View Full Version : Women Soldiers & Sailors

03-25-04, 03:20 AM
Women Soldiers &amp; Sailors <br />
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In 1428 a 16 year old peasant girl named Jehanne la Pucelle convinced the Dauphin of France to put her in charge of his army by promising to reclaim Orleans from the...

03-31-04, 06:14 AM
American Women
in the US Military

Although it is the largest and most extensive undertaking for military women, WIMSA , the Women's Memorial at the gates of Arlington National Cemetery, is not the first monument to military women or to women who have aided the military in our country's time of war. Here are some of the other statues and memorials that honor those brave women who served their country in many ways over the years since our nation began.

On April 26 1777, the daughter of a New York militia officer, Sybil Ludington was with her family when an exhausted messenger reached the Ludington home with news of a British attack and burning of Danbury, Connecticut where munitions and supplies for the entire region were stored. Sybil leapt to her horse and galloped off to rally the surrounding patriots and call out the volunteer militia to repel the British raid. Racing through the dark night over more than 40 miles of unfamiliar roads, the 16-year-old girl spread the alarm to rouse the countryside against the attack. The statue, presented by the DAR, is in Carmel, New York.

Margaret Corbin: During the Revolutionary War battle of Fort Washington, 1776, Margaret Corbin manned her husbands cannon when he was killed, until she was wounded. Margaret Corbin was the first woman awarded a pension by Congress for her service and disability. She is buried in the U.S. Military Academy Cemetery at West Point. Some historians think that her deeds, not those of Mary Hays, began the legend of Molly Pitcher.

In 1778, two years after Margaret Corbin's heroic stand, Mary Ludwig Hays also kept her husband's cannon firing after he fell in the battle of Monmouth, near Freehold, N.J. Mary Hays (later McCauley), said to have been Molly Pitcher, is recognized both in N.J. and in Pennsylvania, where she lived after the war. This statue is adjacent to her grave site in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

In Sharon Massachusetts a statue of Deborah Samson, who fought disguised as Robert Shirtliffe in the Continental Army, stands outside the Sharon library. Deborah served for three years and was awarded a pension for her military service.

In 1782 when hostile Indians were attacking Fort Henry, Ohio, the troops ran out of gunpowder. Young Elizabeth Zane volunteered to fetch a keg of powder known to be in her brother's house sixty yards outside the gates of the fort. She walked past the Indians unnoticed and got the powder. On her return trip she ran through hostile fire and reached the fort in safety with the gunpowder. This statue is in the town of Martin's Ferry, Ohio and was raised in 1903 by the school children of Martin's Ferry.

The Civil War may have been fought by men but women played a major part in everything from acting as patriots in disguise to battlefield nursing. In the State House in Boston, this monument honors those Massachusetts nurses who served so bravely during the Civil War.

A monument to Jane Delano and all of the military nurses who died during World War One stands watch over the nurses section of Arlington National Cemetery. Jane Delano was the second superintendent of Army Nurse Corps.

MOLLY MARINE: Another first in America in the feminine statue department is Molly Marine. Molly proudly stands in her Marine uniform on the corner of Canal and Elks Place in New Orleans. The statue was dedicated in 1943 during World War II. This statue was the first of a female service woman in the United States. The model for the statue was Judy Mosgrove, who still resides in New Orleans. The statue is unique in that it is made of cement. It was war-time and that was the only material available. The legend on her pedestal tells the story of what she was all about, "FREE A MARINE TO FIGHT." In 1966, a group of ex-Marines financed a beauty treatment for Molly. She received a coating of bronze and a new marble pedestal.

One of the better known attractions of Rindge, New Hampshire is the "Cathedral of the Pines" with its "Altar of the Nations" and the Memorial Bell Tower. The Cathedral is shielded only by the towering pines, the background is a magnificent view of Mount Monadnock and the rock altar is built of stones from all of the United States. It was built in memory of Lt. Sanderson Sloane who died in combat in 1944. It is recognized by the U.S. Congress and dedicated for all American war dead. The Memorial Bell Tower is the first memorial for women who sacrificed their lives for our country.

