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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Lee in Prince George County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

In Defense of the Nation

 
 
In Defense of the Nation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 16, 2014
1. In Defense of the Nation Marker
Inscription.
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.
 
Erected 2012.
 
Location. 37° 14.59′ N, 77° 20.763′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, Virginia, in Prince George County. Marker can be reached
In Defense of the Nation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, May 16, 2014
2. In Defense of the Nation Marker
from the intersection of A Avenue and 22nd Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the US Army Women's Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 A Avenue, Fort Lee VA 23801, United States of America.
 
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); Jordon Family Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Confederate Battery 6 (approx. half a mile away); The Siege of Petersburg (approx. 0.6 miles away); Prelude to Petersburg (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.)
 
Categories. War, World II
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 102 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 13, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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