A woman’s war story now part of the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 3:58 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force has now added a new addition to their vast collection.

The niece of a WW2 Veteran hand-delivered the scrap book her aunt kept during her service, which details some of the most crucial parts of the war from a perspective often overlooked - that of a woman.

“We’re working to expand the information about everybody who served in the Eighth and we’re noted as the story keepers of the men and women of the Mighty Eighth.”

And now the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force has a new story to keep.

“This is probably the most complete scrapbook they have ever received,” Peggy Trout said.

This scrapbook tells the story of Peggy Trout’s aunt, Cpl. Flora Ausenbaugh.

“Needless to say, my aunt was a very, very special person and we had a very good relationship.” Inside, pictures, documents and details of her role in the war,” Trout said. “She kept everything from her enlistment papers, to her discharge.”

Flora, originally a beautician, enlisted at age 37 without hesitation.

“She closed the doors to her shop and said, ‘my country needs me.’”

She would serve as a teletypist at the 8th Air Force command in England, typing, sending and receiving orders for the troops. “She took three really, really important messages. She took the one for D-Day, she took the one for President Roosevelt when he died, and she took the surrender from Germany,” Strout said.

And while Flora received multiple honors for her service, when she came home, unlike the men, there was no parade.

“I’m sure she wasn’t invited. When she came home, she went to the local legion, right there in our little town, she wanted to become a member, they wouldn’t accept women,” Strout said.

No recognition, no one to hear her stories. “Again, this was coming from a woman and so they probably they weren’t as interested as they would have been listening to a man who served,” Strout said.

Still, Flora held on to that old scrapbook, maybe for herself, maybe for her niece Peggy, but she likely never imagined her story would not only be kept but more importantly heard.

“They’re adding onto the museum and hopefully there will be a special section there for the WACS and this will be there for young girls to see. That’s the reason I’m presenting it to them, I want it to last, I want future generations to see. She is, as I said, very special,” Strout said.