Violet Kochendoerfer '41 says she joined the army in a fit of pique. "I didn't join to help the country's war effort. It was really against my better judgement." Unhappy that her well-paid position was usurped by a man, Kochendoerfer quit in 1942 and enlisted in the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.
Kochendoerfer was trained as a Morse code radio operator, then reassigned to assist with pilot training. In 1943, discouraged with shifting assignments and feeling like her skills were not well used, she decided to leave.
But she was not out of uniform long. In April 1944 she set sail from New York aboard the Queen Mary, headed to Europe for the American Red Cross to help set up and operate service clubs for American GIs. It would be three and a half years before Kochendoerfer returned to the United States-a world away and a war full of experiences later.