World War II Letters From American Women in Uniform
Baker & Taylor A powerful and long-neglected tribute to the experiences of uniformed women in every branch of the services during World War II draws on more than 300,000 letters and includes eyewitness accounts of battles and poignant recollections of caring for the wounded.
Baker & Taylor Experiences of uniformed women in every branch of the service during World War II include eyewitness accounts of battles and recollection of caring for the wounded
Oxford University Press Veterans' Day, 1993. The Vietnam memorial, Washington, D.C. Tearful thousands gather for the unveiling of a new monument, a long-overdue tribute to the women who served in Southeast Asia. The event was a powerful reminder of the importance of women in the war--and of its emotional role in their own lives. Yet Vietnam was not the first war in which American women enlisted alongside men. Fifty years ago, an even greater conflict engulfed the lives of tens of thousands of women as they joined the Second World War. Now Judy Barrett Litoff and David C. Smith recapture their experiences in the most direct way possible--through the words of the women themselves. In We're in This War Too, Litoff and Smith draw upon their archive of 30,000 wartime letters--the product of a decade-long, nationwide search--to provide an immediate sense of the lives of women in every branch of the armed forces. From the military build-up in Hawaii in the months prior to Pearl Harbor to the agonizing and horrific final days of hostilities, uniformed women played an integral role in the war effort--a role vividly captured here. Letters from Army nurses describe the devastating events of December 7, 1941. A member of the first WAAC officer class describes her immense pride in being a member of "the pioneer 440." A Red Cross worker reports on the challenges she faced when setting up a "tent club" in a remote province of China. Here are eyewitness accounts of the fierce fighting at Anzio and the Battle of the Bulge, wrenching commentary on caring for the wounded and the victims of concentration camps, and poignant reflections on the larger meaning of the war. Here, too, are the trials of military service in the 1940s: a WAVE reports on how it felt to be the only Jewish servicewoman in Yeoman school, and an African-American WAC writes of the descrimination and prejudice she encountered while traveling by train through the southern United States. The Second World War was the greatest conflagration to overtake our nation in living memory, producing a vast body of literature--yet the role of women in the contest has been sadly neglected.We're in This War Too is the first comprehensive account of uniformed women in the war ever published, capturing the essence of their experience in all its complexity. It provides a view of the Second World War that has been missing from the pages of history for far too long.