Marine Corps Women's Reserve

Screenshot of Dorothy (Davis) Dale

Screenshot of Dorothy (Davis) Dale from 2001 interview. For full interview, see bibliography.

Dorothy (Davis) Dale

Corporal Dorothy (Davis) Dale was raised in Michigan. She joined the MCWR in 1945 and served until 1946. According to the Veterans History Project 2001 interview with Dale, she used to write letters to the Native servicemen from her reservation. After writing, the thought occurred to her that she did not know how long the war would last, so she felt the need to enlist. She was also stationed at Camp Lejeune.

When asked about discrimination or special treatment, she commented with a laugh, "There were some Marines there, and they heard about the Indians. They probably thought there was feathers and buckskin and etc. But they were just surprised to see that I wasn't feathers, buckskins, and etc.!"

Dale passed in 2015 and is buried at the Chippewa Township Cemetery on the Isabella Indian Reservation in Michigan.

Minnie Spotted Wolf

Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, item 7329402.1943 photo of Private Minnie Spotted Wolf (Blackfeet) from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Minnie Spotted Wolf

Private Minnie Spotted Wolf of the Blackfoot Tribe is credited as being the first Native woman to enlist in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in 1943. Spotted Wolf served from 1943 to 1947 on the American homefront, primarily in California and Hawaii as a driver and heavy equipment operator.

She grew up in rural Montana near Heart Butte, doing work like putting up fences, herding sheep and breaking horses on her father's ranch, and she stated that those experiences helped to prepare her for the MCWR boot camp. Several sources quote her as referring to boot camp as, "hard, but not too hard." After the war, Spotted Wolf earned her degree and worked as a teacher for twenty-nine years before passing in 1988.

Other Branches of Military Service
Marine Corps Women's Reserve