This page, is to honor all the women
that has served in the armed forces and
gave of themselves, their time and some, their lives.
|War of 1812: Mary Marshall and
Mary Allen nursed aboard Commodore Stephen Decatur's ship United States.
Civil War: Women provided casualty care and nursing to Union and Confederate troops at field hospitals and on the Union hospital ship Red Rover. Women soldiers disguised as men served on both sides. In 1866 Dr. Mary Walker received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first woman to receive the nation's highest military honor.
Spanish American War: More than 1,500 Army contract nurses served stateside, in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and on the hospital ship Relief. Twenty nurses died.
1901: Army Nurse Corps established; Dita H. Kinney served as first Superintendent.
World War I: Navy and Marine Corps enlisted women to "free men to fight." Army and Navy nurses served in hospitals stateside and overseas. 233 bilingual telephone operators recruited by AT served overseas with the U.S Army Signal Corps.
World War II: More than 400,000 women served in nearly all noncombat jobs in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) which soon converted to Women's Army Corps (WAC); Navy Women's Reserves called Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES); Coast Guard SPARS (after the motto Semper Paratus); the Marine Corps Women Marine Reserves, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). 87 military women nurses were prisoners of war in the Pacific and in Europe.
1948: The Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 granted women permanent status in the Regular and Reserves forces of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and newly created separate Air Force.
1949: Air Force Nurse Corps and Army and Air Force Medical Specialist Corps established.
Korean War: Some 540 served in the combat zone; Army and Navy nurses in M.A.S.H. units, hospitals, on hospital ships and Air Force nurses with Air Evacuation units.
Vietnam War: About 7,500 American military women served tours in Southeast Asia. The majority incountry were Army nurses. Eight died.
1967: On November 8 President Johnson signed Public Law 90-130 repealing ceilings on women's promotions.
1970: Anna Mae Hays, Chief, Army Nurse Corps, and Elizabeth P. Hoisington, Director of the Women's Army Corps, were the first women promoted to general in June.
1971: Air Force promoted Jeanne M. Holm, WAF Director, to brigadier general.
1972: The military draft ended and more women were recruited. Revised service policies equalized treatment of women in dependency and entitlements matters and entry standards for men and women. Alene B. Duerk, Director, Navy Nurse Corps, became first female admiral.
1973: Six Navy women were the first women to earn military pilot wings. Jeanne M. Holm became first female major general.
1974: Army Lieutenant Sally Murphy became first military helicopter pilot. Department of Defense policy revisions to permit women to remain in the military while raising families.
1976: On October 7, 1975, President Ford signed Public Law 94-106 admitting women to the military academies. Women were enrolled in all service academies by fall of 1976.
1976: Fran McKee, first woman line officer promoted to rear admiral.
1978: The Coast Guard was first service to open all assignments to women. Margaret Brewer became the Marine Corps' first female brigadier general.
1978: On October 20, the Women's Army Corps (WAC) deactivated and its members integrated into their basic branches.
1979: Hazel W. Johnson, Army Nurse Corps, became the first black woman brigadier general and first black Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
1983: Lieutenant Colleen Nevius became the Navy's first woman test pilot. 170 women were deployed to Grenada on Operation Urgent Fury.
1984: Kristin Holdereid graduated top of her class at the Naval Academy.
1986: Air Force women served as pilots, copilots, and boom operators on the KC135 and KC-10 tankers that refueled FB-111s during the raid on Libya.
1989: 770 women deployed to Panama in Operation Just Cause. Kristin M. Baker named brigade commander and first captain of the West Point Corps of Cadets.
War in the Persian Gulf: Some 40,000 American military women deployed on Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Two Army women were taken prisoner. Thirteen military women died.
1991: Servicewomen deployed to Honduras. Passage of the 1992 Defense Authorization Bill repealed laws banning women from flying in combat.
1993: Air Force Lieutenant Jeannie Flynn entered combat pilot training. Congress repealed ban on women serving aboard combat ships. Servicewomen deployed to United Nations' forces in Bosnia and Somalia.
1994: Navy women joined the crew of a carrier, USS Eisenhower. Women deployed with U.N. forces in Rwanda. Navy women served on combat ships in Haiti, Operation Uphold Democracy. Combat pilot, Navy Lt. Kara S. Hultgreen died in a training accident off the USS Abraham Lincoln.
