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.
Nearly half of all WACs, about 40,000 out of an eventual total of 100,000, worked for the Army Air Forces. Promotional booklets such as “Be an Air-WAC” influenced women like June Ewart to apply for that area of work. The air bases welcomed their assistance in stateside staffing so that men could be shifted to the fronts.
Prior to enlisting Ewart had graduated from Beauty Culture School in the Bronx and attended Business College in Connecticut.