tv American Artifacts The Womens Memorial Part 2 CSPAN May 27, 2019 6:31pm-7:06pm EDT
national effort in world war ii. >> this was the first of a two-part look at the women's memorial. in part 2, we will pick up where we left off by learning about service during the korean war. you can view this and all other american history tv programs at www.c- span.org . each week, american history tvs american artifacts visits museums and historic places. next in the second of a two-part program, we visit the women's memorial near arlington national cemetery to learn about women that served in the u.s. military from the korean war to the war on terror. >> is believed world war ii and
legislation that gave women a permanent part of the military, we wait a few short years and we are faced with war on the korean peninsula. it was such a concern that it would be a world where like world war ii was that we were called to service and be sure we have people in place to be part of the war. many of them were women. it didn't turn out that way. at any rate, most of the women who served in korea on the ground were army nurses. it was a horrendous situation. they would barely get established and set up a hospital. they would then have to move. we have a diary from a woman nurse who
talked about setting up a hospital in an abandoned school. it was dirty and hot . they needed to close the windows because rats crawl to the outside of the building. those were the conditions under which the women served. >> they were long hours of duty. we work 18-36 hours around the clock. the whole crew stayed on. >> how many operations could you do it one time? >> we could good use of the six tables. they were in full swing at all times. patients were taken care of as soon as they came in. some of us could hold down two or three tables at a time. >> that was your time?
you handled anesthesia? >> that is right. >> we had women on hospital ships as well off the coast and women that served as flight nurses, flying the wounded into japan out of the battle area. they were the army and navy as well as air force. by this time the air force had been created. by this time, we had air force nurses as well who were serving in that. we had other women around the world as well. on the ground, in korea were primarily army nurses. we can see how uniforms and the military was more accepting and realizing that women were here to say. passion and uniforms under the conditions which
they served. >> this would've been the fatigue uniform. this is of the nurses in korea. these were flight nurse uniforms and air force uniforms. we have a hospital -- that would have been carried with the nurses as part of the hospitals they were setting up. i don't know if the nation was maybe battle weary. they wanted to get back to normal lives. there was a great effort to try and recruit everyone. certainly women as well. >> there are a lot of girls watching the program that we would like to see become nurses. this is the opportunity to talk with them.
here they are. >> most of all anastas. >> we are asking for nurses and asking these girls to join you, being an army nurse. we are nothing join and see the world. we have given them a rough picture here. i think more important than anything else is the fact that you get a great deal of satisfaction from your job. b we do. we save lives. i can't think of anything more important than to save lives. >> one of the efforts that the service became part of is to create a stamp.
left out the coast guard. here is the first stamp ever that speaks to military women. when we dedicated the memorial in 1997 , we were honored to be able to work with the postal service to create a second stamp to celebrate the story of women's service to the nation. by this time we included all five. in fact, the date of issue was october 18, 1997. they very generously brought in the kiosk that people could get stamps and have them stamped for the women's memorial. they were excited. also part of the recruiting effort was the department of defense establish an organization called deco it's. the defense advisory committee on women in the services. it is in existence today.
it was comprised of individuals from across the united states, influencers. business leaders, education leaders and things of that sort. community leaders who came together that provided advice and assistance to the secretary of defense on the utilization of women. that was created in 1952 as part of the effort to bring folks or women into the military. it is providing advice and assistance. it is different now as the laws have fallen away. nevertheless, it was a force for sure. now we move forward to vietnam.
again, it was primarily a nurses war. we had some 7500 women on the ground. certainly most of them were nurses. the interesting thing, is how other women, those that were not in the medical side of the house, ended up in vietnam was the general wanted clerical support to support the senior staff. women wanted to serve. they were expecting to go to these areas just as they had in previous wars. they were the first ones to get on the ground. it was interesting, when you hear the stories of the women that served, i love talking with
them. if they tell me, will you train us on a weapon? they don't me that. you think about it, sending a person to a war zone and you don't prepare them to even protect themselves. >> we have one woman that said when she was orts, when she got orders to go to vietnam, she asked if she could go to the firing range to qualify. she got a little bit of training from her brother-in- law then she went. she qualified. she gets to vietnam and they don't issue a weapon. it was just after the --. she was living in a hotel in saigon. the woman she was replacing gave for a tour.
she opened up the drawer and there was an ak-47 and ammunition. just in case she needed it. when she finished the tour of duty and went to the mps and said, how do you turn in a weapon that you were never issued. one of the beloved female officers said when she was sent to vietnam issued her handbag so she could swing it and protect yourself. this is how they dressed. there were very few . i guess there were some occasions where they ended up in fatigues. the nurses certainly did. the women were primarily in dress uniforms on a daily basis. they were there as clerks and things of that sort. nevertheless, they were there.
