Selected Women's Autobiographies on the Second World War

Women’s Autobiographies


The linked titles of the autobiographies are connected to an entry in GWonline that provides you with an abstract and additional information.


  • Denton, Helen, and Robert O. Babcock. World War II WAC.
    Marietta, GA: Deeds Publishing, 2012.

Helen Denton grew up in South Dakota and worked in Minneapolis before enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps. After a brief stint as a recruiter in Nebraska, she was tapped to join General Eisenhower’s staff in London. She spent the months preceding June 6, 1944, in London, sleeping underground to survive the nightly bombing raids. As a corporal and a clerk for General Dwight Eisenhower, she typed out the top secret battle plans for the D-Day Invasion, something she never revealed until this memoir.

Oral History Interview with Helen Denton


Ada Gobetti's Partisan Diary is both diary and memoir. From the German entry into Turin on 10 September 1943 to the liberation of the city on 28 April 1945, Gobetti (1902–1968) recorded an almost daily account of events, sentiments, and personalities, in a cryptic English only she could understand. Italian senator and philosopher Benedetto Croce encouraged Ada to convert her notes into a book. From a political and military point of view, the Partisan Diary provides firsthand knowledge of how the partisans in Piedmont fought, what obstacles they encountered, and who joined the struggle against the Nazis and the Fascists. The mountainous terrain and long winters of the Alpine regions (the site of many of their battles) and the ever-present threat of reprisals by German occupiers and their fascist partners exacerbated problems of organization among the various partisan groups. So arduous was their fight, that key military events--Italy's declaration of war on Germany, the fall of Rome, and the Allied landings on D-Day—appear in the diary as remote and almost unrelated incidents.

Wikipedia site on: Ada Gobetti


In the last year of World War II, LaVonne Telshaw Camp found herself in the monsoon-drenched jungles of Assam, caring for soldiers in the China-Burma-India theater of war. Nothing in her training had prepared her for the tropical diseases or the thatched-roof hospital where men spat on the floor, rats were pervasive, and patients used handguns to chase gigantic cockroaches (and were as likely to sell their medicine as swallow it). The experience was made tolerable by Nurse Camp's romance with one of the airmen who flew the Hump, supplying O.S.S. troops behind Japanese lines and carrying General Joseph Stilwell's Chinese troops to fight the battle of North Burma. She accompanied her future husband on some of his missions. Based in part on letters she wrote to her parents, this is the poignant story of one nurse's experience in World War II.


Anna Timofeeva-Yegorova (1916–2009) was born in a small village amidst the Soviet revolution and civil war. An optimistic and resolute young patriot, she believed in the socialist ideology of the Soviet Union. She volunteered to help build Moscow and learned to fly. But when Nazi Germany's 1941 invasion shook Russia to its core, Yegorova joined her fellow pilots in the bloodiest war zone in human history, flying hair-raising reconnaissance missions in a wooden biplane. She became a flight leader in the famously deadly "Shturmovik" ground-attack aircraft, guiding her comrades in furious air battles along the southern front. Eventually shot down and captured near Warsaw, Yegorova survived five months in a Nazi concentration camp. After the war, she was welcomed home with suspicion and persecution by the notorious Soviet secret police.

Wikipedia site on: Anna Timofeeva-Yegorova