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First enlisted woman to retire from the Marine Corps buried in Arlington

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First Enlisted woman


The first enlisted woman to retire from the Marine Corps, who was also the first woman to join the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday.

Master Sgt. Catherine G. Murray, who turned 100 years old in April, enlisted in the Reserves in 1943 as a truck driver.

“She is a piece of Marine Corps history,” Eileen Skahill, chaplain of the Women Marines Association, told Marine Corps Times. “She was my friend.”

Murray died Dec. 20 at her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

She was about 45 at the time she decided to enlist, she said in a heartwarming 2015 video taken by her caretaker, and had just heard that the the U.S. was at war with Japan. She enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, and transferred to active duty in 1948. She retired from active-duty in 1962.

She stayed in the Corps, and became the first enlisted woman to join the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, which was announced on-air by Walter Cronkite, Murray said in the video.

“I joined the Marine Corps, because I thought it was the best, after 20 years I know it.” Murray said in a news article posted on an obituary tribute page.


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