By David Stevens: Editor for Freedom New Mexico
A Maryland man, researching his father-in-law’s World War II experiences, has bumped into a mystery woman from Clovis.
Bob Kenney, of Potomac, Md., reports Marsh Teets was a bomber pilot stationed at Clovis Army Air Base from April to June 1943. While here, Teets became infatuated with a woman he identified in letters home as “Charlyne.” He also spelled her name “Charlyn” and “Charlene.”
The woman, whose last name was never mentioned in Teets’ letters, made such an impression that Teets’ family members came to call her the “Fascinatin’ Woman.”
Teets and his crew also nicknamed their B-24 bomber “Fascinatin’ Woman” and the woman’s supposed likeness was painted on the plane’s nose.
The plane was lost in a mission over Truk Atoll in the South Pacific on June 3, 1944, Kenney said, but Teets was flying another plane that day. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and also served tours in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the military as a lieutenant colonel. He died in 1992 at age 72 in Sacramento, Calif., Kenney said.
As for the mystery woman, Kenney has little additional information. Through 1930 Census records — the most recent available in detail — he found three women who lived in the area whose names were probably pronounced “Charlene” who were approximately the same age as Teets. But he has no idea how many women with that first name had moved into — or out of — the region by the time Teets arrived.
Kenney said Teets sent a photo of the woman to his father, but that photo has long been lost to time.
And so the mystery remains.
If you think you can solve it, Kenney would love to hear from you: