Marie Bennet Alsmeyer Collection

Descriptive Summary:

Creator:Marie Bennet Alsmeyer and Otis Malvin Montgomery
Title:Marie Bennet Alsmeyer Collection
Inclusive Dates:1941-1942
Abstract:The Marie Bennet Alsmeyer Collection is two stories, one about the life of Marie Bennet Alsmeyer, a freshman in the journalism department of Texas College of Arts and Industries in 1941, she left to join the Navy as a Wave after Pearl Harbor. The other story is about Dr. Otis Malvin Montgomery, a journalism professor at Texas College of Arts and Industries who influenced Marie Bennet Alsmeyer and also joined the Navy during World War II. He tells of his experiences in letters he wrote to his daughter, Linda, titled "Who Me, Stories from a Charmed Life." Marie Bennet Alysmeyer tells her story in the published monograph, "The Way of the Waves, Women in the Navy," and "Well Done, Mr. Monty... Carry On! Letters from O. M. Montgomery" by Marie Bennet Alsmeyer. The two became friends in 1941 and remained friends throughout their lives.
Extent:.5 linear feet
Container:H-6-2 Box #1 and Sandbox>Archives>Masters>SAT Collections>1999-032 (Scrapbook has been digitized)
Repository:South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Historical Notes:

Marie Bennet Alsmeyer from Falfurrias, Texas attended Texas College of Arts and Industries in 1941-1942. She was enrolled as a journalism major in Dr. Otis Montgomery's (Mr. Monty) classes. At the end of the spring semester of 1942 most of the boys and one girl at the college of 600 enlisted in the military as America fought the Japanese after the Pearl Harbor attack. Alsmeyer's personal narrative in her book about life as a Wave in the Navy covers Boot Camp in New York City, Hospital Corps School, and duty as a Pharmacist's Mate on the West Coast, forms the core of her book. Research and memories augment the record of leaving South Texas for the first time and serving in a hospital that grew from 500 to 6,000 patients during her tour of duty. Alsmeyer 'served for the duration and six months' before completing journalism studies at the University of Texas under the G.I. Bill. She married, had two sons and a daughter and the family settled in Tyler, Texas. where Alymeyer continued to write. Dr. Otis Malvin Montgomery was born August 14, 1907 in Hext, Menard, Texas to Harvey Woods Montgomery and Minnie Maud Deland Montgomery. His father died when he was three years old. His mother took a teaching job and took Otis to work. After Montgomery (known as Monty) graduated from high school he went to business school to learn typing, shorthand and business credits. Monty took a job in Austin as a bookkeeper of the small Austin Airport. He attended two years at University of Texas at Austin majoring in journalism. In 1931 Monty joined the Army Air Corps as a buck private and was stationed at Dodd Field right by Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. In 1934 Monty took a position as a journalism teacher at McAllen High School in 1934. Five years later he began teaching at Texas College of Arts and Industries as a journalism professor. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Monty joined the Navy, he became Admiral Nimitz's administrator during the war and served at the Bay of Pigs. Many of Monty's stories about the war and his life can be found in "Who Me? Stories from a Charmed Life," from the letters of Otis Malvin Montgomery written to his daughter Bonnie Carol Montgomery during 1992-1993.

Scope and Content:

Excepts from Alsmeyer's book, "The Ways of the Waves, Women in the Navy," a copy of "Well Done, Mr. Monty ... Carry On! Letters from O.M. Montgomery," and Dr. Montgomery's compiled letters, "Who Me? Stories From a Charmed Life," are included in the collection. Additionally there is a Smithsonian magazine article, August 1999, "Do Not Take the Javelina Lightly," and Alsmeyers's scrapbook from 1941 when she attended Texas College of Arts and Industries.


The materials are arranged in five folders in one box.


Access:Open for Research
Rights Statment:Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A& M University-Kingsville. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

Index Terms:


  • Montgomery, Otis Malvin, 1907-
  • Alsmeyer, Marie Bennet
  • Nimitz, Chester W. (Chester William), 1885-1966


  • Texas College of Arts and Industries
  • United States -- Navy -- Women
  • United States -- Naval Reserve -- Women's Reserve

Geographical Names

  • Falfurrias (Tex.)
  • Menard (Tex.)
  • Kingsville (Tex.)


  • Journalism
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American
  • Aeronautics, Military

Administrative Information:

Preferred Citation

Marie Bennet Alsmeyer Collection, A1999-032.XXXX- South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


Gift and purchase from Marie Bennet Alsmeyer

Proccessing Information

In 2018 Lori Atkins processed the collection and created the finding aid, Daniel Thacker uploaded it to the website, and created the EAD document.

2016 Texas A&M University-Kingsville,
James C. Jernigan Library, South Texas Archives,
MSC 197, 700 University Blvd, Kingsville, TX 78336-8202