“I’ve Never Regretted Anything” — World War II Vet, Helen Harder

1 Mar

That quote was taken from the oral history interview Helen Harder did with historian Allan Bérubé for his World War II History Project.  Born in 1918, Harder (nee Eleanor F. Sugg) was a flight instructor in the Women’s Army Corps (WACS). After the war she worked in factories and canneries (among other jobs) before earning her teaching credentials and becoming an elementary school teacher. Harder was interested in spirituality and wrote a number of small essays on the subject. She also helped organize a NOW chapter in rural Nevada in the early 1980s. Harder died in 1984 in the Bay Area. Her collection is a rich documentation of her life and includes correspondence, lots of cool photographs, poetry and prose, fragments of a memoir, materials regarding her military service and NOW, financial records, ephemera, audiotapes and some personalia. Most of the photographs are unlabeled, and it would be great fo find someone who could identify the subjects!

A transcript of her oral history interview can be viewed at http://www.glbthistory.org/research/oh/Harder_Helen5-1982_web.pdf

One Response to ““I’ve Never Regretted Anything” — World War II Vet, Helen Harder”

  1. Gerard Koskovich March 5, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    In the Finnochio’s photo, note the under-the-table gesture: Toby’s hand is on Helen’s knee. What might at first appear to be a double date for two straight couples is actually a double date for two lesbians and two gay men. Pairing up in this way made it possible for same-sex couples to escape the watchful eyes of the military police and other authorities during World War II. Donated to the GLBT Historical Society by her son, Helen Harder’s archives also included the Finocchio’s program visible in the photo. She had kept it as a souvenir until her death almost 40 years after she picked it up during the date shown here.

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