Strictly G.I. – Letters of a WW II WAAC by Patricia Arnold

GI This is a good collection of personal letters written by a female serving in the military during WW II. During this era the US military didn’t give the same benefits or respect to the women who stepped up to serve their country. The letters are a great insight into a woman’s daily regime and work assignments and in Cpl. Wanda Renn’s case, an exciting assignment in North Africa. Wanda clearly resisted the conventional path women were usually steered in the 1940s. It’s that sense of adventure and curiosity that led her to join the Army.

As someone who is interested in genealogy, finding letters such as these are a true treasure to someone hunting down information about their family. It provides insight to the ancestor’s personality as well as details about the life they led. Hats off to Patricia Arnold for preserving a slice of her family history by publishing this book. If you are interested in WW II stories, particularly those detailing women in the service, this is an enjoyable light read.

On another note, small world that this is, I was astounded to read that Wanda Renn settled in Owosso, Michigan. The town is small and I don’t often read anything that mentions Owosso but I actually lived there for a short period after my mother passed away. My sister lived there and she took me in for several years. It was always a place that seemed locked in an earlier time period.

What do you make after reading a book like this? Something Wanda may have missed from the US. Such as an apple pie. As she was serving in North Africa and had a brush with French culture, let’s make the apple tart.


You know the saying…an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Guess sit depends on how hard you throw that apple. And how good your aim is.

The recipe and step-by-step for this tart may be found HERE

Thank you for your service, Wanda Renn, and thank you to Patricia Arnold for sharing personal letters.


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