We're in This War, Too: World War II Letters from American Women in Uniform

Judy Barrett Litoff, Editor, David C. Smith, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-19-507504-5
In WW II, some 350,000 American women served their country as WACs, WAVEs, SPARs and Women Marines, as the female branches of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, respectively, were called. About a quarter of these troops saw duty overseas. Their letters collected here, edited by Litoff, a professor of history at Bryant College in Rhode Island, and Smith, a professor of history at the University of Maine, express the excitement and sense of adventure felt by these mostly young women: writing to her father and brother from ``somewhere in France,'' a nurse exclaims, ``Here I am on the continent of Europe and residing for the moment in a chateau . . . what a barn''; a WAVE, whose letter was mailed from ``somewhere in England,'' writes her parents that, ``By now you have received news of the invasion and I suppose you were wondering what little part I played in it. Can't tell you much except that we all worked like the devil.'' We also read of the racism that characterized the military of that era, and although lesbianism is mentioned, the gay women are guarded. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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