In 1943 artist Francis V. Kughler, Hudson River Museum Director H. Armour Smith and Women’s Army Corps recruiter Joanne Coates conceived a plan to encourage women of Yonkers to enlist in the army and honor their contribution. Every Yonkers woman who joined the WACs would have her portrait made in oil or pastel by Kughler.
When Jane Mooney enlisted in 1944, her big sister and brother, Sgt. Aileen DeBrocke and Sgt. John Mooney, were already in the Army; and her brother-in-law, Sergeant John M. DeBrocke, was deployed overseas.
Like many WACs, Mooney was first shipped out to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, for training and job placement. She chose to join the Air-WACs, a division under the Army Air Forces, and worked as a clerk typist at Rosecrans Field, in St. Joseph, Missouri, only 75 miles away from her sister’s post in Topeka, Kansas.
On furlough she told the Herald Statesman, “Army life is wonderful…just tell the Yonkers girls to enlist and find out for themselves—they’ll love it too, just as every other WAC does.”