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Mishawaka Alumni Honored

A Mishawaka High School (MHS) alumni and WWII hero was recently honored.Elizabeth Ann Richardson (MHS ‘36) was given historical recognition at her childhood home. Richardson is considered the most famous woman who died during WWII.

Richardson was a Red Cross volunteer during 1944 and 1945 in England and France. Richardson grew up in Mishawaka and graduated in 1936. After high school, she attended to Milwaukee-Downer College.

While attending MHS, Richardson was very active. During her senior year she was on the school newspaper, The AllTold. She was also a member of the yearbook, The Miskodeed, and many other clubs and activities. Richardson was also apart of the Girl Reserves Club to develop equally amongst men and women at MHS.

Photo: Google Images

Richardson had a strong opinion of America getting tangled up Europe’s quarrels. According to, Richardson commented after the U.S entered the war that she hoped it was “like a toothache” and hoped it ended quickly.

When the war didn’t come to a swift conclusion, she said she had to do something. Thus began her time as a volunteer with the Red Cross.

In the Red Cross, Richardson was one of three women inside. In an article written by Gloria Huang June the sixth, Wearing Lipstick to War, June says the the women were always called girls and they were the “stars of the traveling show.”

Although they were active members of the Red Cross, Richardson and her colleagues were not soldiers. They usually stayed far away from the front lines. They cooked, cleaned, and waited on the men. These women were still essential to the war service. They had to be sophisticated, organized, and has to understand the importance of their duty to serve.

According to, the Elizabeth Richardson Award was established in memory of the MHS alum and Milwaukee-Downer graduate by her friends and family. Miss Richardson served in World War II as a member of the Red Cross in France, where she died in a plane crash the morning of July 25, 1945.

According to, Elizabeth Richardson jumped into a two-seat military plane to fly to Paris. Near Rouen the plane crashed. Richardson and the pilot, Sgt. William R. Miller of the Ninth Air Force, died instantly.

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