First Lt Sharon Lane was killed by hostile fire in Viet Nam. On May 29, 1973 a statue to Sharon was dedicated in front of Aultman Hospital by the William F. Cody Garrison #50 of the Army/Navy Union. This statue was built with funds raised in the community, and is one of the first Vietnam memorials constructed in the United States. In March, 1986, Aultman Hospital opened the Sharon Lane Women's Center in its main lobby; two months later, on May 26, the Canton Chapter 199 of the Vietnam Veterans of America officially became the 'Sharon Lane Chapter #199'. There are two roads named for Sharon: one in Denver, CO; the other at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. On September 12, 1995, Fort Hood, Texas dedicated the Sharon Lane Volunteer Center. A permanent display in her honor can be seen at the Ohio Society of Military History in Massillon, Ohio.

The Combined Veterans Council of Berks County is the umbrella for all the veterans organizations in Berks County, PA. In 1995, the Combined Veterans Council resolved to sponsor the Berks County Tribute to Women Veterans project. The project is in two parts. The monument, dedicated on November 7, 1999, is the physical tribute. It honors past, present and future women veterans. The history project will collect information about the women of Berks County who have served in uniform and as civilians during wartime. The purpose is to educate the community about the participation and contributions the women of Berks County have made in defense of their country.

Phyllis Dolin of Wilton Iowa has donated a memorial to honor all women veterans of the U.S. It is in the Rock Island National Cemetery on Arsenal Island, Illinois. Each side of the stone obelisk is dedicated to various branches of the military. The side shown here reads "To Honor Women of the U.S. Air Force and Army."

Ellen May Tower was the first American woman to die on foreign soil in service of this country - in the Spanish American War - and the first woman from Michigan to be honored with a military funeral. She was buried on January 17, 1899 in Byron, Michigan. Later friends and organizations raised money to place this monument on her grave. On April 28, 1899 a post office was established near the Village of Onaway where Ellen's father lived. The local folks honored Ellen May Tower by naming the town and the post office "Tower" in remembrance of her.

A bronze sculpture symbolizing Liberty standing on the crown of England and breaking free from the bonds of colonization is the focal point of the New York State Women Veterans Memorial along Madison Avenue at the southern end of the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
The statue created by Glenmont artisan Hy Rosen does not represent a woman veteran, but rather is symbolic of the spirit, strength and commitment of women to defend our nation and its principles. The statue is garbed in a gown similar to that depicted on the Statue of Liberty, as well as that worn by the symbols of Justice and Liberty that are integral parts of New York's state seal and flag.

Images of women veterans from all eras of service are incorporated in two large bronze reliefs depicting the evolving history of women in military service during the past 200-plus years that will flank the statue.

The Women Veterans Monument stands out among markers lining the Memorial Walkway section at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Hanover, New Jersey. The monument is as unique as the women it honors.
After ten years of planning and fund raising, the New Jersey Advisory Committee for Women Veterans dedicated the monument on June 6, 2003, the 59th anniversary of D-Day.


03-31-04, 06:14 AM
The 30-inch high statue of a colonial era "Minutewoman" is shown wearing traditional Revolutionary War period clothing, carrying a weapon in one hand and holding a lantern in the other, while shielding a child. It shows the courage and conviction of women serving in times of conflict, according to Col. Maria Morgan, deputy adjutant of the New Jersey National Guard. "An often forgotten fact is that all the women veterans and all the women in uniform were the true volunteers always," said Morgan.

The 100-pound statue sits atop a black pentagonal monolith, with each side representing one branch of the military displaying insignias of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The words "The Spirit of the American Woman Veteran" are inscribed on the bottom of the granite base.

For Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, U.S. Air Force (Retired), president of the Board of Directors of the Women in Military Service for America Foundation, this dedication ceremony is just on of many that are continuing across the country to honor women who have served. Vaught has seen increased interest in the contributions of females t the military since the opening of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington Cemetery in October 1997. "That memorial started a chain of actions," said Vaught.

