From April 1943 to August 1945, my aunt Dorothy H. Schwartz was a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps serving overseas. She enlisted in Sept 1942 and was a top stenographer, training first with the 16th company, 3d regiment, Fort Des Moines U.S. Army post branch in Ft Des Moines, Iowa. She complained in a letter back home that during the fall of 1942, WAACs had not yet gotten winter uniforms. Des Moines was cold and snowy and yet "we're still in seersuckers."
Within months, she was serving overseas in support of a bombardment unit "somewhere in England," as this April 18, 1944 clipping from the Home News (Bronx, NY) indicates. It describes Sgt. Dorothy Schwartz as "daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Schwartz, 600 E. 178 St" and mentions that an old-fashioned coal stove furnishes heat for her hut, which looks like corrugated metal to me.
In 1945, Sgt. Schwartz received the Bronze Star Medal for "meritorious service in direct support of operations against the enemy."
During 17 months of bombardment leading up to V-E Day, she took shorthand listening in on the phone as commanders discussed when and where to bomb the enemy.
Her function was vitally important for ensuring that bombers received the correct orders and for coordinating military actions so our Allied troops stayed out of the way of our bombs.
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