Polk County

Maj. Helen E. Hanson



Waterloo's First Woman Officer

Graduated with 435 others, Miss Marion C. Lichty, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burr G. Lichty, 1481 Newell street, Saturday earned her commission as third officer in the Women's Army Auxiliary corps after six weeks training at Fort Des Moines, Ia. Only five other Iowans graduated: Clara C. Han and Helen E. Hanson, Des Moines; Dorothy A. Tomhave, Estherville; Helen Lloyd-Jones, Mason City and Mary S. Bell, Cedar Rapids.

Source: The Courier, August 30, 1942


Washington, D.C. -- Promotions for eleven Iowans in the women's army auxiliary corps were announce Tuesday night.

The following officers were advanced to the rank of first officer, the WAAC equivalent of captain: Clara G. Han, 1063 Twenty-first st, Des Moines; Marion C. Lichty, Waterloo; Kathleen McClure, Iowa Falls, and Helen E. Hanson, 726 Guthrie st, Des Moines.

Promoted from the rank of third officer to second officer, WAAC equivalent of first lieutenant: Clara J. Courson, Belmond; Elizabeth L. Flanagan, Cedar Rapids; Kola S. Gallagher, Council Bluffs; Vera E. Stiver, 4309 Allison ave., Des Moines; Jeanne E. Hardie, Dubuque and Marcella M. McCue, Greeley.

Source: The Des Moines Register, April 21, 1943

Maj. Helen E. Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Hanson, 1418 Milton st, has been appointed theater WAC staff director in Italy. She formerly was with the war department general staff in Washington, D.C. In her new position, she has under her command all the WAC installations in Italy.

In civilian life, Major Hanson was a high school teacher in Niagara, Wis., enlisting in the WAC in July 1942. She was head of officer candidate school at Fort Des Moines and later director of training at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., before her Washington assignment. A brother, Russell W. Hanson, is with the air forces in England.

Source: The Des Moines Tribune, July 12, 1945 (photo included)