1995: Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen M. Collins became the first woman pilot of a space shuttle, the Discovery. Marcelite Harris, USAF, was the first black woman to attain the rank of major general.
|Although women were not allowed
to participate in battle, they did serve in so-called "non combat" missions.
These missions often proved to be extremely dangerous.
The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS/WASP)
In September 1942, the Army Air Force (AAF) created the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and appointed Nancy H. Love its commander. Love recruited highly skilled and experienced female pilots who were sent on non combat missions ferrying planes between factories and AAF installations. While WAFS was being organized, the Army Air Force appointed Jacqueline Cochran as Director of Women's Flying Training. Cochran's school, which eventually moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX, trained 232 women before it ceased operations. Eventually, over 1000 women completed flight training. As the ranks of women pilots serving the AAF swelled, the value of their contribution began to be recognized, and the Air Force took steps to militarize them. As a first step the Air Force renamed their unit from WAFS to Women Air force Service Pilots (WASP).These pilots were considered Civil Service employees of the AAF WAFS/WASP
||Barbara Erickson became the
first WASP to receive the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement as a Pilot.
Erickson received her medal for completing four 2,000 mile deliveries of
three different types of aircraft in slightly more than 5 days of actual
Although not allowed to fly combat missions, WAFS/WASP pilots served grueling, often dangerous, tours of duty. Ferrying and towing were risky activities, and some WAFS/WASP pilots suffered injuries and were killed in the course of duty. In 1977, after much lobbying of Congress, the WASP finally achieved military active duty status for their service.
|First Lt. Annie G. Fox, Army Nurse Corps, was on duty at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. For her outstanding performance, she was recommended for and awarded the Purple Heart. Originally established by Gen. George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart was reinstituted in 1932 for the bicentennial of Washington's birth. Although generally awarded to service members wounded in action, it was also awarded for any "singularly meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity or essential service." Later in the war, the requirements for award of the Purple Heart were limited to wounds received as a result of enemy action. At that time, individuals were given other awards to replace the Purple Heart. Annie Fox also received the Bronze Star for her service.|
|Vietnam Women's Memorial
The Vietnam Women's Memorial completed the circle of healing at the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial. The names of the eight military women who died in Vietnam
are inscribed on the Wall, but the statue of the Three Servicemen did not
reflect the women who served. Sustained by her respect for these women,
one former Army nurse, Diane Carlson Evans, founded the Vietnam Women's
Memorial Project in 1984. Many of the 250,000 women veterans worked in
concert with her and others to place the Vietnam Women's Memorial near
the Wall. Congress authorized the Vietnam Women's Memorial in 1988 to honor
the "women of the armed forces of the United States who served in the Republic
of Vietnam during the Vietnam era." Sculptor Glenna Goodacre of Santa Fe,
New Mexico was selected to design the bronze statue that depicts three
women, one of whom is tending to a wounded soldier. The statue is six feet,
eight inches tall and weighs one ton. Planted around the statue's plaza
are eight trees to commemorate each of the women who died in Vietnam. The
Vietnam Women's Memorial was dedicated in 1993, as part of the Vietnam
Vietnam Women's Memorial Project
A Legacy Of Healing and Hope
I don't go off to war, so they say,
I'm a woman.
Who then has worn my boots?
And whose memories are these,
of youth's suffering?
I'm a woman and I've tasted man's war.
And he knows that I love in no greater way
than to share in his life or his death.
What are the rules?
Man or woman,
we are prey to suffer and survive together.
Please don't forget me.
I've been through war's hell and if only you will listen,
I've a story of those chosen to sacrifice for us all.
© Diane Carlson Evans, Vietnam 1968-69
Over 40,000 US military women served in key combat-support positions throughout the Persian Gulf Region.
Women in Desert Storm did everything the male troops did except engage in ground combat - they could essentially get fired upon - they just weren't allowed to shoot back!
Sixteen women died during the war and two were held prisoner.
On one-twenty-eight, the year eighty-six
For Christa McAuliffe, a brave pioneer
From orbit she planned to teach children on earth
As fire rained the sky, her soul winged on
It was down at the cape,
in the year of eighty six
But one minute after midnight
on that cloudy fatal morn
So let us always remember they
took the risk that day
What a day in history, when we
saw that tragedy
Then the leader of our nation,
told all the boys and girls
I woke up one bright morning
I knew that she'd be gone awhile
Oh Daddy did the best he could
You see she is a soldier
The last time Momma left us
That she'd be back to love me
She loved to serve her country
Now she is an angel...
Yes, Momma was a soldier
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