A Road Scholar Program by Cyndee Schaffer
Members of the Women’s Army Corps — WACs — were the first women other than nurses to serve overseas in World War II. Cyndee Schaffer’s mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, was one of them. Drawing upon excerpts from Mollie’s letters written home during the war, this presentation provides a romantic, yet frightful, glimpse into the life of a woman in uniform during this crucial time in history. This program details Mollie’s experiences from basic training in Florida in October 1943 to the dramatic moment when the Statue of Liberty came into view upon her return in November 1945. It traces the footsteps of the women who served in Europe, following Mollie and her fellow WACs who were stationed in London, England, before D-Day and during the post-D-Day German buzz bomb attacks. The WACs were transferred to Normandy two months after D-Day and then to Paris after its liberation by the Allies. Finally, they traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, as part of the Army of Occupation and witnessed first-hand the devastation of that country before returning to the United States . This presentation invites contemplation of the vital and varied roles that women have fulfilled in the American military.