MY LIFE IN THE SERVICE. World War II – Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.


Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. 1941. Mary Elizabeth “Jo” Hardy (later Zirkelbach, 1920-2006) kept this journal during her service with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), the U.S. Army unit created during World War II to enable women to serve in noncombat positions. A native of Bloomfield, Iowa, Hardy enlisted in the fall of 1942, shortly after graduating from Kirksville State Teacher’s College. She was the first volunteer for the women’s army from Davis County. After completing basic training at Fort Des Moines and at the Third Army Headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Davis was stationed at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, then transferred to Camp Haan near Riverside, California, where she was assigned to an antiaircraft artillery training center. On August 17, 1944, Hardy married Corporal Edward Zirkelbach (1918-87) of Fresno, California at Camp Haan. According to a laid in newspaper clipping, “The bride wore the WAC tropical uniform and carried a white prayer book covered with two white gardenias. The bridegroom wore the regulation army uniform. The couple spent their honeymoon in Los Angeles and Fresno after which they returned to their military duties. After the war, the couple settled in Buena Park, California, where she worked as a pharmacist. The album contains more than 50 inscriptions from other women who served with Hardy in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps: “Lots of luck to one of the best Wacky WAAC’s” … “Peanuts, candy, hamburgers, + cokes[:] the WAAC’s diet” … “Just another Waac of the 12th Co., 3rd Reg.” … “To [Jo], a Pee Wee in stature but an Amazon in merriment – here’s hoping I keep meeting girls like you in the army” … “Dearest Hardy, I hate to part with you, I will miss going on K.P. and detail work with you” … “Here’s to a swell soldier that I miss very much” … “We got our good conduct ribbons today and how I wished you kids could be with us” … “Best of luck to a member of my first platoon.” Also, laid in are three newspaper clippings about Hardy, two small snapshots of her, and one of her husband. 12mo. Original burgundy leather binding, with gilt stamping. Minor dampstaining to the outer half of this first several leaves. Some general scuffing and wear to the leather. Very good. Item #65162

Price: $200.00