The Stories of the Women of World War 2

Sometimes the stories of the women of World War 2 sneak up on you when you least expect it. Last year, I wrote an article for We Are the Mighty highlighting women who made an impact at Pearl Harbor. One of the women I highlighted was Elizabeth (Betty) P. McIntosh, who wrote a graphic description about Pearl Harbor for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. They chose not to publish her story because of its graphic nature and it went unpublished for 71 years. I went back and forth on if I should include her story in the write-up, my original intent had been to highlight women veterans. But this story was too good to not share in highlighting the history and role of women during Pearl Harbor.

Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner, and Blanche Osborn are shown at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio.

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Women of World War 2

Imagine my surprise when I was reading The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line by Retired Major General Mari Eder that highlights the forgotten stories of the women of World War Two and finding a story about Betty written within the pages of her book about women of World War Two. But this story was not about her role as a reporter on the days she spent in Hawaii. Instead, her story continued and she joined the Morale Operations Group of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)) in Japan.

The US had created a radio “black propaganda” with the intent of crushing the morale of the Japanese military. She was one of the writers. There is more to her story as she continued to serve after the war was over under the CIA. But you are going to have to grab your own copy to find out all those details. Along with the stories of fourteen other women.

History forgotten

The women of World War 2 are a piece of history often forgotten. Women are remembered for their role as nurses. Even the stories of the nurses and what they did often are untold. The history of military women in World War II goes far beyond nurses and their remarkable bravery, courage, and sacrifice. The first women pilots served in World War Two. The Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) were trained on every aircraft and although combat was off-limits they trained male pilots, helped with target practice and some even gave their lives. They were never recognized for their service or given the title of the veteran until the 1970s.

Roles of women during World War 2

Other women worked overseas as spies gathering critical intel to help Americans win the war. And then there are the stories of women who did what they could to help save Jews from the horrors of the Holocaust or were survivors who found a way to escape. Women worked on secret projects that they did not even know what the work they were doing was for. And the 855 ladies of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-black Women Army Corps unit deployed who lead by Major Charity Admas created a system to get the backlog of millions of letters and packages that piled up in an overcrowded warehouse out to the troops on the front lines.

So much history.

So many amazing women changing the world, serving their country, and not receiving recognition often because their gender excluded them from that recognition.

Over the past three years, I have been learning about the history of military women, and each time I learn a new piece of history I am astounded by the stories. The courage and bravery of the women who served before me and blazed a path not only for themselves but the women in the generations that followed them.

I loved every minute of reading The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line. If you want to learn history while being blown away by the courage and bravery of the women of World War Two get your copy today.

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