Lee Miller, US Forces War Correspondent

Lee Miller, US Forces War Correspondent

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In 1942,the former model Lee Miller, of Ploughkeepsie, New York, (Lady Penrose, upon marriage to Anthony Penrose in 1947) became the only woman in that year to receive US forces accreditation as a war correspondent. She arrived at the Normandy front in mid-June 1944, equipped with just a portable typewriter and a rudimentary camera.

She published a report in the August 1944 edition of British Vogue magazine entitled “Unarmed Warriors” which is still well known. In it she described in emotional terms life in an American field hospital close to Omaha Beach. She recorded the first use of napalm at the siege of St. Malo, as well as the liberation of Paris, the Battle of Alsace, and the horror of the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau.

Sadly the images of what she experienced, especially the concentration camps, continued to haunt her after the war’s end and she started on what her son later described as a “downward spiral” of clinical depression, ( today we know it as PTSD) made worse by her husband’s affair with a Trapeze Artist.

She died of cancer at her home in Chiddingly, Sussex in 1977. She is remembered along with other war correspondents in the Battle of Normandy Museum at Bayeux,

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  1. Silver Screenings

    I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of her, or her brave work, so I was glad to read about it here. Thanks for the introduction!

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