b'If Youve Never Lived in a Quonset HutFirst home: 724-A Homoja Housing, Camp Pendleton.Photo courtesy of the author.by Pat Gracey An apartment size electric range, an icebox (not a refrigerator), a sink and small counter filled the My first experience living in a Quonset hut was, as aspace which was definitely a one-person work area.bride, in 1950.The tunnel-like buildings were oneThere was a living room, two small bedrooms and of hundreds-of-thousands that had been constructeda bathroom that was directly off the living room.I to house military personnel and families on basesmention all of this because the bathroom door was during World War II.Our group of huts, called6-inches too short, so there was a gap between Homoja Housing, was just inside the main gate ofthe door and the floor in all huts.Embarrassing for Camp Pendleton.The one-thousand or so huts wereguests.located on the west side of Vandegrift Boulevard as it proceeded into Camp Pendleton, a giant baseWhat to do with a plywood floor the color of putty encompassing over 126,000-acres that swept fromand hard to clean?I was not very imaginative but the Pacific Ocean inland.We had a great ocean viewmany Marine wives had absolutely genius ability in for we were no more than a mile, as the crow flies,their skill of making a hut a home.Not allowed to from the Pacific Ocean.I think the term Homoja waspaint them, they put shoe dye into a can of floor wax a reference to the style (and I use the term lightly)and after umpteen coats those old plywood floors of the hut itself.It was probably 48-feet long andwere a deep reddish brown and had a luster that 20-feet wide, but with a divider in the center thatwould make Martha Stewart green with envy.made two separate apartments per hut.There was a front door on either end and no other exits.TheThe curtains, of course, had to be fastened both interior wall separating the two apartments was notat the top and bottom of the window due to the soundproof and neighbors voices could sometimescurved outside walls, they would have otherwise be heard.Still and all, theres no place like home! hung straight down.Those same curved walls were a detriment to anyone of any great height. Walking I have read that the tunnel-like design of a hutnear the wall could mean a sharp smack on the was fashioned after the American Indian Iroquoisnoggin when getting too close to the slanted wall.style lodges.The World War II huts were made up of semi-circular steel ribs covered with corrugatedNone of the above really mattered though for it sheet metal.The ribs sat on a low, steel framecertainly wasnt hard to keep up with the Joneses foundation.The floors were some sort of plywood ornext door; all homes exactly alike.No washers or fiberboard.Not pretty.The small kitchen had a tinydryers.There was a laundry hut where one could, strip of some sort of linoleum covering the plywood.for a dime, do a load of clothes and then take them .continued on page 24Thank You For Your Service HJanuary 2021 H Military Appreciation Resource Magazine 23'