Yolanda Imhoff

When Yolanda Borrelli Imhoff enlisted in the Women’s Auxilliary Army Corps (WAAC) in 1943 she was a young, single woman living with her brother in New York City.

After her brother was drafted into the Army, Imhoff quickly enlisted in the Army’s female unit. Only months after she joined, the WAAC was rebranded as the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and no longer functioned as an auxiliary unit of the Army. Upon completing basic training in Des Moines, Iowa, Imhoff was sent to the Midlands Radio School in Kansas City, Missouri. “[There] you had to learn not only code, you had to learn how to take a radio apart, how to tune it, and it was very, very intense” (5’). After assignments at several U.S. airfields, Imhoff was sent to Ft. Olgethorpe, Georgia for overseas training. Imhoff and her unit were then given orders to prepare to depart for Europe.  

Arriving by boat in Scotland on D-Day, Imhoff and her unit travelled south to England, where they set up with the Ninth Air Force’s radio operators. Imhoff and her fellow WACs took over the rear radio command as the main and forward operations moved into Normandy. From England, Imhoff was sent across the Channel, landing at Utah Beach in September 1944. From there she was sent to work in radio operations in Chantilly, France. She remained in Chantilly until being given orders to transfer into occupied Germany in June 1945.  

While stationed in France Imhoff met her future husband, a G.I. from Chicago. After her return to the United States and discharge from the WAC in 1945, Imhoff awaited the return of her fiancé who was still stationed in Europe. Three weeks after his return, Imhoff moved to his hometown of Chicago and the two were married the following March.  

Yolanda Imhoff Collection (AFC/2001/001/58310)

Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Yolanda Imhoff