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Peg Brady WWII Marine

A 97-year-old Syracuse woman remembers her time in the U.S. Marines: ‘I just loved it’

One of the first female Marines looks back at the job she loved




Liverpool, N.Y. — The moment that changed Peg Bandy’s life was 80 years ago.

But she remembers it like it was yesterday.

She was watching an uncle pack up to go on a military training expedition during World War II. I want to do that, she said.

“He said, ‘Well Margaret, they’ll never let women in the military. So you can forget about that,'” Bandy recalled.

He was the first person she went to see after she completed boot camp with the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during World War II.

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Bea Arthur, US Marine

Bea Arthur, US Marine


BY: Kali Martin

April 12, 2018

Bernice Frankel’s Official Military Personnel File reveals a Golden Girl’s WWII service history.

Before she took to Broadway stages and became a beloved Golden Girl, Bernice Frankel, better known today as Bea Arthur, joined thousands of other women paving the way for women in the armed forces. Details of her time as a US Marine can be found in her Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) available from the National Archives. Housed at a massive facility in St. Louis, Missouri, these military records hold a wealth of information on individuals.

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Newton Marine Honored

Newton Marine honored for making handler history

100th anniversary of women in the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated

Mady McKim meets the current Marine Corps mascot, Chesty XV, during the convention celebrating 100 years of women in the Corps in Washington, D.C.

The United States had a banner year in 1918: An influenza epidemic swept the nation, World War I ended and for the first time since Congress ordered the formation of the United States Marine Corps in 1798, women joined its ranks.

One hundred years later, women from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3 for a convention celebrating a century of women’s service in the Marines.

Mady McKim, a French immigrant and retired Marine who served a total of 12 years both on active duty and in the reserves, traveled from Newton to D.C. for the convention. She revisited her old stomping grounds where former Commandant Carl Mundy Jr.’s wife, Linda, called her away from her duties to snack on milk and cookies, re-lived the instant camaraderie of Marine Corps life and received recognition for making history during her time in the Marine Corps as the first female mascot handler.

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Thin Line of Tradition

The Thin Line of Tradition

The traditions of the Marine Corps, its history, its flags, its uniforms, its insignia—the Marine Corps way of doing things—make the Corps what it is [and set it distinctively apart from other military organizations and services].

These traditions give the Marine Corps its flavor, and are the reason why the Corps cherishes its past, its ways of acting and speaking, and its uniforms. These things foster the discipline, valor, loyalty, aggressiveness, and readiness, which make the term ” ‘Marine’ … signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.”

One writer on Marine traditions nailed down their importance in [the following] words: “As our traditions, our institutions, and even our eccentricities—like live coral—develop and toughen, so the Corps itself develops and toughens.”

And remember: whenever the Marine Corps is impoverished by the death of a tradition, you are generally to blame. Traditions are not preserved by books and museums, but by faithful adherence on the part of all hands—you especially.

—”The Marine Corps Officer’s Guide,” 1964 edition

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Behind the Color: 1941 Victory Red

Behind the Color: Bésame Cosmetics 1941 Victory Red


It’s 6 am and your alarm clock is singing louder than the birds. You slowly open your eyes, groggily getting accustomed to your brightly lit room. You still haven’t quite gotten use to waking up at this hour. Gone are the glamorous parties and dancing the night away to Moonlight Serenade by the ever popular Glenn Miller. Now you’re a woman of the workforce, one of many who’ve grown accustom to rigorous labor.  You take pride in your new career, happily doing your part for the ongoing war.  You walk to your closet and choose your outfit for the day— an olive green Marine Corps Uniform. With confidence you put on your uniform, carefully adjusting the jacket so it lays smoothly. You pull your hair back and tuck your curls up away from your shoulders before placing your cap upon your head.  Next, a simple swipe of pale powder on the face, a soft pink rouge for the cheeks, thick brows, and long luscious lashes. Lastly, your military issued lipstick – a bright, vibrant red that perfectly matches your uniform’s trim. It’s your favorite shade, perfect for the confident, patriotic woman of the 1940s. 

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Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band 75th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating 75th Anniversary of Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band

by Master Sgt. Amanda Simmons
At 2 p.m., March 11, 2018, the United States Marine Band will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve (MCWR) Band during a concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Va. The MCWR Band was formed under the supervision of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and was active from 1943-45. It was one of eight all-female military bands, and the last to be formed. The concert will be curated by Dr. Jill Sullivan, author of “Bands of Sisters: U.S. Women’s Military Bands during World War II” and conducted by Major Michelle A. Rakers, the Marine Band’s first female assistant director and first female commissioned officer. The concert will stream live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qFg3yqi5SY
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WR’s Separation

WR’s Separated 

Headquarters Directive Writes End After Nearly Three Years at MCB

By PFC. Paul E. Bragdon

Glad Tidings

GLAD TIDINGS. Cpl June Roth, acting first sergeant of the Base WR Bn., stamps out the glad tidings of discharge for 140 enlisted women who will be separated next week, regardless of points, in accordance with a directive from Washington. (Official USMC photo by Corp. Hugh Killmeyer)

With few exceptions, all WR’s at MCB will be off this compound by next Wednesday, a bulletin from Marine Corps Headquarters, Washington, revealed this week, in a sweeping move which came as a surprise to most Base observers.

The official pronouncement provides that most enlisted women will be separated by May 15, regardless of points, except those with certain clerical warrants who signify a willingness to remain in the Corps until Sept. 1, 1946. Personnel in the latter category will be transferred either to Washington, D. C, or to San Francisco, it was disclosed. Indications were that only a handful of WR’s will remain on this station after the deadline. These include women assigned to the Rehabilitation Office, 11th Naval District, the Military Reservation Bureau, San Diego, Paymaster personnel, and several officers assigned to specialized rields here. OFFICERS’ MOVE KNOWN The move followed widespread speculation in regard to the fate of the battalion this month, as the line officers of the organization had previously been scheduled for discharge or transfer next week. IstLt. Janice Hale, who has commanded the much- publicized women’s unit here since the departure of Maj. Dorothy Miller two months ago, will be transferred to Henderson Hall, Washington, D. C, she disclosed. Her immediate subordinates, 2dLts. Mary Elizabeth Cook and Julia Henrikson, are to be put on the inactive list next week, according to high Base officials. Uutimate fate of the WR barracks, mess, and recreation facilities was not determined immediately. HERE THIRTY MONTHS The first “girls in forest green” arrived at MCB —50 strong —in early November, 1943. The battalion reached its peak strength Continue Reading »