Thursday, December 29, 2016

Beryl Russell Worked in Greece

This is a continuing story about the Official Personnel Folder for my great-aunt Beryl Johnston Russell.[1] See part 1 here.

I had always known that my great-aunt Beb (that was what we called Beryl Johnston Russell) had worked for the federal government and lived in Greece. I had no idea who she worked for, but guessed it was the State Department.

However, she worked first for the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers. She had been working for the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento on the Central Valley Project. On 11 July 1948, she accepted the position of Clerk-Stenographer, CAF-4, at $2992.50 per month. This money included a differential to begin when departure from the U.S.

Once at the Apergis Hotel in Kifissia, Greece, she filled out an application for employment in the Foreign Service of the United States. This is the best application as it had all of her previous employment history. It also had the addresses of the previous ten years. None of these addresses nor the addresses for her family members were redacted!

Her work with the Army Corps of Engineers, Grecian Division was short-lived.  She resigned on 8 January 1949 to go work for the ECA (Economic Cooperation Administration) in Athens.[2] She had been working in the Engineering Division for the Commissioner of Water Economy for the Ministry of Public Works. Basically she was transferred and received a pay raise. Later job applications stated the engineers were returning to the U.S. She must have wanted to stay and applied to the ECA.

A poster created by the ECA
The ECA was part of State Department and was the agency set up to administer the Marshall Plan for development projects and reconstruction assistance in many western European countries.[3] In her packet was an Oath of Office, Affidavit and Declaration of Appointee.” This is where she had to solemnly swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..” She also had to swear that she had not engaged in any strike against the Government of the United States.

She worked as a secretary for the ECA for about a year, resigning for personal reasons on 21 January 1950.

I have some photos of Beryl while she was in Greece. She did take advantage of seeing the sights and the ruins in Athens.

Picking flowers at the Apergis Hotel

[1] Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for Beryl Russell, 6510, National Personnel Records Center, Valmeyer, Illinois.
[2] Notification of Personnel Action, 13 Jan 1949, Mrs. Beryl J. Russell; Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for Beryl Russell, 6510, National Personnel Records Center, Valmeyer, Illinois.
[3] “Economic Cooperation Administration,” ( : accessed 28 Dec 2016).

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