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Collection Veterans History Project Collection

Serving: Our Voices

Serving in the military is an experience unique to each veteran. Our mission at the Veterans History Project (VHP) is to collect, preserve, and make accessible these stories of service for future generations. Whether these narratives take the form of oral history interviews or original manuscript and photograph materials, they are a treasure trove of individual feelings, personal recollections, and primary source materials representing the voices of those who took an oath to serve our nation.

Serving: Our Voices is a series of online presentations designed to highlight VHP collections centered on a particular theme. Since 2003, we have curated these exhibits to illuminate the broad spectrum of experiences, topics, and materials contained within the archive. Organized by topic and conflict, Serving: Our Voices offers a glimpse into the infinite research possibilities that our collections contain. Here, we serve collections that open our eyes and our hearts, that surprise and confound us, and that complicate and expand typical narratives of service.

Use the navigation menu to the left to dive into the dozens of online presentations that we currently offer. Return frequently, as this list is ever growing. Other resources for discovery are available via the Explore the Collections section of our website.

Please join our effort by contributing a veteran’s collection to the Veterans History Project. Each contribution makes our collection all the richer for researchers and future generations. Learn how you can participate in the Veterans History Project.

Featured Theme

Women in uniform standing at attention
Nurses in the Army Nurse Corps, Camp McCoy, Wisconsin [October 1944]. Dorothy Margaret Jenkins Collection, Veterans History Project, AFC2001/001/5724.

Determined to Serve: African American Women in World War II

African American women who donned a uniform during World War II confronted tremendous obstacles. Joining up meant taking a stand against those both inside the service and outside of it who maintained that women and African Americans had no place in the military. Compelled by their sense of patriotic duty and the promise of opportunities for advancement, African American women chose to serve their country despite the discrimination, hostility, and sometimes outright violence they faced while doing so. Whether stationed stateside or abroad, they persevered with honor and often humor, their accomplishments a testament to their integrity and determination. Here, we spotlight a handful of collections from the Veterans History Project archive relating to African American women who served during World War II.