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Navy Gallery at the Gerald R. Ford Library.
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A purple velvet hat wrapped in flower-patterned, white lace worn by Betty when she wedded Gerald R. Ford. They were married in Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 15, 1948, just weeks before he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives.
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The first page of Gerald R. Ford’s original application to the U.S. Naval Reserve dated to February 23, 1942. The attack on Pearl Harbor compelled Ford to set aside his career in law to serve his country.
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A scale model of the USS Monterey (CVL-26) light carrier Gerald R. Ford served on in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Raymond F. Guyette handcrafted this 1:144th scale, highly detailed model in 2008. Around 800 individual wood planks make up the flight deck.


Gerald Ford entered the United States Navy in early 1942. By 1943 he was serving in the Pacific Ocean, aboard the USS Monterey. The ship took part in many of the island battles as the fleet moved closer to Japan. After the ship was damaged in a typhoon in December 1944, Ford was transferred to shore duty. He left active service in 1946 with the rank of Lt. Commander.