Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mary Louise Rasmuson

From the New York Times:

Mary Louise Rasmuson, who joined the Women’s Army Corps when it was formed during World War II,  rose to be its director under two presidents and later found a new life as a civic leader and philanthropist in the young state of Alaska, died on Monday at her home in Anchorage. She was 101.

In 1948, the corps was renamed and made a permanent part of the Army. Women were not allowed in combat roles, but their responsibilities gradually increased. They became aircraft mechanics, trained men in sending code, rigged parachutes and worked as cryptologists in the cold war. Mrs. Rasmuson spent four years in Europe as an Army adviser before President Dwight D. Eisenhower named her director of the corps in 1957. President John F. Kennedy reappointed her in 1961.

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