Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army World War II Veteran Althea Prexeda Semanchik Turlington.

During World War II, “Winnie the WAC,” a cartoon depicting the Women’s Army Corps, became a popular character. The model for Winnie was Private First Class Althea Semanchik. Her account of her public relations tour for Winnie and details of her service were given to the Veterans History Project.

Althea applied for a position in the Women’s Army Corps in 1943 and was assigned to the 2502 SCU. Under Army supervision, she studied mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania for her work in ballistics. Althea was stationed at the Ordinance Research Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground where she worked on calculating fire ranges and determining the path and hitting power of shells.

While at Aberdeen Proving Ground, artist Corporal Vic Herman chose her as his model for “Winnie the WAC” to be featured in “Flaming Bomb,” the camp newsletter. The cartoon series was a hit and was distributed worldwide to other base newspapers. Althea, on a recruiting tour said, “The main idea is we are all trying to help win.”

Althea passed away in 1996.

We honor her service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic created by Carl J. Valentino: Carl J. Valentino is a student at the University of Delaware with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Graphic Design.

Share this story

Published on Apr. 12, 2017

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 56

More Stories

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Deborah Jo Pereira, who enlisted in the military at a unique time in her life and in American history.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran John Williams, who served in the Air Force Band and is today a well-known composer of multiple music pieces.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Charles Bronson, who served as a B-29 aerial gunner during World War II and later became a Hollywood action star.