Lena Andrews, a military analyst with a Ph.D. in political science, sheds light on the remarkable contributions of American servicewomen during World War II in her book, “Valiant Women: The Extraordinary American Servicewomen Who Helped Win World War II.” She offers five key insights from her research:
- Collective Efforts: Andrews emphasizes that success in war is a collective endeavor, with support forces playing a pivotal role. Servicewomen, like Ann Baumgartner and Susan Ahn, filled vital positions, from test pilots to gunnery instructors, ensuring frontline troops received crucial support.
- Integrity in the Face of Adversity: Many servicewomen faced discrimination and mistreatment, particularly women of color. Charity Adams, who led the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in Europe, exemplified remarkable integrity, responding to mistreatment with poise. Her unit’s exemplary service eventually earned them the Congressional Gold Medal.
- Necessity Drives Innovation: Women in uniform had to be resourceful to prove their worth. Andrews shares an anecdote where women overcame a daunting task using creative problem-solving, showcasing their adaptability.
- Demonstrated Proficiency: Initially skeptical American WWII commanders, including Eisenhower, were won over by the demonstrated effectiveness of servicewomen. Eisenhower, for instance, saw firsthand the bravery and competence of women under his command, leading to a shift in his perspective.
- Honoring Women Veterans: Andrews emphasizes the importance of recognizing and remembering the valiant women who served alongside men in WWII. She echoes President Truman’s call to honor their sacrifices and urges us to engage with women veterans to understand and appreciate their service.
In conclusion, Andrews’ book underscores the vital role of servicewomen in World War II, highlighting their resilience, integrity, and invaluable contributions to the war effort.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The Next Big Deal