Fort Lee in Prince George County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
In Defense of the Nation
In World War II, over 450 members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) were assigned to a secret experiment. It called for the creation of coastal gun battery, comprised of both men and women, with the mission to protect the Military District of Washington. Requested by General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and dubbed "Battery X", women were mixed into the ranks of the 71st and 89th Coastal Artillery Regiments, thus creating the first-ever composite units. They graduated from the Anti-aircraft Artillery Command school in January, 1943.
The WAACs were assigned to the gun batteries, searchlight units and regiment headquarters. They trained extensively on the 90-mm Antiaircraft Gun M1 and the 40-mm Bofors Automatic Gun M1 (AA). In August, 1943 the experiment was over; women were needed in other areas of service. However, they had proven that if needed Army women could be called upon to serve in antiaircraft units. The story of Battery X was not declassified until the 1970s. Many of their experiences still remain unknown and are yet to be uncovered.
Topics. War, World II. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1943.
Location. 37° 14.59′ N, 77° 20.763′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, Virginia, in Prince George County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of A Avenue and 22nd Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located in front of the US Army Women's Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 A Avenue, Fort Lee VA 23801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pallas Athene (a few steps from this marker); Woman Warrior (a few steps from this marker); City Point and Hopewell (approx. 0.3 miles away); Women's Army Corps Training Center (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jordan Family Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Confederate Battery 6 (approx. half a mile away); M32B3 Recovery Vehicle (approx. half a mile away); Pershing II Battlefield Support Missile and Launcher (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Lee.
Also see . . . US Army Women's Museum. (Submitted on March 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 14, 2017. It was originally submitted on March 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.