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The Rockpile Museum’s newest original exhibit, She Served Too: Campbell County Women in World War II, is now open to the public. Over three dozen women from Campbell County served in all branches of the military during the second World War and were stationed both at home and abroad. See authentic uniforms, recruitment videos, and incredible photographs while learning more about the military branches they served in and their contributions to the war effort.
About seventy percent of women who served in the military during World War II worked as typists, clerks, and mail sorters. By filling office jobs that would otherwise be held by men, women freed more men to fight. Women were not permitted to participate in armed conflict, but their duties often brought them close to the front lines. The women of Campbell County were no exception in this valiant effort. Their service ranged from supply clerks and pharmacist mates, to yeoman and flight nurses. They served in the WAC, WAVES, USMCWR, SPARS and Army Nurse Corps. Several served overseas and achieved high ranks. Learn more about women such as Mary Gayl Gibson who was the first local woman to enlist in the Coast Guard SPARS or Rachel Hemenway who was reported to be the first War Nurse from Campbell County. Make sure not to miss this exciting exhibit celebrating the women of Campbell County.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum is excited to present WASP: The Untold Story. This exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to experience the unfiltered, uncirculated and unseen traveling exhibit from the National WASP WWII Museum. This exhibit showcases the Women Airforce Service Pilots’ (WASP) life and their experiences at Avenger Field, in Sweetwater, Texas. Originally scheduled in March and April, WASP: The Untold Story is still on display, but won’t be here long.
One thousand eight hundred thirty (1,830) women pilots – ages 18 to 35, with a private or commercial pilot’s license and at least 500 hours cockpit time (later lowered to 200 and then 35 hours) – answered the call of their country in the fall of 1942 – 1944 and joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) to train at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. Avenger Field was and is the only all-female training base in U.S. military history. Patriotism was running high, women like men, were caught up in the fever to “do their bit for the war effort.” Though they never left continental North America, the contributions of the 1,084 who graduated, received their wings and were deployed to 120 bases all over the United States, helped turn the tide in favor of America and our Allies. Today there are 176 surviving WASP.
The National WASP WWII Museum overlooks the runways where the WASP flew. The north horizon is exactly as they saw it in 1943-44. The Museum Hangar was the Sweetwater Municipal Airport, used for repairs and frequented by WASP. Avenger Field’s original barracks, administration buildings, classrooms and Hangar One burned in 1955, but the Wishing Well remains. Texas State Technical College is now located where they stood.
Visit the Rockpile Museum now to see this popup display featuring the stories of the men awarded the Medal of Honor from Wyoming and those that earned the Medal of Honor while campaigning in Wyoming during the Indian Campaigns of the 19th century. Originally scheduled to be displayed during National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th, it has been held over for visitors to enjoy.
Come and see these exhibits and more at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum. We are open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.