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Lorena Estelle Hermance Papers, 1942-1985
2 boxes (.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 190

Abstract:
Officer, Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and communications worker. The majority of the papers document Hermance's service overseas with the WAAC during World War II. Of particular interest is a typescript of her journal, As You Were, as well as other short diary and biographical writings. Other material includes a series of letters to her sister, Julia Winslow, army memorabilia, and photographs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open for research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works created by Lorena Estelle Hermance. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
Captain Lorena Hermance at AFHQ, Royal Palace, Caserta, Italy; undated

Captain Lorena Hermance at AFHQ, Royal Palace, Caserta, Italy; undated

Lorena Estelle Hermance was born January 29, 1898, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Her maternal grandfather, Bennin Dittaway Elliott, served in the Ninth Missouri Cavalry during the Civil War, and her father, Edward S. Whitehead, was a drill sergeant with the St. Joseph National Guard.

Married to William Rhoades Hermance, she bore one daughter, Clover, and divided her time between being a wife, mother, and a professional woman. By 1942 she had spent more than twenty years in telephone communications.

Prior to her enlistment in the newly-formed Women's Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), she was interviewing and assigning volunteer personnel to Fourth Fighter Command communication installations in the Los Angeles area while regularly employed in the telephone section of the California State Building, Los Angeles. She was also doing undercover work for Intelligence (G-2), for which she later received a citation.

She was sworn into the WAAC in Los Angeles on September 25, 1943, Mrs. Hermance served with distinction in the Signal Corps. She was stationed overseas for two and a half years, attained the rank of Captain, and was later honored by both the British and American governments.

After a recruiting stint in her home town in June of 1943, Mrs. Hermance served with distinction in the Signal Corps. She was stationed overseas for two and a half years, attained the rank of Captain, and was later honored by both the British and American governments.

Upon her return from Italy in 1945, she resumed an active public life, organizing the Los Angeles County WAC-Veterans Association, which is now a part of the national organization. She served as Commander of Studio City (mens) American Legion Post #467 and Vice Commander of the large (forty posts) 20th District of the American Legion. Post 467 bestowed upon her the rarely-accorded life membership. She also held the only life membership in the National WAC Association. She was a member of 20/4 and 8 et 40, honor groups of the American Legion and its Auxiliary, respectively, and other civic and charitable organizations. Lorena Hermance died in May 1995.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

While the material dates from 1942 to 1985, it represents primarily her service overseas with the WAAC during World War II. Of particular interest is her journal "As You Were" (1942-45) as well as other short diary and biographical writings from the same period. Additional material documenting her activities include a series of letters to her sister Julia Winslow (1942-45), army memorabilia, printed material, plus 25 photographs. Miscellaneous material includes articles about women in the military, a typed copy of "Anglo-American Teamwork" by Clare Boothe Luce (n.d.), an unidentified typescript entitled "Service of Women in Uniform Abroad," and Far From Eden (1982), by her friend Camilla May Franks, about Ms. Franks's war experience.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open for research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works created by Lorena Estelle Hermance. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Lorena Estelle Hermance Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Lorena Hermance Papers were a gift of Mrs. Hermance in November 1985.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 1985.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. CORRESPONDENCE



Lorena Hermance to Julia Winslow,
1942-45

Box 1: folder 1
SERIES II. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL



"As You Were" (typed transcript of an original journal),
1942-45

Box 1: folder 2
Diary excerpts, biographical writings,
1942-45

Box 1: folder 3
Clippings,
1965, 1971, 1974

Box 1: folder 4
Photographs,
1942-45

Box 1: folder 5
Citations,
1945

Box 1: folder 6
SERIES III. MISCELLANEOUS



"Anglo-American Teamwork" by Clare Boothe Luce (typed copy),
n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
"Service of Women in Uniform Abroad" (typescript),
n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
Clippings about women in the military,
1958, 1979, 1985, n.d.

Box 1: folder 9
Far From Eden by Camilla Mays Frank (Bryn Mawr, PA: Dorrance & Co.),
1982

Box 1: folder 10
SERIES IV. MEMORABILIA



Printed material, songs and poetry (published and unpublished),
1942-45

Box 1: folder 11
Army issue items (whistle, earmuffs, New Testament) plus khaki bag and robe,
1942-45

Box 2

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • United States--Armed Forces--Women--Personal narratives
  • Hermance, Lorena Estelle, 1898-
  • United States. Army. Signal Corps--Personal narratives
  • United States. Army. Women's Army Corps--Personal narratives
  • Winslow, Julia--Correspondence
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--Personal narratives


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