NewsA Veteran's Voice


A Veteran's Voice: Remembering Kern County treasure Betty Petrie

Posted at 7:36 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 10:36:09-05

(KERO) — Betty Petrie the oldest surviving World War II Veteran in Kern County passed away at the age of 106 on Sunday.

We were able to sit down with Betty two years ago before her 104th birthday celebration to talk about her military service that was classified in a life that's anything but "silent."

Here's a look at that previous article:

Betty Petrie marked her 104th birthday this week with a sharp salute.

This Navy veteran answered the call to serve in the months following Pearl Harbor. A second-grade teacher in Salinas, Petrie was actually in the hospital on Dec. 7th, 1941.

Soon after, she joined the U.S. Naval Reserve with the WAVES, the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.

She was sent to Iowa for training and then to Washington, D.C., but she soon was doing clerical work in our nation's capitol handling sensitive communiques.

She worked out of the Mount Vernon Seminary for Girls, which was purchased by the U.S. Navy and operated as a communications annex.

It was responsible for many secret intelligence activities including breaking enemy codes which included the enigma cipher system that was used by German U-boats. Betty would only say security was very tight.

Betty was offered a wonderful gift earlier this year, a trip on the Honor Flight last May. Organizers even offered to have her own nurse to travel with her but Betty said she had to decline. So Honor Flight Kern County brought the memorials to Betty with a virtual trip for her birthday.

A veteran still dedicated to service and country after more than 100 years of life.