Second World War: Pearl Harbor Changed My Life

Woman served in the Women's Air Corps and as a telephone operator after Pearl Harbor, during the second World War.

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I was 18 years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the US entered the second World War. I lived on a farm in Illinois. One of my brothers served in the Army and one in the Navy. I served in the Women's Air Corps. 

I was sent to New York City when the War was over in Europe to help with the mail. They were five months behind when we got there. We lived in the Hotel Herald Square with headquarters in the Hotel Collingwood. From there I went to Europe.

I left the United States on August 12, 1945, from Newport News, Virginia; the War was over August 14. We landed in France. After a few weeks in tents, we were sent to Vienna, Austria.

I worked as a telephone operator for about a year. I had worked as a telephone operator before enlisting as a WAC.

Gen. Mark Clark was commander of our area. His train was hooked to our switchboard when in Vienna. I received a Commendation Ribbon while in Vienna.

Armeda Jenness
Kingsley, Iowa


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.