[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]
America’s involvement in World War II saw enlistments in unprecedented numbers in various branches of the U.S. Armed Services. There were new opportunities for women, as it became apparent that the military could free up more men to fight worldwide. Over 400,000 women enlisted to serve in America, Europe, and Asia as ambulance drivers, pilots, aircraft mechanics, nurses, and other non-traditional roles. More than 400 women lost their lives, while 88 were captured and held as prisoners of war.
This photograph comes from the World War II service of Mary “Brockie” Daniles of Manteo, N.C. Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniels (1912-2007) was born in Manteo, North Carolina to Edward and Mary Wescott Daniels. She was one of five children. Daniels received her BA in English in 1935 from the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. From 1936-1939, Daniels taught English and history in Hertford County, North Carolina. She also served as recreational director for a reform school in Hertford County and was the Hertford County supervisor of adult education. Shortly afterwards, Daniels enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Women’s Air Corps in both the United states and Europe during World War II. During the war, she was sent to Paris, France, as a member of the 29th Traffic Regulating Group. This group was responsible for controlling and regulating traffic in the Military Railway Service, in Marine Operations, and Motor Transport throughout the European Theatre for the Allied forces. After the war, Daniels remained in the Air Force until her retirement in 1964.
In this image, Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniels (foreground) is pictured surrounded by her WAC colleagues outside of their U.S. Army tent on an unidentified beach.
Credit line: Military Troops and Women’s Air Corps in Europe, World War II Folder, Brockie Daniels Papers, Outer Banks History Center
This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service: A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.