On Memorial Day, Wednesday, May 30, 1962, the Military Women's Memorial monument in New Orleans was unveiled and dedicated under the sponsorship of the New Orleans Chapter, WAC Veterans Association. It is the First military monument in America dedicated solely to military women and its dedication plaque reads: "to the honor and glory of all military women who offer their lives in defense of the United States in the cause for peace."

Marine Corps Women


04-06-04, 07:22 AM
Women in the Marine Corps


What? Women Marines? You've got to be kidding.

That was the first reaction from a group of male Marines freed from a prison camp in the Philippines in February 1945. These men could hardly believe that women were in the Corps.

American women in military uniform were rare at the beginning of World War II. On July 30, 1942, the Marine Corps Womens Reserve was established as part of the Marine Corps Reserve. The mission of the Marine Corps Womens Reserve was to provide qualified women for duty at shore establishments of the Marine Corps, releasing men for combat duty.

By February 1943, American forces wiped out all enemy opposition on Guadalcanal. The bitter fighting there made it apparent that many more Marines would be needed to continue the war in the Pacific. The Marine Corps would soon learn that there were no differences between men and women with respect to their fierce pride in the Marine Corps and that special "Once a Marine, always a Marine" brand of loyalty.

The first group of women officers was given direct commissions based on ability and civilian expertise. These women were given no formal indoctrination or schooling, but went on active duty immediately. Women Marines were assigned to over 200 different jobs, among them radio operator, photographer, parachute rigger, driver, aerial gunnery instructor, cook, baker, quartermaster, control tower operator, motion picture operator, auto mechanic, telegraph operator, cryptographer, laundry operator, post exchange (store) manager, stenographer and agriculturist.

No organization is complete without a leader. The first director of the Marine Corps Womens Reserve was Mrs. Ruth Cheney Streeter from Morristown, New Jersey. By the end of World War II, 85 percent of the enlisted personnel assigned to Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps were women.

On June 7, 1946, Commandant of the Marine Corps General Alexander A. Vandegrift approved the retention of a small number of women on active duty. They would serve as a trained nucleus for possible mobilization emergencies. The demobilization of the Marine Corps Womens Reserve, 17,640 enlisted and 820 officers, was to be completed by Sept. 1, 1946. Of the 20,000 women who joined the Marine Corps during World War II, only 1,000 remained in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve by July 1, 1946.

Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter recommended the position of director of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve be strengthened and placed directly under the office of the commandant. On June 12, 1948, Congress passed legislation giving women regular military status, placing them on a par with their male counterparts in the U.S. armed forces.

Researched by Alexander Molnar Jr. USMC/USA (Ret.)


The first commissioned officer in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was Captain Anne Lentz, a civilian clothing designer who began work on the women Marines uniforms. The first commissioned officer class of 71 women reported to Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, in March 1943.

The first enlisted woman Marine was Lucille McClarren from Nemahcolin, Pennsylvania. The first enlisted class of 722 women reported to Hunter College, New York, New York, in March 1943.

Eighty percent of the total enrollment in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve came from only 17 states. The average age of women Marines was 20-25 years.

In January 1945, the first detachment of women Marines arrived in Hawaii for duty. By wars end, the complement of women Marines in Hawaii was approximately 1,000.

Only one woman Marine ever served with the Office of Strategic Services in World War II. Captain Charlotte Day Gower served in Washington, D.C. She was formerly dean of women at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. When the Japanese attacked, she became a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp for five months, where she taught Chinese to fellow inmates. After repatriation, Gower joined the Marine Corps Women's Reserve and later became its director of training.


On Nov. 10, 1943, a statue nicknamed Molly Marine was dedicated in New Orleans, Louisiana, to honor all women Marines. Because of building material restrictions during the war, the statue was made of marble chips and granite.

Nineteen Navy WAVES volunteered for the Marine Corps Women's Reserve and became the first women Marine recruiters.