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Gaines, Blanca Vasquez, 1918-



  • Existence: 1918-


Blanca V. Vasquez was born in Puerto Rico in 1918. Vasquez joined the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II, and subsequently trained at Fort Des Moines, an army training school just south of Des Moines, Iowa. While stationed at Fort Des Moines, Vasquez met Harold Gaines of Buxton, Iowa, a predominately African-American coalmining town, which no longer exists today. The two married following the end of the war, and moved to Albia, Iowa; their daughter, Angela, was born in 1953. Blanca Gaines returned to Puerto Rico with her daughter in 1956. There she taught English and American literature at the University of Puerto Rico and was regarded as an excellent teacher. Because Harold Gaines initially feared he would not be able to find work in Puerto Rico, he did not join the family until the 1960s. The three maintained a warm connection to Iowa, returning every summer to visit family in Albia and their Iowa farm.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Blanca Vasquez Gaines papers

Identifier: IWA0899

Puerto Rican woman who served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II and trained at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

Dates: 1944-2009