Despite discrimination, WAC Phillips served with pride

July 27, 2013 • Local News


Her white hair thickly curls around her head, and her eyes hide behind large framed glasses as she stares off into space, caught up in memories. For a moment, she isn’t in her room at La Villa, rather, lost somewhere in North Africa, circa 1944 and the Second World War that changed her life.

“If I told my kids some of the stuff, they wouldn’t believe it,” she says.

Doris Phillips is 93, and she not only lived through WWII, she participated in it.

She grew up in Iowa, but after the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was created in May 1942, she decided to check it out. Leaving college with a friend from Kansas, the two set out to Omaha where “they talked us into it,” she chuckled.

“I started college, and I thought I didn’t want to be tied down.” So she enlisted and was sent to Fort Des Moines.

It was a regular cavalry fort and the barracks had just previously been used as horse stables. Their training was the same as any Army personnel, Phillips says.

“We walked the post at midnight when snow was fanny deep, and I think we were supposed to stoke the fires but I didn’t get in on that because I don’t know a thing about those furnaces. So I let somebody Login to read more

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