. operator.
Kelsey: And how long were you there?
Hoffman: Hm, up to about 1950.
Kelsey: So you actually left the
defense industry before the war was over.
Hoffman: Yes, I did.
Kelsey: Because you went to work for
the phone company in what year?
Hoffman: Yeah, because I was working
at the phone company on V-J Day.
Kelsey: And that was 1945, August.
Hoffman: Yeah. That was on
Kelsey: And then what did you do
after that, did you keep working?
Hoffman: And then I had babies.
(laughter) I had my first baby in 1946, and another
one in ’52. And then I went into my own business
for a while, [unclear] caterers. My husband died, I
took over the catering business for a while. And
then I went to Marriott Corporation from service.
Then I was there for twenty-some years.
Kelsey: Did you meet your husband
during the war?
Hoffman: No, prior to the war,
because I was married in 1940.
Kelsey: Oh, so you were already
married when the war started.
Hoffman: I married in January of
’40, and the war broke out in December of ’41.
Well, actually they recorded my marriage as January
of ’41, so I was married a very short time.
Kelsey: And then he went overseas?
Kelsey: Where did he go?
Hoffman: He was in the European
Kelsey: Did that have anything to do
with why you decided to go to RCA, or you were just
looking for a job?
Hoffman: I needed a job. Good
reason, wasn’t it?
Kelsey: Yeah. And then when did he
Kelsey: After V-E Day?
Kelsey: And by that time you were
working with the phone company?
Hoffman: By that time I was at the
Kelsey: Okay, I think that’s good
Hoffman: I enjoyed being here with
Kelsey: We’ve definitely enjoyed
being here with you. And thank you for bringing all
Hoffman: Well, I’m sorry I threw a
lot of things away, honestly: that mail, where they
cut out what you can…. [I asked myself], “What am I
keeping this stuff for?!”
Kelsey: Where they would redact
Kelsey: Did you get V-mail,
Hoffman: V-mails, yeah. And then
they cut out what you weren’t allowed to see. After
a while, you just can keep so much stuff.
[END OF INTERVIEW]