World War II retired Lt. Col. Luta “Cornie” McGrath – one of the oldest known women Veterans, passed away April 14 in her home in Annandale, Virginia. She was 108 years old. Last November, McGrath was featured as VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay.

McGrath entered military service by enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in January 1943. She completed her basic combat training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia and served at bases in Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas. Following World War II, she was assigned to Griesheim Ordnance Depot in West Germany, and later reassigned to the German capital city of Berlin during the time of the Berlin Airlift  – an assignment she considered to be a highlight of her Army service. She served in a number of WAC leadership roles, which included her role as the Military District of Washington WAC staff adviser, before retiring in 1961.

At that time in the WAC, lieutenant colonel was the highest rank available (excluding WAC director). In 1985, she became the first woman elected to the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame.

On Friday, April 22, funeral services will be held in Alexandria, Virginia. McGrath will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors at a later date.

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Published on Apr. 21, 2016

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  1. MVY April 22, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    May you RIP my sister – it was women like you – that made it possible for – women like me to serve our great Country!
    Go Army

  2. Way Robb April 22, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    White House to busy dancing to Purple Rain! Also, not African American!

  3. Way Robb April 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    White House to busy dancing Purple Rain! Also, she is not African American!

  4. Donna Stubblefield April 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    RIP LTC McGrath. You are a true inspiration for all women who have served, and currently serving in the military.
    Thank you for your honor and service to our great nation. I was also a WAC at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. Heaven awaits you dear soldier angel. My sincere condolences and utmost respect to you and your family. Slow salute….

    Donna Stubblefield
    Proud Woman Veteran
    U.S. Army

  5. John S Tyson April 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you mam for your service

  6. George Webb April 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Why wouldn’t the President invite her to the ” White House “? She deserved a visit , wheel chair and all. Just saying.God bless that women and more of them.
    GySgt G.A.Webb

  7. Donald Levene M.D. COl. USAR (ret.), TXSG, (ret.) April 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    God bless this soldier!

  8. Henry Lasch April 22, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    My special insight allows me to appreciate what women went through during the war years and beyond. Women like this bring honor to our country and their families. My own mother lives today at 97 years old having served in England during the war as a nurse. She took some of the early casualties from D-Day. There is something special in women who have achieved this level of service.

  9. gary owen faas April 22, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    One of my Aunts served in the Pacific as a Parachute Rigger in the US Navy. She was told that her pack jobs on two chutes saved one Pilot in Combat and another during a Training mission. I often wonder if she packed HW Bush’s chute when he jumped near Ie Shima. She’s still alive in North Carolina.

  10. Donell D Kelly April 22, 2016 at 3:52 am

    LTC McGrath, you lead the way for so many of us. I have no doubt that the Berlin Air Lift was the shining moment in your Army career! Wishing your family blessings and peace as you have passed on. Thank you ma’am!
    LTC Donell D Kelly
    USAR, AN, Ret.

  11. Daniel Cusimano April 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

    She was a true American hero. This should be an inspiration to all that served and all that are Americans. The country thanks you rest in peace a fellow soldier of times gone bye

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