FOUR HURT BY FLYING BOMB GET 1ST ETO WAC PURPLE HEARTS

Posted on October 13th, 2016 by:

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FOUR HURT BY FLYING BOMB GET 1ST ETO WAC PURPLE HEARTS

July 20, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

Four enlisted WACs injured recently when a flying bomb fell near the building where they were working in southern England were presented with the Purple Heart yesterday, becoming the first American servicewomen to receive the award in the ETO.



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Lt. Col. Henry N. Pratt pins the Purple Heart on Pfc Dorothy Whitfield in the hospital where she and three other WACs are recovering from flying-bomb injuries. Lt. Col. Anna W. Wilson looks on.

They were Pfcs Dorothy E. Whitfield, of Schenectady, N.Y. and Effie M. Gibbons of Lewiston, Idaho, and Pvts. Margaret Johnson, of Madison, Wis., and Leona J. Gaylon, of Odessa, Tex.

The presentation was made by Lt. Col. Henry N. Pratt, of Chestnut Hill, Mass., at an Army hospital where the four are recovering from shock and cuts from flying glass. Lt. Col. Anna W. Wilson, of Studio City, Cal., WAC director in the ETO, attended the ceremony.

At the same time, an Associated Press tabulation in Washington disclosed that 41 women members of the nation’s armed forces had died in the line of duty since the start of the war.

The dead include 29 Army nurses, seven women marines, four Navy nurses and one WAC, the victim of a jeep accident in North Africa. The report also listed 60 Army and 16 Navy nurses as captured in the Philippines and now prisoners of war.

For More on the WACs Check Out:

One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the Wac


Silence Means Security: Secrets of a WWII Code-Breaking WAC




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