It’s not every day a grandparent or great-grandparent turns 99, and it’s even rarer that that person was a hero who helped the Allies win World War II. But this month the stars have aligned and a Navy veteran who is one of the very last surviving Code Girls from WWII is celebrating her 99th birthday this month.
That would be U.S. Navy WAVE Leona Chasse, whose friend and fellow veteran, Joy Asuncion, is asking America to send in birthday cards to make Chasse’s birthday an even more special one. Asuncion, posting about Chasse’s birthday and the request for cards, said:
“Leona was one of 10,000 Navy WAVES secretly recruited as ‘Code Girls’ to serve as Code Breakers working in secrecy to break German and Japanese codes. These women were a crucial part of the war and broke numerous codes that were of great importance to the Allied Forces and help win the war!”
WCNC reports that cards can be mailed to:
Maine Veterans’ Home
290 US Route 1
Scarborough, Maine 04074
Asuncion also posted about Chasse’s birthday on the 5th, when it occured, saying:
Celebrating the Birthday Girl Leona today ❤️ World War II U.S. Navy WAVE 99 years young!
Special Happy Birthday surprise from the Scarborough Police and Fire Departments singing Happy Birthday to her!
A special surprise from WW II Charles Whitney 99 years young who recently moved into the Veterans Home surprised Leona. They grew up together and graduated from the same high school in 1941. They didn’t know each other resided there! #greatestgeneration #happybirthday
The US Department of Defense, writing about the WAVES in an article titled “Remembering Navy WAVES During Women’s History Month”, said:
Following the last of the female yeomen leaving active duty at the end of World War I, only a small number of Navy nurses represented their gender in naval service. But World War II would change all of that. In the early 1940s, the Navy prepared to accept not only a large number of enlisted women, but also the first female commissioned officers who would supervise them.
On July 30, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Navy Women’s Reserve Act into law, creating what was commonly known as the WAVES — Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service — a division of the U.S. Navy created during World War II to free up male personnel for sea duty. Little did anyone know that the resulting influx of women in the U.S. Navy would last far beyond the World War II “emergency” for which they had been recruited.
So make sure to take a few minutes and, though her birthday has already passed, send Chasse a birthday card as a “thank you” for her service!
Featured image credit: Joy Asuncion Facebook
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