Doris L Johnson Hostetter

1909 - 1999

Korean WarWWII

Their Story

Doris L. Johnson was born in Park Rapids, Hubbard County, Minnesota, to Hans and Mary (Mette Marie) Johnson on July 7, 1909. Her parents were Danish and born in Denmark and immigrated to the U.S. in 1881 and 1883.[1] Her father was a carpenter and her mother, a farmer. She had eight siblings all born between 1885 and 1905. Doris was the youngest. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were among the early settlers of the Park Rapids area, owning a farm one mile east of town.

The family suffered many hardships between 1907 and 1925. Six of the children died (four were young adults in their 20s), three of them from tuberculosis. Ida and Harry both died in 1913.  And Doris’ mother died in October of 1925 of tuberculosis after caring for her children.[2] In Minnesota, among the white population, tuberculosis increased from the time of early settlement until 1912.[3] Tuberculosis is a readily communicable disease that requires close and regular contact which occurs among members of a family living in the same house.

The 1910 U.S. Census indicated that the oldest surviving sister, Lizzie M., who was 21 years of age, could not read or write. They lived at the Hubbard County Poor House in Henrietta, Minnesota.

Doris’ brother William Godfrey enlisted in the U.S. Army in December of 1917 and served his country during World War I.[4] In 1920, only Doris and brother, Henry, were still living at home, which was still the county poor farm. Her dad was farming at that time. By 1930, Doris was married and living with her husband and husband’s father, James A. Hostetter, in Henrietta, Minnesota. James was a farmer.[5] Her husband, Clarence O., was a laborer working odd jobs. Doris was unemployed. Doris and Clarence were married June 22, 1929, in Kokomo, Indiana.

By 1940, they were living in Park Rapids, Minnesota. Clarence was an armorer in the Army.[6] Clarence registered for the draft in February 1942.[7] He was 40 and working as general delivery at Park Rapids Sawmill. He served as a corporal in the Army.[8]  Doris enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in Chicago in March 1945 as a private.[9]  They were living in Rock Island at the time. Originally called the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), it began after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “for the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of women of the nation.”[10]

By June 1943, recruiting efforts for the WAAC had fallen due to higher paying jobs in the civilian world, unequal benefits with men, and attitudes within the Army itself, an overwhelmingly male institution. So, in July 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the changing of the name to Women’s Army Corps, making it part of the regular Army giving the women all the benefits that men had.

During World War II, WAC members were assigned to the Army Air Forces, Army Ground Forces, and the Army Service Forces – comprising nine service commands, the Military District of Washington, and the Technical Services.  Doris was assigned to Technical Services. The Technical Service, part of the Transportation Corps, assisted with processing troops and mail. Women served as medical and surgical technicians within the medical department, and conducted administrative services for Adjutant General’s Corps, Chemical Warfare Service, Quartermaster Corps, finance department, provost marshal and Corps of Chaplains. In 1944, WAC units moved into support areas behind the combat troops, with the first WAC arriving in the Pacific Theater in January. Doris served until January 18, 1946. 

In 1949, they were living in Rock Island, Illinois.[11] The following November, Doris reenlisted. She served through September 22, 1952, during the Korean War.[12] After her discharge, Doris worked at Hotel Fort Armstrong in Rock Island as a linen room worker.[13] They moved to Stark Street in Davenport in the mid-50s and lived there many years.[14] Clarence was a car mechanic and worked at Streiter Motors and other shops. Clarence died in 1985.[15]

They had a daughter, Judy Ann. At the age of five and one half, Un Sook Lee, as Judy Ann was previously known, left an orphanage in Seoul, Korea, to become the daughter of Doris and Clarence.[16]  She was naturalized, along with 31 others, in U.S. District Court in Davenport in March 1961. She went on to graduate from St. Ambrose University with an MBA, work at Modern Woodmen as manager of the claim department for 33 years and served on the Bettendorf, IA, Park Board from 2003[17] to 2007.[18]

They also had a son, David. On September 6, 1962, David, who was also adopted from Korea, received his citizenship papers during a ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Davenport.[19] David also graduated from St. Ambrose University[20] with a BA in computer science.[21] He is a Principal Engineer at Dell.[22]

Doris died at age 89 at Manor Care in Davenport on May 5, 1999.[23]


[1] – 1910 United States Federal Census

[2] Doris L. Johnson – Facts (, Mary Nelson Johnson (1863-1925) – Find a Grave Memorial


[4] William Godfrey Johnson (1891-1984) – Find a Grave Memorial

[5] 1930 United States Federal Census –

[6] 1940 United States Federal Census –

[7] U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 –

[8] Clarence O Hostetter (1901-1985) – Find a Grave Memorial

[9]NARA – AAD – Display Full Records – Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 – 1946 (Enlistment Records) (


[11] – U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995

[12] U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 –

[13] U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 –

[14] – U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995

[15] Clarence O Hostetter (1901-1985) – Find a Grave Memorial

[16] Judy Ann Quad-City Times Davenport, IA 8 Mar 1961 p5 –

[17] 05 Nov 2003, 5 – Quad-City Times at B

[18] 01 Nov 2007, 77 – Quad-City Times at

[19] 06 Sep 1962, 37 – The Daily Times at

[20] 03 Mar 1987, 26 – Quad-City Times at

[21] 27 Jun 1983, 38 – Quad-City Times at

[22] LinkedIn profile of David Hostetter

[23] Doris Hostetter Obituary –