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Virginia Anna Irwin


In (her own?) words from her standard biography after the war for the St Louis Post-Dispatch:

'Virginia Irwin joined the Post-Dispatch staff in 1932 as a file clerk in the reference room. Soon she was contributing small articles to the Everyday Magazine and in 1935 was made food page editor of the Post-Dispatch. Continuing her contributions to the magazine section, she was in 1934 added to the Everyday Magazine staff and as a feature writer for that section of the paper has in the past 16 years covered hundreds of stories, ranging from national political conventions to the annual get-together of the hoboes of America. The stories have taken her from the bayou country of Louisiana, where she covered a “lost colony” of people who lived 200 miles below New Orleans and made their living skinning alligators to New York’s Park Avenue and from the St. Louis Municipal Opera to Manhattan’s Bowery.

In 1943, on a year’s leave of absence from the Post-Dispatch she went to England to do public relations work for the Red Cross, was accredited as a war correspondent of the Post-Dispatch shortly before D-day and saw action in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland during the war. With Andrew Tully of the Boston Traveler and John Wilson, a jeep driver, she crossed into the Russian lines after the Americans and the Russians met at the Elbe River and made her way to Berlin to become the first woman and one of the first three Americans to reach the German capital and send back eyewitness stories of the fierce fighting going on in Berlin in the last days of the Russian siege. He stories were banner-lined in the Post-Dispatch. Disaccredited by the Army for this unauthorized trip, she was given a bonus of a year’s salary by her publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, and later was reaccredited and cited for meritorious service as a war correspondent by the United States Army.

Since 1947, she has been New York correspondent for the Everyday Magazine of the Post-Dispatch.'


Event Location Date
Born Quincy, IL, USA 26 June 1908
Arrived in the ETO Gourock, UK 9 October 1943
Based Horham 13 October 1943 – 5 November 1943

Worked at the Red Cross Aeroclub

Based Wattisham 5 November 1943 – 14 December 1943

Worked at the Red Cross Aeroclub

Visits Berlin Berlin, Germany 27 April 1945 – 29 April 1945

Irwin visits the city, which is under attack by the Russians, and then returns to behind American lines to file her stories

Died Mt Vernon, MO 65712, USA 19 August 1980


Date Contributor Update
30 August 2016 16:46:14 Jenny Changes to events

Dates taken from Irwin's own diary