Nebraska native, 101, defied convention: She served in South Pacific, with MacArthur and at NSA – Omaha World-Herald

The youngest of four daughters, Brodt enlisted Sept. 1, 1943.

At first, the bureaucracy foiled her efforts to see the world. She spent time at bases in Iowa and Missouri, training as a personnel specialist.

Id say, When are my orders for overseas coming? Brodt recalled.

In 1944, she found out the Army was sending her to the South Pacific. After rigorous overseas training, she was sent to an administrative headquarters in New Guinea.

It took 28 days to reach her new post. She was packed into a converted ocean liner with 50 other WACs and 4,000 GIs. They received two meals a day, eaten standing up to save space.

It looked like my fathers cattle at the feed bunk, Brodt said.

In New Guinea, the women lived in huts separated from the men. They slept on cots draped with mosquito nets and washed their clothes in their helmets. They worked every day, from 7 a.m. until at least 10 p.m.

Nebraska native Mildred Freeouf Brodt as a corporal in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.

Brodts job at the base was to allocate supplies to the front-line military units.

We never had enough to fill their requests. It was heartbreaking, Brodt said.

The women didnt have enough to eat. Some got sick with malaria and jungle rot.

We were more concerned about diseases than bombs, Brodt said.

After the military reconquest of the Philippines in early 1945, most of the command transferred there. She was en route to Manila when the war ended and so did her job.

She was enjoying her independent life, however, so with several other former WACs, she decided to stay overseas and take a civilian personnel job with the occupation staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo.

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Nebraska native, 101, defied convention: She served in South Pacific, with MacArthur and at NSA - Omaha World-Herald

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