Reliving an earlier era in the skies

Boy, did I relate to Susan Spano’s article “When Skies Were Friendlier, They Were Its Caretakers” (Her World, April 20). After 3 1/2 years in the WAVES during World War II, my first job as a civilian was as a stewardess with the now-defunct Universal Airlines in the mid-1940s. Its operation was so small that I stripped my Navy uniform of its insignia and used it as my flight uniform.

My run was New York City to Florida to Puerto Rico and back. Box lunches were the only food served, along with water, tea or coffee. I used an old Flit can to spray for bugs on the runway in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Heading south, passengers were mainly tourists, and the return trips carried women seeking work in New York.

Ruth Needle


Santa Monica