This Was Betty White's Job During World War II

Betty White truly is a national treasure. What would we ever do without her? Hardly any of us actually know, because we've never actually had to do without her. Betty has, after all, been a show-biz fixture for an incredible 90 years, ever since, at the age of 8, she played a crippled orphan on a popular radio serial. After that, the sky was the limit for young Betty — she'd be appearing on TV by her teens (back in the very earliest days of the medium), and was singing, acting, modeling... definitely on her way to bigger and better things.

Then, just a month before her 20th birthday, suddenly the nation found itself at war – and Betty, along with numerous other celebrities, put her career on pause and joined in the war effort. No, not by storming Omaha Beach on D-Day, or single-handedly charging a machine gun nest on Okinawa — although we can totally see her doing that now! But as she disclosed to Cleveland Magazine in a 2010 interview, Betty White served during WWII as a member of the American Women's Voluntary Services (AWVS).

How Betty White helped out during wartime

So what, exactly, did the AWVS do during the war? As the Museum Textiles Services blog tells it, this group of nattily-uniformed women, some 325,000 strong at their peak, provided various types of support on the home front. Some of the members sold war bonds, others delivered messages, worked as aircraft spotters, aerial photographers, and fire wardens, and served in transportation services driving vehicles that ranged from motorcycles to ambulances to dogsleds. Betty herself was a truck driver, shuttling supplies to soldiers barracked in the Hollywood Hills.

As White said of her wartime service, "It was a strange time and out of balance with everything," but, with Betty on our side, of course we won the war. That meant that she could go back to civilian life, where her star would continue to ascend for another three-quarters of a century... and, at age 98, she's still on the rise! You go, Betty. Totally ruling the last millennium, and this one, as well.