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.
Kathleen Dupree’s brother Charles Mayerhofer was a Corporal in the Coast Artillery of the U.S. Army. She had married after high school and, when she enlisted, was working for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company in New York City.
On July 1, 1944, the Herald Statesman published an article encouraging families to strive for total participation in the war effort: “Army families join ‘All-out’ for Recruits.” The families of Dupree and Jane Mooney (also in this exhibition) were both listed. The following week was designated WAC week, with activities including the special programs for mothers whose daughters were serving overseas and stateside. Dupree’s mother, Mrs. Charles Mayerhofer, attended and was one of the mothers who went to Steadman’s Music Shop to record “voice letters” to their daughters. They then visited the Museum to see a display of the WAC portraits, which had been completed so far.