E. Pearl “Norris” Stoll shown here in her official U.S. Marine Corps portrait following her induction into the women’s 1st Batallion during WWII. (Courtesy Photo)
Evelyn “Pearl” Stoll sits proudly at her kitchen table surrounded by a reflection of herself as she looked exactly seven decades ago as a 21-year-old.
The image stares back — a proud young woman wearing a green cap, a tie and the smartly ironed uniform of a U.S. Marine.
“I’m proud of it,” Stoll said. “I don’t have to take a back seat to anybody. It still makes me feel good.”
As one of very few women left to tell the story of the 1st Battalion of the Women’s Reserve during WWII, Stoll remembers every moment of her experience. For, these were the times that changed lives. And lives changed.
Stoll, born “Norris,” grew up with a father in the U.S. Navy. She lived in Greeley, Colo. and was four months shy of her 21st birthday when she heard the announcement that the U.S. Marines would be opening a Women’s Reserve. But with her father’s signature and despite her mother’s worries, she was determined to be one of the first to enlist.
“It was Pearl Harbor Day that got me going,” Stoll said. “I remember President Roosevelt saying we were at war. It was a Sunday, and I couldn’t go to Sunday School. Anybody who lived that and heard that message could not forget,” she said.
“I wanted to do something that counted.”
That same day, Dec. 8, 1941, families were told to stay home and keep the streets clear, she remembered.
Stoll recalled looking out her window and seeing dump trucks roll by her small town Login to read more