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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

VIRGINIA VAN DONGEN PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Virginia "Ginny" Young Van Dongen of Rochester, New York, was a U.S. Coast Guard SPAR (Semper Paratus—Always Ready) from 1943 to 1945.


BIOGRAPHY

Virginia Van Dongen was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Rochester, New York. Her father operated an upscale grocery store and her mother was a homemaker. Van Dogen attended John Marshall High School and began working for Eastman Kodak as a keypunch operator, probably in 1940.

Van Dongen joined the SPARs in 1943 and completed basic training in West Palm Beach, Florida. After nine days as a keypunch operator in Washington, D.C., Van Dongen attended radio school in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for five months. She served from the fall of 1943 to the fall of 1945 in communications at Port Angeles, Washington. Van Dongen was discharged as a radioman third class in late 1945.

Van Dongen returned to her job at Eastman Kodak after the war. She was married in May 1946 and raised eight children.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Virginia Van Dongen, 1944
Item # WV0015.6.002
From the Virginia Van Dongen Papers
Portrait of three SPARS,1944
Item # WV0015.6.001
From the Virginia Van Dongen Papers
Oral history interview with Virginia Young Van Dongen, 1999
Item # WV0015.5.001
From the Virginia Van Dongen Papers