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Brower, Ardice

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Ardice Brower was born 21 July 1921. Her family lived at that time on a farm near the small town of Kennedy, Kittson County, in far northwestern Minnesota. The Browers moved from there to Des Moines, Iowa, when Ardice was young, and it was here that she graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1939. Over the next four years Ardice worked at a small loan company in Des Moines, and later for a radio station in Omaha, Nebraska. In December 1943 Ardice enlisted in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve; following Basic Training at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, she was stationed in 1944 at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, North Carolina, where she worked as secretary to the station legal officer. The primary World War II mission of Cherry Point, which was completed in 1942, was to train units and individual Marines for the Pacific theater. The air station also served as a base for anti-submarine operations; aircraft from Cherry Point were responsible for sinking two German U-boats off the North Carolina coast during 1943. Ardice remained at Cherry Point throughout her enlistment, leaving only to be discharged from Camp LeJeune in January 1946 with the rank of staff sergeant. Following military service, Ardice worked in Chicago for a year, then married (husband Bill) and relocated to California. She raised four children, but still found time to attend USC for three years, and in 1968 graduated from Sonoma State University. After her youngest child started high school, Ardice worked in real estate, was president of the local Board of Realtors, kept active in her Methodist church, and was involved in volunteer activities, including Adult Literacy, the American Association of University Women, and the Community Development Commission. In later years the Browers returned to Minnesota; at the time of this interview Ardice resided in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Ardice was a pioneer – the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was only established in February 1943. She talks openly about being one of the first women in the Marines during the war. Also helpful are comments about adjusting to civilian life after the war, and some shortages, like housing, that persisted into 1946.


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Ardice Brower - Transcript.pdf (604 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Ardice Brower