>> the important thing to point out is by the time we are in vietnam, the women's movement has already started. she is doing her thing. women are beginning to -- against restrictions. they were placed upon them, as a result of the -- act. one of those with benefits. the first lieutenant in montgomery alabama, was suffering financially. she was married to a civilian. women at that time were not afforded the opportunity of quarters allowance workorders. she talked about this. they told her she should sue. she did and she lost. she was encouraged to keep going.
the american civil liberties union picked up the case and carried it to the supreme court. the supreme court ruled it was unconstitutional for women not to receive the same benefits as men. the woman that took the case forward to the supreme court was ruth bader ginsburg as a young lawyer. they're proud to know they are part of her story as well. it didn't just affect military women, it affected women across the united state. >> asking the court to declare the criteria, in 1837 by --, an advocate of equal rights for men and women. she spoke not elegantly but with unmistakable clarity. she said, i ask no favor for my sex.
all i ask is they take their feet off our legs. >> we had other things. for pregnancy issues. that fell away. women sued because they were put out of the military. they had long successful careers. they ended up having to get out of the military. there were a lot of things going on at that time. at the same time, the american public was against the draft. they had to look at what they were going to do to bring more people in. again, like in world war i and world war ii the turn to bringing more women in the military. they knew some of the rules had to go away. the 2% ceiling on the number of women that could serve, the restriction on grade fell away.
the restrictions on where women could serve on combat ships or aircraft state. they stayed well into the 90s following desert storm. you can see some of the things that speak to what women were doing and where they were serving. this is sharon lane. she is an army nurse. the only woman to be killed as a result of enemy fire in vietnam. we had other women that lost their lives. we had women awarded the purple heart. we can see here a bronze star. these uniforms had to be starched. you can imagine in a hot climate like vietnam. you had to be . you ironton compressed your
uniform and looked presentable at all times. this is a picture of president johnson signing the legislation that removed the restrictions on grade. here we have a chiefs of the services of the women services or components are there. that includes the nurses. in 1970, the first women were promoted to general officer. we sort of and this journey of women's service to the nation with women serving today in the global war on terror. this is a unique exhibit in that at the time, there was a woman who was a major in afghanistan. we reached out and asked her if she can help us tell
the story of what women were doing on the ground in afghanistan. she very generously reached out to the women that were serving to help us tell the story. we have email diaries and pictures and stories of what they did on the grounds. certainly the uniforms that they wear today as opposed to what you saw during world war ii. think about the revolution when women were not even issued uniforms. we have emma packs, women wearing 60 pounds of gear as they go out. we used to have a placard that keeps disappearing. it was for aviators. it kind of applies to women that are on convoys and things of that sort. it was a to p or
not to p. what women are doing in order to be part of the operations. to take care of themselves. you have to think about those things for sure. the placard, people are interested in having it themselves. we have these women serving in afghanistan and iraq. there is a real cultural issue with men and their contact with the local female population. the military formed these groups of women. the first was lioness where they would go and partner with the team that was going into a village or doing a night raid or whatever. they were going into a home where they would have
contact with local women. that was of course a cultural issue. we wanted to be able to honor the culture. we had women from all the services that were doing that. when you think about the law that said where women could serve were not served and the restrictions, they were really violating that. later, we formed female engagement teams that were really out in the countryside, some on their own. again, there also part of raid teams where the marines and army soldiers, going into homes. the establishment of those two outputs are unit really expanded where women were on the battlefield. i think back about the progress of women over time. it has always been
about need. things move forward because they needed women to do these jobs. it was the very same case with women in afghanistan and iraq. they needed them because they could get good intelligence from sources that they could never get near. they were very successful. that kicked open the door again. with the laws and rules about where women were going to be. finally, it became such a burden to commanders as they thought about, they had a mission to accomplish. they had all of these rules that they had to lay on top of it that would impede the accomplishment of the mission. the secretary of defense in january 2013 said we are getting rid of all those. women are serving
everywhere anyway. we will not do that anymore. in 2016, the secretary of defense opened all jobs and all combat jobs to women. today, there are no restrictions on women. we were privileged to receive from secretary panetta, as well as general dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, copies of the ruling that rescinded combat restriction policies. it has been a journey when you think about the restrictions that were placed on women. even looking back is close as vietnam. women were not even trained in weapons. i can tell you that my class of officers , and 1973 was the first class of women who were trained on weapons. formally trained.
i've been told that the next classes had stepped back from that. when you think about it, what women were asked to do, they had to live within these restrictions. i would say he just wanted to serve. >> is the place where we tell the individual stories of the women that have served. today we have 267,000 women's records of service that can be accessed by the public and to pay tribute to these women. beginning with the american revolution to today. we have identified folks from each service so that you can see some of the heroes, everyday
heroes that live among us that are registered here. the first woman, she was a petty officer initially when we first met sarah. she's a coast guard woman. she was part of a redeployment assistance and inspections attachment or raid team. both in afghanistan and iraq. their primary mission is to inspect materials that are being shipped back to the united states from a war zone. also for hazardous materials or pieces or items that should not be coming back into the united states. she deployed twice, once to afghanistan and iraq. she is now an officer in the united states coast guard.
