Wartime calls on many to serve, but not all of them have been considered equal in status. For women and minorities, especially African Americans, a national emergency is an opportunity for advancement and for changing the culture of the military. World War II was a turning point in that struggle; it gave women their first real chance to serve in uniform, and it reminded everyone that fighting a war for freedom was meaningless without racially integrated armed forces to win that fight.
"Don't treat me any differently; I am the commanding officer and that's it." (Video Interview, 34:55)
"The first thing I think about is I better not move. They might finish me off."
"I think each time I went out in no man’s land was an event."
"I think the most important thing I learned [in the Navy] is that I'm as good as anybody."
"There were still people who had hidden agendas because of the color of my skin, which I had nothing to do with."