WNEL - PATRICIA DOROTHY WEST
DRIVER FOR GENERAL EICHELBERGER
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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Patricia Dorothy West was a member of the Women's National Emergency Legion in Brisbane during WWII. Dorothy was a driver for General Robert L. Eichelberger, the Commanding General of the 8th US Army.

WNEL Patricia West featured in the 25 July 1942 edition (Vol. 10, No. 4) of Pix Magazine. See photos below.

 

WNEL Patricia West is receiving instructions and her
Trip Ticket from Army Despatcher Private Turner

 

After reporting to the Despatch Office at 6am
Patricia West checked the oil and petrol,
and washed and polished her vehicle

 

After cleaning her vehicle Patricia
tidies herself in the Rest Room

 

Mr. Hiron, a civilian attendant obtains Patricia's
signature after she filled her vehicle with petrol

 

Patricia cleaning windows on her vehicle
then checked the tyres and spare etc

 

Patricia reports to the Sentry who then notifies
her passenger that their vehicle is ready

 

Holding the door open for Lt. J.R. Robertson,
the Motor Officer Eng. in Base Section 3

 

Patricia West about to take over control of a US Command Car
used for bus services from WNEL Driver Miss Conroy

 

WNEL mechanic Mrs Stewart helping Patricia with a flat tyre

 

Patricia in the pit helping the mechanic

 

Patricia in the Rest Room where the WNELs
can sleep between calls on the night shift.
There were four stretchers in the Rest Room.

 

Patricia West beside her vehicle

 

The WNELs took turns doing night shifts. There
were usually fewer jobs at night allowing the
ladies to enjoy tea and cakes in the Rest Room

 

Colonel Byers and Colonel Bowen pinning the 3rd Star on
General Eichelberger of 1st Army Corps in Rockhampton

 

Patricia's family has always enjoyed telling the story of the time that Patricia was scurrying around the car to open the door and salute General Eichelberger when she fell. General Eichelberger reached down to help her up, took off one of his stars, handed it to her and said, “Remember the time you fell for the General”! The family still have the General's Star in their possession.

 


Photo:- Hayden Cameron

Patricia West's WNEL Driver Service Pin and the
General's star given to her by General Eichelberger

 

During the war, Patricia West met a handsome American 1st Lieutenant named Bradt M. Cameron. Their engagement was announced in the Telegraph (Brisbane) on 11 March 1944. On 8 April 1944, they married in Brisbane. A year later, their first son, Burch, was born. After the war, Captain Bradt had to return to the United States. A few months later Patricia and Burch sailed for the US. They settled in Birmingham, AL where Bradt had grown up. Several years later they had a daughter, Rhea, and then another son, Hayden.

The December 1942 Military Telephone Directory for Brisbane shows a Lieutenant B. M. Cameron, a Port Ordnance Officer in the Army Transport Service of Base Section 3. He appears again in the May 1944 edition in the same role.

 


Photo:- Hayden Cameron

Patricia Cameron (nee West)

 

Patricia Cameron (nee West) died peacefully in her home on 1 September 2016.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Hayden Cameron for his assistance with this web page. Hayden is the son of Patricia Dorothy Cameron (nee West).

I'd also like to thank Robert Stephenson for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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This page first produced 22 September 2016

This page last updated 03 February 2017