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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

ERMA HUGHES KIRKPATRICK PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick (1920-2012) of Washington, D.C., was a cryptanalyst in a naval intelligence unit while serving with the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II.


BIOGRAPHY

Erma Kathryn Hughes Kirkpatrick was born in Washington, D.C., on 10 September 1920. She attended Woodrow Wilson High School and received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Maryland in 1942. After graduation she worked for the U.S. Navy as a civilian cryptanalyst reconstructing Japanese coded messages.

In February 1943, Kirkpatrick joined the WAVES and completed an expedited basic training and officer candidate school at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She returned to Washington, D.C., where she resumed her position in naval intelligence unit. Kirkpatrick remained there for the duration of her service. She separated from active duty on 28 March 1946, but remained in the reserves until 11 January 1951.

Kirkpatrick attended business management classes at Radcliffe College after the war. She later married, raised a family, and did volunteer work with various organizations in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. In 2011 the governor of North Carolina presented to Kirkpatrick the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine. She died on 1 June 2012 in Chapel Hill.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick, circa 1945
Item # WV0213.6.002
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers
Portrait of Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick, circa 1946
Item # WV0213.6.005
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers
Oral history interview with Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick, 2001
Item # WV0213.5.001
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers
Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick at religion building, circa 1945
Item # WV0213.6.003
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers
Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick and family, circa 1945
Item # WV0213.6.004
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers
WAVES and sailors in the snow, circa 1945
Item # WV0213.6.001
From the Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Papers

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS:
Havelock (WAVES Newsletter) April 1943; Military Papers, 1942-1951; The Activities of the WAVES, Spars and the MCWR at the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School, Northampton, Mass., 1943-1944, ca. 1944; Going Back to Civilian Life, August 1945; Marching to Victory (WAVES Songbook) 1943; New Testament, 1943; Officer's Qualification Record Jacket, 1949-1950; "On the Atcheson-Topeka and the N.C.A. or Trash Force 58," by Don Murray, ca. 1943-1946; V-Mail, 1944, n.d.; WAVES Winter Coat, 1943-1951; Uniform (Jacket and Skirt), 1943-1951; Shoulder Bag, 1943-1951; Miscellaneous Insignia, ID Bracelet and Buttons, ca. 1943-1951