Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Long Did Gay/ Lesbian Soldiers Really Have to Wait?

Some soldiers from the Second World War:

Pfc Robert Fleischer was awarded the Bronze Star for laying a mine under enemy fire at Wurzburg.

Cpl. Helen Harder, flight instructor specializing in training in instrument flying.

Sgt. Jaquelin Beyer, army intelligence, involved in developing photo processes to help break Japanese code.

Second Lt. Robert Ricks, 8th Air Force navigator whose plane was shot down near Potenza, Italy in 1943. This photograph was recovered from German documents captured at Dachau.

What do all of these soldiers have in common? They were all gay.

From Alan Berube's Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two


June Butler said...

Doug, I sound like a broken record, but this is another wonderful post.

Tom and I were talking about the repeal, and he said, "Where were the gays in WWII? I said they were in the military, and I've read stories that some of them were out. Nearly every warm male body was called into service.

JCF said...

Geez, even *I* have to admit that Lt. Ricks was DREAMY! ;-)

Haven't felt up to asking Dad if he knew (suspected) anyone he knew in the Army (WW2) was "that way." [I've made some strides w/ him, but I know how he could still have his prejudices set off. Like a lot of older people, he repeats stories. WHENEVER we drive on a certain point on I-80 in the Sierra foothills---y'know, those mountains getting *15 feet* of snow tonight! :-0---past a hilltop you can see in the distance, he'll bring up "There used to be a restaurant on top of that hill. Owned by a couple of fruits." EVERY TIME. (Sigh) Well, I got him to vote against PropH8 anyway...]

MarkBrunson said...

Dachau and brought in around '43. He would've been there around the same time as my Uncle Howard.