- September 12, 1979
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This collection is open to the public.
Biographical / Historical
Elizabeth Spencer was born in Norfolk, VA in 1903. She taught elementary school for about 30 years. During this time, she was convinced to go to Japan with a friend, applying and getting accepted to work with Special Services, the entertainment branch of the U.S. Military. She received permission from the elementary school to go to Japan, arriving in 1948. She was assigned to work as the service club director at the Yokohama Club. They soon sent her to the Sugamo Prison where she worked with the American G.I.s guarding Japanese prisoners from the War Crime Trials. While there, she organized various performances to entertain the G.I.s, including a singing performance by Japanese school children during Christmas time. She worked at the prison for 13 months before being transferred to another club. She was in Japan for a total of two years before coming back to the U.S., where she went back to teaching for two years, before retiring. After her retirement, she went to Alaska to work for the U.S. Army Alaska. Spencer remained there for two years from 1955-57.