Leaksville, NC State Guard Auxiliary
Here's how the Auxiliary members look in their civilian clothes. That's Sgt. A. R. Flanagan of the 19th State Guard Company, in the upper left corner. He's drill instructor.
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State Guard Auxiliary
The women of Leaksville have perfected a splendid organization and are ready to cope with any local emergency that may arise. They've gone in for intensive training.
By OTIS MARLOWE
THE women of Leaksville just won't take a back seat when it comes to matters of civilian defense. This is evidenced by the fact that, in addition to the usual women's war activities, this town up in William Byrd's "Land of Eden" has a ‘unique girls’ organization—an Auxiliary of the North Carolina State Guard. The girls' company is an adjunct of the 19th Company, 4th Battalion, and is the only such unit in the State.
Voluntarily inspired and carried on through the efforts of young women anxious to do their part in the war emergency, the Auxiliary is formed strictly along military lines, wears a distinctive uniform, and, all in all, is a kind .of home-grown WAAC outfit. Commander of the unit is Capt. Claudia Pinckard, a registered nurse and WAAC recruiting officer for the Leaksville area.
Resplendent in their new uniforms of khaki skirt and blouse with matching overseas cap, brown Girl Scout shoes, tan tie and belt, the Auxiliary makes a striking group and one that would be an adornment to any armory in the State. However, the members of the Auxiliary are not content merely to "look pretty." On the other hand, they are putting in many hours a week at such activities as first aid, nutrition training and other vital duties on the home front.
Like the regular State Guard, the Auxiliary drills at the armory one night a week. Officer training schools and special classes are conducted on other nights. The drills, which were for some months supervised by an officer from the 19th Company, are now directed by the Auxiliary officers and non-coms. All ranks and titles correspond with those of the State Guard. In addressing a superior, a respectful "Ma'am" instead of the military "Sir" is the only concession to femininity.
Aside from military courtesy and discipline, greatest emphasis is placed on first-aid training. Every member has completed the standard Red Cross first aid course with the result that the Auxiliary is prepared to set up a large first-aid station and man it 24 hours a day. Plans have been worked out to use the cots belonging to the 19th company and the space provided in the armory for this purpose. The armory is across the street from Leaksville hospital. In the event of an air raid or other attack with a large number of casualties, the armory can be converted into an emergency hospital to catch the overflow from the institution across the street.
Following their completion of a government-sponsored nutrition training course, all members of the Auxiliary were given special instruction in the matter of food ration points. This enables each girl to assist housewives in her area to secure maximum nutritional value for the ration points expended.
The membership is made up of women between the ages of 17 and 45, with an average age of about 22 or 23 years. The group is democratic: the war mother with a son in the South Pacific marches with a high-school girl; the registered nurse has for her partner the dime-store clerk; girls from Marshall Field's famed Karastan rug mill march with daughters from old Leaksville families.
Among the officers, Capt. Pinckard is a nurse; 1st Lieut, Hazel Price is a young housewife; 2nd Lieut. Odessa Priddy is an office worker; Company Clerk Maryland Shields is secretary in the local headquarters of the Textile Workers Union of America (CIO); whereas First Sergeant Lucille Booker is employed in Marshall Field and Company's Personnel Department.
Organized in May, 1942, the Auxiliary has 35 members on the roster with a long waiting list. The normal strength is considered to be 53 and this figure could be reached overnight if this were desired. The present members are all fully uniformed and of equal training. When additional uniforms are obtained, 18 recruits will be taken in to commence a new class.
Two members of the Auxiliary resigned to join the WAAC. Mary Jane Price, formerly company clerk, has completed her training and is stationed in Washington, D. C.; Josephine Smith, who was a buck private, is now at Daytona Beach, Fla., undergoing her basic training.
Ever since the Auxiliary was started, interested in the organization has never been lagging. Each member is proud to be a part of the company. All meetings and drills are well attended. The women are proud of the work that they have accomplished thus far and they realize that they are playing an important part in the program of civilian defense.
And here is how the ladies look when they're dresses up in their snappy uniforms. Drills are held once a week and are well attended. Sergeant Flanagan says the members have learned very quickly.
(Thanks to Steve Johnson of Golden, Colorado for mailing the scan of this article. It is greatly appreciated. )
My name is Steve Johnson and I am a retired USAF officer living in Golden, CO. For many years I have tracked and documented WWII State Guard units.
I recently purchased (on eBay) a 1943 magazine article about the 19th Company, 4th battalion of the NC State Guard. This unit was from Leaksville, NC, was comprised of 35 ladies from your town. The article stated that this was the only such unit in the state. There were two photos of the ladies - one in normal civilain attire and the second showed them in their uniforms. The article named seven members by name: Claudia Pinekard; Hazel Price; Odessa Priddy; Maryland Shields; Lucille Booker; Mary Jane Price and Josephine Smith. I have no way of knowing if these were maiden or married names.
I have several questions about these ladies and their unit and I am praying that there are still some folks in those parts who remember the unit.
1. Are there any surviving ladies from the unit?
2. Are there any surviving family members?
3. Are any of the uniforms still in existence?
4. Is there any repository (library? archives?) that might have additional information on the unit?
The existence of this unit (heretofore unknown to me) is very exciting and I am very anxious to contact anyone who might be able to shed additiona light on the unit.
Thank you for any assistance.
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