Valiant Women: The Untold Story of the American Servicewomen Who Helped Win World War II

Mariner. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780063088337. $32.99. HIST
By the end of the World War II, more than 350,000 U.S. women had served in uniform in several auxiliary units created by the military. Sometimes that meant being mere miles away from the front lines. In her first book, CIA military analyst Andrews explores the vital roles that women filled—pilots, machinists, instructors, chemists, codebreakers, weather observers, and more—in the Army Air Corps’ Women Airforce Service Pilots, the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, the Coast Guard’s Semper Paratus–Always Ready, and the Marine Corps’ Women’s Reserve. These organizations experienced growing pains as their commanders, newly minted women officers, fought stubborn and suspicious men over their worth and capabilities. The women faced harassment by men who were military personnel and questions about their morals and sexuality. In addition to that, Black volunteers battled racism. Based on interviews, memoirs, and extensive archival research, this engaging book offers a wide-ranging look at women’s contributions to the war effort.
VERDICT Readers interested in women’s and military history, especially World War II events and experiences, will value this book.
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