our second woman, retired navy commander tammy jo schultz. we know her as a southwest pilot who a few months ago successfully landed a southwest airliner that had taken off from laguardia. the engine blew leaving a hole in the fuselage. she successfully landed that. she was one of the first women in the navy to fly high performance aircraft. quite a story for this woman. >> center spot is a marine sergeant. she is one of 36 women marines who were permitted to serve in vietnam. she was a clerk.
you can see from her picture, she did a lot of other things. volunteering at orphanages and things of that sort. she was able to travel around vietnam emily was a flight nurse during the korean war. she flew between japan and korea, medevac in the casualties from the korean peninsula. >> they were responsible for the evacuation of marines out of the valley. >> our army representative is
martha putney. her story is amazing. she was one of the first 40 african- american women to join the women's army auxiliary corps. hand-picked by plastic. to travel to fort des moines. it was a great effort on the part of a civil rights activist as well as the support of the first lady, eleanor roosevelt to assure that african- americans were able to be part of the military. martha putney was one of them. the story she told about what she adored and the women endured, they were segregated. they ate in a separate dining room, at least initially. when they used the pool, it was
cleaned. they could only use it once a week. it was cleaned after they had their swim. german pows were permitted to go to the club but african-american officers were not. they formed a band, the african- american women. the army decided they did not want the band. i think martha probably reached out to the folks that helped her so much because she said eventually, eleanor roosevelt intervened and they were able to have the band. martha used the g.i. bill. there was a senior fellow at howard as well as various schools on the east coast. she is author of four books. just an extraordinary woman. she is passed away now.
after we had dedicated and had programs here, walking up from the metro. i would always see dr. putney, let me come get you. know i can walk she said. her little crooked legs walking up to be part of the ceremony at the women's memorial. >> i know i made a contribution to the women's army corps. i also realize that i learned a lot. it was a tremendous learning experience. >> you can do it online at women's memorial.org. >> we are always happy for donations.
we have forms that can be sent or downloaded for people to register. the register itself is not online. for security and privacy, at least until today, we have chosen not to put those online. visitors can certainly come. we spent a lot of time with journalist and researchers. using the database to tell the story of women service. we accommodate wherever we can to have other folks tell us the story. we found, so many veterans, the women are the same. they seldom talk about the service. we have brought been alive. it is a gratifying place to be.
>> this was the second of a two- part look at the women's memorial. you can watch part one and all other programs at www.c- span.org. it brings the archival films that will provide historical context. >> back to world war i, maybe women have had a long history of --. back in those days, they were known as human advance provided valuable assistance in the war effort. to hancock whose career was banned for decades with one of those who volunteered. >> our secretary of the navy was -- daniels. he didn't cut the corners.
when we found that civil service --, the number of women in the ratings, he said is there any reason why she shouldn't be sworn in. he looked up and much to their surprise, someone had neglected to write in the word male. he said bring in the women. they did expand to communications and telephone operators. >> 1918, the war and send women are mustered out.
>> hitler begins the march toward war. >> there was opposition. to hancock was a civilian employee at the time. >> those objections came from various fields. the first came from congress at self. i think that had its basis in the feeling of chivalry. >> i heard the expression, the women shouldn't be brought into the war. they are to be protected. as far as the navy, except for the very few older officers, no one seemed to remember that women had already served and the experiment had been carried out in world war i.
very early in the program, there was a need for some sort of a catchy thing. they would try saying the women's reserve or the naval reserve, women enrolled for this, that or the other. finally, various suggestions were given. there was one by --. she has given credit for this slogan. basing that on the women accepted for volunteer emergency service. that proved to be a catchy one. >> calling all women, calling all women. >> in seattle, they take over the air station.
selected take turns in manning the control tower. the navy said we are doing such a good job, 30,000 more. already we heard how to instruct pilots. >> taking home girls and join the wave. >> they came from all walks of life and all locks of the country. from louisiana, texas and nebraska. madaket, >> the shared a desire to help their country and need. >> you can watch archival films on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly series, we'll america, saturdays at 10 pm and sundays at 4 pm eastern. here on american history tv.
track next, john mcmanus talks about his book the debt and is about to die. he tells the story of the u.s. army's first infantry division, nicknamed the big red one and how they were the first soldiers to storm the normandy beaches on june 6, 1944. the eisenhower institute at gettysburg college and the dwight eisenhower society, cohosted the event in commemoration of the 75th anniversary. >> dr. mcmanus is the first-ever faculty member in the humanities to be named a distinguished professor. >> is one of the leading historians, and the author of 12 well-known books on the topic, he is equally in demand to speak as an ex