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Local Girl Joins Navy, Finds Herself in Movies

Barbara West, whose home is at 2906 Marshall Street, joined the Navy to see the world--and became a shipmate of movie star, Esther Williams.

Sailor Barbara, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ted West, was one of a group of Waves selected to act with Miss Williams in MGM's new musical, "Skirts Ahoy!"

The motion picture opens for a three-day run Thursday at the Texan Theatre, according to manager, Ab Moore.

Barbara's "movie" career began when the swimming star and the rest of the Hollywood company traveled to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Chicago for outdoor scenes in the Technicolor production. Miss Williams, Joan Evans, and Vivian Blaine portray Waves.

Since the story recites the adventures of a group of girls, among them Misses Williams, Evans, Blaine, and WEST, as they undergo boot training, authenticity was obtained by filming scenes at Great Lakes--and by featuring girls who had recently joined the Waves.

Prior to her entrance into the service, Barbara, a native of Celeste, was a student at East Texas Teachers' College.

Barry Sullivan and Keefe Brasselle also star in the musical, which was directly by Sidney Lanfield and produced by Joe Pasternak from the script by Isobel Lennart.

(June 4, 1952, The Greenville Morning Herald)

note: (Barbara West was a second grade student at Celeste in 1939. She would have probably graduated from high school in 1948 or around that time.)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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