Polk County

Cpl. Virginia E. Lyon


Des Moines in the Services

Auxiliary Virginia E. Lyon, formerly of 2414 Amherst ave., has been promoted to junior leader at Fort Sheridan, Ill.

Source: DesMoines Tribune, March 1, 1943

Des Moines in the Services

Junior Leader Virginia E. Lyon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Lyon, 2414 Amherst drive, has returned to Fort Sheridan, Ill. after spending a week's furlough here. Miss Lyon, who formerly was employed by the Root Casket Co., received her basic training in the WAAC at Fort Des Moines.

Source: DesMoines Tribune, April 24, 1943

Des Moines in the Services

Corp. Virginia E. Lyon, WAC, is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Lyon, 1625 Twenty-second st. She will return to Fort Sheridan, Ill., after her furlough.

Source: DesMoines Tribune, March 17, 1944

Des Moines in the Services

WAC Corp. Virginia E. Lyon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Lyon, 1625 Twenty-second st., now is stationed in New Guinea.

Source: DesMoines Tribune, October 30, 1944

She's Going 'Down Under' So She Can Marry Her Man

Now comes Virginia Lyon to prove that a 'down under' cupid did not deserve all his darts for the Australian girls.

He saved one for Virginia who is reversing the present bridal movement by going to Australia to marry her wartime beau, a born-and-bred Aussie.

Met in New Guinea

Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Lyon, 2705 Adams st., Virginia met Norman Schaefer, 28, when she was a WAC corporal in Port Moresby, New Guinea. He was a signal corps sergeant.

Virginia joined the army to see the world, but she did not know the view would include the first sight of her future husband in a grass hut in the remote New Guinea mountains.

One of the first to enlist for WAC training in 1942, Virginia went overseas two years later, landing in Brisbane, Australia, on June 26, 1944 - her birthday anniversary.

The Des Moines girl has come to favor her birthdays. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Schaefer called from Australia, urging her "to hurry up and come to Brisbane."

Virginia is doing her best to hurry up the travel process. She applied for her passport promptly, but it probably will not be issued for four to six weeks.

10,000 Mile Trip

Then Virginia will pack her embroidered organdy wedding gown and travel 10,000 miles to her wedding. Her mother considers that takes her eldest far from home, but she got back once before and undoubtably will again, Mrs. Lyons reasons.

Schaefer originally had planned to come to Des Moines to pick up his bride then return to Australia.

"He did not like the idea of staying here now, when so many of our men were coming back and need jobs," Virginia said. "He is very conscientious."

Virginia always has wanted to be married in the Little Brown church in Nashua, but them she had not planned on an Australian husband.

Some day the couple may return to live in the United States. Virginia thinks she would like to come home again, after a few years in Australia (where there is plenty of sugar, meat and flour.)

5 Years in War

Schaefer, who served five years with the Australians, now is attending a railway management school. As soon as he finishes the course, he will become an assistant station master, one of the youngest in the government-operated railroad.

After she had been in service three months at Brisbane, Virginia was transferred to Port Moresby.

There, a group of Aussies invited some WACs to their camp some 30 miles inland in the mountains for dinner served by natives in a grass hut.

Five months later, Virginia and one of the hosts were engaged to be married.

Schafer sent to Sydney, Australia, for her engagement ring, an emerald, with diamonds on either side. His home is at Grafton, New South Wales.

Virginia, who as a WAC "worked V-mail," was transferred to Leyte in April, 1945. She later was flown to Manila, Philippines, and reached San Francisco, Cal. last November.

A graduate of North High school, she was employed at the Root Casket Co. before she entered service.

Source: The DesMoines Register, July 7, 1946 (photo included)