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.
Lucretia Antonacci was one of the first WACs to have her portrait painted by Kughler. She enlisted into the Corps as an Air-Wac in 1943, a new program that allowed her to choose the area of service she wanted to join.
Antonacci was an Italian immigrant, born in 1922. Before the entering the service she worked in Yonkers at Alexander Smith Carpet Company, which had a defense contract during World War II to make cotton duck.