Navy Veteran

World War II Navy Codebreaker from Montco Celebrates Her 100th Birthday

Veteran Doris Magers graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 before serving in the Navy as part of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service program

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Montgomery County resident Doris Magers turns 100 on Saturday, and she is celebrating a life well-lived.

Magers graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 before serving in the Navy as part of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service program, which is more commonly known as WAVES.

She was one of some 100,000 women who joined the Navy and were granted a status comparable to their male peers. Magers worked as a codebreaker -- focusing on encoding and decoding efforts for the communications department.

"In Washington, the men didn't know what to do with us," Magers said, so they sent the women out to eat before they found assignments for them.

Before signing up for the Navy, Magers landed a job in advertising at a New York-based department store after graduation. But when the Navy came to campus looking for women who could type and listen, she was eager to sign up.

"Everyone was doing something for the war. So when that offer came along to me, I thought well, that's more important than advertising dresses and that sort of thing with Bonwitt Teller," Magers said.

After the war, Magers got married and became a mother to four children. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all plan to visit her to celebrate her birthday this weekend.

She is also celebrating with a drive-by parade in her 55 and older community in West Norriton on Saturday.

Magers, who never thought she would live to 100, said the key to a long life is drinking a glass of white wine each night before dinner.

"I'm a very lucky lady," she said.

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