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Introduction

 

There are many different types of women in the military that have been in many different situations. Margaret Corbin, for example, disguised herself as a man and traveled with her husband to the front lines of the Battle of Fort Washington, where she helped him load his cannon. When her husband was shot by enemy fire, Corbin carried on fighting, even after being shot three times. She was given a military pension in acknowledgment of her efforts, and years after her death was reburied at West Point with full military honors. Similarly, Deborah Sampson fought disguised as a man for years before her true sex was revealed.

 

Women Military History

 

In 1775, women served as matrons at army hospitals, as cooks, ammunition carriers, and water bearers. In 1861-65, women served as battlefield nurses, civilian spies, and even soldiers disguised as men. Mary Edwards Walker, a volunteer surgeon with the Union Army, disguised herself as a man and survived several major battles. She was also the first woman and only woman so far to have been awarded the Medal of Honor, which is awarded to soldiers for valor in combat. During the Vietnam war in 1955 through 1975, about 11,000 women were stationed in Vietnam, mostly in the Army and Air force throughout the 20 year war. And finally, in 2013, the ban on women in combat was lifted entirely, meaning women could serve in direct combat roles. More simply put, they could now fight on the front lines. 

 

   Military history continued: WASPS     

 

 The Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) was an all female fighter squad in World War II. The WASP squad used many planes to protect the rest of the US military forces when island hopping. One of their planes of choice was the P-38 Lightning, which was a one-seated, twin-piston engined fighter aircraft. Another airplane that they used was the B-24 Liberator, which was a heavy bomber made in San Diego (its large square body helped with the large bomb rack). There were 25,000 women in total and only 37 casualties. They fought in the Pacific War against Japan, fighting in such battles as Midway and Saipan. 

Jacqueline Cochran was their determined leader followed by Nancy Harkness Love, and General Henry ``Hap" Arnold. They played an important role in the Pacific War helping fight off zero bombers. Two other women, Dorothea Moorman and Dora Dougherty, flew in one of the strongest bombers in World War II–the B29 being the same type of bomber to drop the first American atomic bomb. The atomic bomb was an explosion caused by the splitting of an atom) they were probable some of the most brave female pilots. They are some of the first female fighter pilots.

 

Women military history specific to San Diego

In San Diego there is an area called Liberty Station. It was a big military base at one point that trained over 50,000 people per year and lasted for 60 years! Now the area has been turned into a place full of houses with orange roofs, Terracotta shingles, yellow walls,  grocery stores, and schools. Most of the military buildings are gone but a few remnants still remain. For example: the local Liberty church; a white building which  has colorful windows with patterns representing the many military professions taught throughout liberty station. 

 

Linda Apodaca Elledge

Linda Apodaca Elledge used to go to a navel center where she went to school there and once she graduated she was then sent to another base which was her first experience away from home. There she didn’t have her own bedroom because she shared a room with other women, but years on they would change the base to stores like Vons. When she first joined the Navy she was in high school and she wanted to be in a trade at first. She wanted to be a flight attendant, but she had to be 21 and at the time she was only 17.  Later on, her parents then let her join. When she got there she was getting treated very differently than the men. The way she got treated differently was by not being able to get trained to go to war. She chose to stay in the Navy longer because she liked the routine. She still makes her bed the same way! 

 

In conclusion, the military has changed for the better. Women in the military has positively impacted our future. This is why we think women should be honored, including Linda for being a part of it. This way when people come across this stone they will know the history of women in the military. They will know no matter what your gender identity you can do amazing things.

​Sources:

  • Interview with Linda Apodace Elledge

  • Pictures from Keri Hogue (Linda's daughter)

By Nayari, Jackie, Gianni, Coleman, and Oliver

LINDA APODACA ELLEDGE & 
Military WOMAN

Stone location-Liberty Station North Chapel (2881 Roosevelt Rd, San Diego, CA 92106)

Listen to the audio track or read below to learn more about women in the military