WWII veteran dies weeks before her 105th birthday
SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) — A San Diego woman who is believed to have been the oldest female Marine west of the Mississippi passed away just three weeks before her 105th birthday.
Ruth Gallivan first joined the military during World War II.
“When the call came out for women to join the Marines, she signed up in 1944, February 29th she joined the Marines,” said Mike Gallivan, her son.
Mike said his mom went through boot camp at Camp Lejeune. She was initially stationed in North Carolina and her first job was helping check weather balloons. After discovering she had a fear of heights, she jumped on another opportunity to move west and help set up the first barracks for women.
“So when they put out a notice that they were going to put a bunch of women Marines on a train and send them out to San Diego to open up a Miramar Marine base, she was the first to raise her hand,” said Mike.
After the war, Ruth then enlisted in civil service at Miramar and later worked at MCRD for 35 years after that.