As members of the Duke community embarked on military service in World War II, Anne Walker Garrard '25, A.M. '30 made sure that every enlisted person had an index card on file at the Alumni Affairs office. Garrard, who served as assistant director of Alumni Affairs for more than three decades, kept meticulous records. Now housed off-site in a special storage facility, the nearly 7,000 index cards provide a glimpse into the harsh realities of war: young men taken prisoner and later liberated, pilots shot down and missing in action, the injured sent home to mend.
Garrard and her assistants used manual typewriters and hand-written notes to maintain each entry. The records served as the basis for compiling the plaque honoring those killed in World War II, located near the chapel.
University Archives houses a collection of military patches sent in by alumni during and after the war. Some are easily identifiable—the "double A" shoulder patch of the 82nd Airborne, the white shamrock on a red background from the 4th Army division, a gold Navy V-5 patch. Not all are labeled, however, offering an opportunity for a military history buff—or modern-day Anne Garrard—to set the records straight.