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.
Louise Bendick enlisted in the WACs in 1944, following the footsteps of her brother John, a Corporal who was first involved with chemical warfare in Italy, and later a fire-fighter in Germany. Before joining the service, Bendick was a working woman, employed by the Claremont Confectionary Store in Yonkers. In the Army she was stationed at Fort Slocum and in San Francisco, doing clerical work for the Transportation Corps.