Morning Register Des Moines, Iowa
Part of the duties of Third Officer Helen M. Robertson (left), Hollywood, Cal., as a WAAC veterinarian and food inspector at Fort Des Moines, is to care for post dogs. Here she gives "Spike," a bulltfog belonging to Major R. S. Miller, quartermaster, a check up. Technician Fifth Grade Catherine Myers, Hollywood, who will act as steward when Third Officer Robertson helps judge the Des Moines Kennel club dog show next Sunday, assists.
MUST INSPECT MEAT SUPPLIE
Officer Robertso Only Veterinary.
The only woman soldier the Fort Des Moines trainh center—except the WAACs motor transport duty — wl i wears high, thick, leath ! army shoes instead of tl regulation oxfords is Thii Officer Helen Robertson.
'That's because I need them : my job," explains the WAAC o ficer.
Her job is an unusual one. Sh is the only woman veterinary fo the WAACs.
Her veterinary duties includ< care of the horses used for guan duty; inspection of all meat, eggs butter, milk and cheese thai
WAAC cooks and bakers serve; and supervision of both "authorized" and unauthorized dogs at the post.
Her toughest problem at present is keeping both town and post dogs from becoming public nuisances, from appearing on parade grounds, in barracks and mess halls.
Army regulations say that post dogs must be registered, have rabies tags and in general conduct themselves in a manner becoming dogs. Stray dogs that wander through post streets are impounded and efforts made to locate their owners through newspaper advertisements.
Officer Robertson is most interested now in seeing that the army train a corps of women vet-erinaries for animal care and food inspection.
"Remember that the WAACs have good appetites in speculating on how much meat and meat products I've inspected/' she said. In her care of horses, she has performed two operations.
Third Officer Robertson was born to an army family in Des Moines 42 years ago. "I'm still looking for a Des Moines relative," she laughs. "My grandfather, Edward C. Kahn, is supposed to have worked in a music store on Walnut st. many years ago. I recall my father saying that he was a major in the Civil war."
Her memories of her father, Fred Stevens, are vague. She knows that he was in the army, too. Her parents separated when she was a child, and she and her mother, Edna Kahn Stevens (now Mrs. Edna B. Woods, Hollywood, Cal.) went to live with her grandparents at Tiskilwa, 111.
Third Officer Robertson likes to skip over the years until 1932, when she left ^ Hollywood to find wire-haired terriers in England that would be championship breed-1 ing material for a San Francisco, Cal., buyer.
Between these years, she played comic parts in educational films in Hollywood and "anything else that came along," married another comedian, Sid Smith, and in days of prosperity bought many a dog from H. M. Robertson, well known dog breeder in California.
When her first marriage ended in divorce, Third Officer Robertson married Robertson. They operated his shop together. Among their customers were Mrs. Ray Noble, wife of the band leader, Joseph Schildkraut, Adolphe Menjou and William Gargan.
Her career as a veterinary began in England when she attended the Royal Veterinary college in London. She received her degree making her a member of the royal college of veterinary surgery in 1938.
Immediately before becoming a WAAC, Third Officer Robertson started work on an M. D. degree at Mc.Gill university, Canada, and hopes to progress from animals to humans after the war.
"That's what I'm saving my money for," she said.
Officer Robertson, who has shown dogs in England and California, will be one of the two WAACs who will judge the Des Moines Kennel Club, Inc., puppy match at Moose hall Sunday, Feb. 14. Puppies, not over 12 months of age, can be entered at the show which opens at 2 p. m.
The other judge will be Officer Candidate JDorothy Pyle, West Grove, Penn. Two other WAACs will act as stewards, Officer Candidate Dorothy Foxworth, Monck's Corner, S. C, and Technician Fift Grade Catherine Myers.
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Caption reads: Part of the duties of Third Officer Helen M. Robertson (left), Hollywood, Cal., as a WAAC veterinarian and food inspector at Fort Des Moines, is to care for post dogs. Here she gives "Spike" a bulldog belonging to Major R. S. Miller, quartermaster, a check up. Technician Fifth Grade Catherine Myers, Hollywood, who will act as steward when Third Officer Robertson helps judge the Des Moines Kennel club dog show next Sunday, assists.
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