Willa Farrell comes from a long line of American patriots in her extensive family tree. “My ancestors have served in four major American conflicts – the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War ... and yours truly, during World War II.” Ironically, her (RELATIVE?) Thomas Jefferson Henderson, who served as a (INFANTRYMAN?) in the Civil War, ultimately served on the board of directors of the US Soldiers’ Home. The same establishment where Willa lives today. She knows all about her family’s history because she’s an avid genealogist. All told, Willa has been researching her family’s decorated military past for years now. And she was most ready and willing to share some of her wartime photos and letters with us. Willa herself joined the Marine Corps in 1944 because she wanted a challenge.
“I drove trucks in the Marines out in El Toro, California. I drove all kinds of rigs, too. Some of which were pretty big.” That’s a tall order for a woman who stands but five feet tall. Still, where there’s a Willa ... there’s a way.