MSG Alta M. Reminger
MSG Alta M. Reminger (maiden name: Stauffacher) died July 5, 2012. Alta enlisted in the WAC in May 1945 and received her basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Following basic training she was assigned to an Army base in California where she worked in the Morning Report Section of Personnel with Grace Mueller who died on July 6, 2012. Alta subsequently was assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia, US Army Europe, Indianapolis, Indiana and Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn New York where she met and married her husband of 54 years and 8 months, Joseph. Together they served in Frankfurt, Germany where she was First Sergeant of the WAC Detachment, Recruiting in New York City and Education Center, Fort Hamilton, New York. Alta retired from the Army in 1965. They lived in San Francisco until her Joe also retired from the Army. While in San Francisco she took advantage of the GI Bill to become an LPN at which she worked until 1996. Alta was very proud of her military service and admonished her Joe that she wanted her name on the Bronze Memorial Plaque.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Mourns Honorary Member and First African-American Female Army General, Hazel W. Johnson-Brown
WASHINGTON, D.C.óDelta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. mourns the loss of honorary member, Gen. Hazel W. Johnson-Brown. Gen. Johnson-Brown, a nurse who became the first African-American female to obtain the rank of general in the military, died of complications with Alzheimerís disease on Aug. 5 at her home in Wilmington, Del. She was 83.
"The members of Delta Sigma Theta are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved soror, Hazel W. Johnson-Brown," said Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. "She was an exceptional leader and a woman of tremendous strength and perseverance. Delta Sigma Theta joins her family, friends and colleagues in mourning the loss of such an exceptional and talented woman." Gen. Johnson-Brown graduated from Harlem Hospital School of Nursing in New York and went on to work at the Philadelphia Veteranís Hospital in 1953. She began serving in the Army Nurse Corps in 1955 and held positions throughout the U.S. and in Japan and Korea. Gen. Johnson-Brown served as project director of the Army Medical Research and Development Command in Washington; director of the Walter Reed Army Institute for Nursing; and chief of nursing at the U.S. Army Hospital/121 Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, Korea. In 1979, she was appointed as chief of the Army Nurse Corps, with the rank of brigadier general. She retired from the Army in 1983. While in the Army, Gen. Johnson-Brown continued her formal education. She earned a bachelorís degree in nursing from Villanova University, a masterís degree in nursing education from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in education administration from Catholic University.
Upon her retirement, Gen. Johnson-Brown became a professor of nursing at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and later at George Mason University in Virginia. While at George Mason University, she was a founder of the Center for Health Policy, designed to educate and involve nurses in health policy and policy design. Gen. Johnson-Brown retired from teaching in 1997. Gen. Johnson-Brown was inducted into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as an honorary member in 1981. She is survived by her sister, Gloria Smith; and two brothers, John W. Johnson and Clarence L. Johnson, Jr. "Gen. Johnson-Brown leaves behind an extraordinary legacy for women in the military and all walks of life," said Butler-McIntyre.
For the Washington Post obituary, please visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/hazel-johnson-brown-pioneering-black-army-nurse-dies-at-83/2011/08/18/gIQA0E2MOJ_story.html
MG Mary E. (Betty) Clarke
MG Mary E. (Betty) Clarke died peacefully this June 10th at the Army Residence Community, San Antonio, TX. She had colon cancer. MG Clarke was the 9th and last director of the Women's Army Corps. When the WAC was disestablished she moved from Washington DC to Ft McClellan, Ala. where she was promoted to major general as the MP School and Ft McClellan Post Commander. She served on continuous active duty from her enlistment in August 1945 until she retired in October 1981. She was 87.
Retired Colonel Georgia D. Hill
Retired Colonel Georgia D. Hill, a long-term member of the board of directors of the WAC and Army Womenís Museum Foundations, died Nov. 10, 2008 in Manistee, Mich. She was 83. Col. Hill enlisted in the WAC on her 21st birthday in 1944. After training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa she was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kans. where she worked her way up from clerk to acting WAC detachment first sergeant. She returned home briefly in 1948 to check out job possibilities, but decided to reenlist.
She applied for officer candidate school at Fort Lee, Va. when the school was opened, and was commissioned on graduation in 1949. After several years in WAC assignments, she received language training, first in German, then in Russian. She was selected for the Russian foreign area specialist program, which involved a year of study at Columbia University, where she received a masterís degree, followed by two years of study at the Armyís Institute of Advanced Russian Studies, Oberammergau, Germany. Subsequent intelligence assignments included the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. and Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe during the Soviet-led Czech invasion (1968). She was one of the first women selected for colonel-level command of a mixed gender unit; she commanded Cameron Station, Va. from 1973 to 1975. Prior to this women commanded only all-woman units.
Following her retirement in 1975 she returned to Michigan where she raised and showed dogs. Col. Hill served for 27 years on the WAC and Army Women’s Museum Foundation boards, and was one of the founders of the Foundation’s oral history program. Known to her family by her middle name, Dawnell (or Dawn), she is survived by her brother Jesse Hill, her sister Marjorie Miller, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Picture: Staff Sgt. Hill (right) and Sgt. Elaine Lamb reenlisting in 1948. Capt. Moser administers the oath. (Credit: Jesse Hill)
Dr. Martha Settle Putney
Dr. Martha Settle Putney, historian, educator and author, died Dec. 11, 2008 at the age of 92. Dr. Putney was born in Norristown, Penn., one of eight children. She won a scholarship to Howard University, graduating in 1939, and received her masterís degree in history a year later. She enrolled in the Womenís Army Auxiliary Corps in February 1943, taking her basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. After commissioning as a second lieutenant she remained at Fort Des Moines as a training officer. Later she commanded a detachment of African American medical technicians at Gardiner Army General Hospital in Chicago.
After the war she used the GI Bill to continue her education, receiving a doctorate in European history from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Putney was a history professor at Bowie State College, Bowie, Md. and at Howard University, Washington, D.C. where she was known as a tough and demanding instructor. In retirement Dr. Putney volunteered at the Smithsonian and worked on projects to document the experience of blacks in the military. Her 1992 book, When the Nation Was in Need: Blacks in the Womenís Army Corps, details these experiences , including a number of the problems that Army segregation policies created. She was intensely proud of her service and noted: “I couldn’t have made a better choice…I think I provided a valuable service and in return I received valuable benefits.”
Dr. Putney was featured in Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation. When she was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Feb. 10th, Mr. Brokaw gave the eulogy. That evening he gave her a special tribute on the NBC Nightly News. Retired Gen. Colin Powell also attended the funeral. She is survived by her son, William Putney, Jr.
Picture: Third Officer Putney as a WAAC in 1943 (Credit: DOD)