Emily Sullivan Newcity was born on June 12, 1922 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. After she graduated from high school in 1940, her family moved to Ossining, New York, where she worked at a clerk typist at Maryknoll Seminary. When her mother died shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, she moved to Brooklyn and worked at New York Central Building (now Helmsley Building) on Park Avenue.
When Newcity turned twenty-one in 1943, she enlisted in the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps). She arrived at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, for basic training in August of that year. Her first assignment was as a clerk typist at the station hospital at Fort H. G. Wright, Fishers Island, New York. After six months she was given overseas orders and completed overseas training at Fort Oglethorpe.
Newcity departed from Camp Stoneman, California, and arrived in Sydney, Australia, in early 1944. Her company was then sent to General Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (GHQ USAFFE) in Brisbane, where Newcity worked as a stenographer. She was next sent briefly to Hollandia, New Guinea, before being transferred to Leyte, Philippines. Newcity was later stationed in Manila, Philippines, at Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines. She returned home to the U.S shortly after VJ Day and was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she was discharged in October 1945. Shortly thereafter, Newcity moved to New York City with army friends and worked in the Chrysler Building for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company.
Newcity met her husband, an army medical technician, at a party at Fort H. G. Wright six months after she left the service. They married six months later and lived in several countries where he was stationed during his army career.