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Women Who Serve

2008 marks the eleventh anniversary of the Women in Military Service Memorial in Washington D.C., the first such memorial in the nation. In honor of both the memorial's anniversary and of Women's History Month, the State Archives of Florida decided to recognize not only their military service, but also how women in Florida have served the state in numerous ways over the generations, from medical care to law enforcement to fire and rescue services.

Female welder at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company during World War II: Jacksonville, Florida (ca. 1943)
Female welder at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company during World War II: Jacksonville, Florida (ca. 1943)

Image Number: RC07216

WAVE enlistee Annie Will Langford (ca. 1943)
WAVE enlistee Annie Will Langford (ca. 1943)

Image Number: N042668

American Red Cross worker Martha N. McLeod (between 1942 and 1945
American Red Cross worker Martha N. McLeod (between 1942 and 1945)

Image Number: N042706

WAVE enlistee Mary Catherine Lawhon Kahn (between 1943 and 1945)
WAVE enlistee Mary Catherine Lawhon Kahn (between 1943 and 1945)

Image Number: PR13442

Mary Catherine Lawhon Kahn was born January 14, 1919 and died February 14, 1992. Mary was born to Margaret Viola Harvey and John William Lawhon, in Arran, Florida. On 10/25/43 she enlisted in the Navy where she trained as a 2nd class mailman. While she was stationed in Key West she met and married her husband Paul Kahn in September of 1945. After her discharge she returned to Arran, then moved to Jacksonville where she raised her daughter Angela, and later returned to Wakulla County in the early 1970's.

Junior Red Cross chapter members: Monticello (1942 or 1943)
Junior Red Cross chapter members: Monticello (1942 or 1943)

Image Number: N035420

Portrait of USMC-WR 1st Lieutenant Alice "Martha" Dorn (194-)
Portrait of USMC-WR 1st Lieutenant Alice "Martha" Dorn (194-)

Image Number: PR30402

Native of Miami, Alice "Martha" Dorn (later Timanus) attended Ponce de Leon High School and the University of Miami.

She was the first Miamian to turn in an officer candidate application without indicating either "male" or "female" on the form, and the first female officer candidate in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in the 3rd Naval District. Ms. Dorn achieved the rank of Company Commander then Battalion Commander and worked in the Women's Recruiting Depot.

Women at Camp Gordon Johnston sewing on insignia (between 1942 and 1944)
Women at Camp Gordon Johnston sewing on insignia (between 1942 and 1944)

Image Number: N044786

Third from left is Annie Haddock Posey of Crawfordville.

Jacqueline Cochran: internationally known aviator (19--?)
Jacqueline Cochran: internationally known aviator (19--?)

Image Number: N035236

Jackie Cochran grew up in the Florida panhandle. She was the first woman to break the sound barrier, the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic, and the first civilian woman to win a Distinguished Service Medal.

In 1942, Cochran headed the Women's Flying Training Detachment which merged with the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron in 1943 to become the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

Victory drive World War II effort (1941-1942)
Victory drive World War II effort (1941-1942)

Image Number: PR12839

Students at the Florida State College for Women.

Seven views of WAC and signal corps: Tyndall Field, Florida (1943?)
Seven views of WAC and signal corps: Tyndall Field, Florida (1943?)

Image Number: N044897

Public health nurse standing beside her jeep (ca. 1948)
Public health nurse standing beside her jeep (ca. 1948)

Image Number: RC12654

Photographed in Bay or Bradford county.

Florida State University public health nurse checking twins born to migrant worker family (195-)
Florida State University public health nurse checking twins born to migrant worker family (195-)

Image Number: RC12657

Florida Marine Patrol officer monitoring the Mariel Cuban Boatlift (1980)
Florida Marine Patrol officer monitoring the Mariel Cuban Boatlift (1980)

Image Number: FPS1086

The boat with the Cuban immigrants was the "Dr. Daniels."

Portrait of Metro-Dade Police Department officer Evelyn Gort (between 1985 and 1993)
Portrait of Metro-Dade Police Department officer Evelyn Gort (between 1985 and 1993)

Image Number: PR20274

Evelyn Gonzalez was born on December 15, 1958. Married Metro-Dade police officer Gus Gort on January 5, 1985. She joined the Metro-Dade Police Department in 1985. On October 30, 1993 Evelyn Gort was shot while attempting to arrest an armed robber (Wilbur Leroy "Jit" Mitchell). Her name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Memorial (West Wall, Panel 59, Line 19) in Washington, D.C.

New recruits at Florida Highway Patrol are pinned by their parents: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)
New recruits at Florida Highway Patrol are pinned by their parents: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)

Image Number: MF1012

Florida Governor Bob Graham watches Theresa Allen, right, in the Florida Highway Patrol pins the badge on her daughter Angel while Sergeant James Johnson, left, pins the badge on his son James Darren Johnson after graduation exercises of the 70th recruit class of the Florida Highway Patrol here Friday. The Allens are the first mother-daughter to be in the Patrol and are from Gainesville. The Johnson's are from Miami.

Portrait of North Miami Police Department officer Lynette Anita Hodge (1993)
Portrait of North Miami Police Department officer Lynette Anita Hodge (1993)

Image Number: PR20275

Born on August 4, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. She moved to South Florida after graduation from high school in 1982. She joined the Opa-locka Police Department in 1990. She became a North Miami Police Department officer in early 1993. Officer Hodge died in an automobile accident on November 16, 1993 while rushing to the aid of a fellow officer. Her name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Memorial (West Wall, Panel 50, Line 19) in Washington, D.C.

Tallahassee's first female Fire Chief Cynthia Dick speaking on the day she was sworn-in at the City Commission chambers by City Attorney James English (2005)
Tallahassee's first female Fire Chief Cynthia Dick speaking on the day she was sworn-in at the City Commission chambers by City Attorney James English (2005)

Image Number: PR20649

Expectant mother having her blood pressure taken by a registered nurse in Leon County, Florida
Expectant mother having her blood pressure taken by a registered nurse in Leon County, Florida (19--)

Image Number: Sbh0024

Lt. Judi Davison of the Tallahassee Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Team performing technical level rope rescue training at Doak Campbell Stadium (2006)
Lt. Judi Davison of the Tallahassee Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Team performing technical level rope rescue training at Doak Campbell Stadium (2006)

Image Number: PR20650

For more photographs of women in Florida, see Images of Women's History in Florida.