96-year-old WWII Chesterfield veteran reflects on time in war

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 5:16 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Aileen Coppridge is a 96-year-old North Chesterfield woman who served in WWII, and says it was the death of her brother, Franklin Maxey, in World War II that inspired her to serve.

“I joined Aug. 31 of 1944,” she said, “I was very proud of it, my parents were a little brokenhearted I guess because I went in because my brother had been killed over in Germany and they were still in the mourning, but I wanted to go in to do something.”

Aileen joined dozens of other female Army enlistees who shipped out of Richmond for training.

“There were 90 women from the state of Virginia that went in at one time.”

She says she served in Arlington, right near the National Cemetery. She says there were specific roles for women.

“We could do office work and work on radios, and many people went to different places and did different jobs; I was in the Bureau of Personnel...I was a glorified file clerk,” she said.

She served until 1946 when she decided to get married.

“My boyfriend had gone up to Panama and he was down there for four years, and when he came back and we picked up on our relationship. He was coming home on three day passes and he says, ‘why don’t we get married?’ So that’s what we did,” she said.

There are several of Aileen’s family members who served, including her grandson.

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