Richenda A. (Gansworth) Hoffman

1908 - 1988

Air Force
Korean WarWWII

Their Story

Richenda A. (Gansworth) Hoffman was born on April 11, 1908, in Dunkirk, New York.1 She was the third of four daughters to Lousia (Harding) and L.N. Gansworth.2 As a young adult, Hoffman worked at Petersen-Harned-Von Maur in Davenport, Iowa.3 In early 1943, Hoffman enlisted. For the next several months, she completed training at Fort Des Moines in Des Moines, Iowa, Fort Devens in Massachusetts, and Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia.4 In July of 1944, Hoffman reported that she had been assigned to work in North Africa as a part of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). She had been conducting a “hospital for mail.” The purpose of this “hospital” was to figure out how to get mail to soldiers stationed in the Mediterranean. Each day, Hoffman would sort through mail that could not be delivered to the recipient and would work to determine a way to deliver the mail.5

By August, Hoffman had been transferred to Italy to work with an army postal unit. While working with this unit, Hoffman worked on sending mail that was not addressed correctly back to the sender to be amended. While in Italy, Hoffman’s WAC postal company was awarded a Meritorious Service Unit plaque for the unit’s “superior performance of duty.”6 In October of 1945, at the rank of Technician Fifth Class in the WAC, Hoffman returned home.7

Just shy of a year later, Hoffman re-enlisted as Technician Fifth Class, and soon left for Fort Snelling in Minnesota.8 In February of 1947, Hoffman was assigned to the Army Air Forces and joined an Air WAC unit in Panama. This unit was the first of its kind in the Canal Zone.9

On March 4, 1950, Richenda married Sergeant Joseph Hoffman. At this time, she was working at the Pentagon in the Air Force personnel comptroller department. Her husband was also working with the Air Force at the time of their marriage.10 Hoffman continued to serve with the Air Force until her honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant in 1951. In 1962, Hoffman began working as a clerk in the Scott County Recorder’s office, where she stayed for several years.11 On May 8, 1988, Hoffman died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Davenport, Iowa. She was survived by three sisters, and several nieces and nephews.12


1“Richenda Alberta Hoffman in the Iowa, U.S., Armed Forces Grave Registrations, 1835-1998, n.d., Iowa, U.S., Armed Forces Grave Registrations, 1835-1998 –

2“Dr Leander Newton Gansworth,” Find A Grave, n.d., Dr Leander Newton Gansworth (1878-1950) – Find a Grave Memorial

3“Chief’s Daughter Works With Mail,” The Dispatch, (Moline, Illinois), 1 July 1944, p. 2, 01 Jul 1944, 2 – The Dispatch at

4“In Italy,” The Quad City Times, Davenport, Iowa, 2 August 1944, p. 17, 02 Aug 1944, 17 – Quad-City Times at

5“Chiefs Daughter Works with Mail,” p.2.

6Hirsch, Terry, “WWII Women Who Served,” November 2022, Women Who Served (

7“WAC Corporal Due Back in States,” The Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa, 4 October 1945, p.11, 04 Oct 1945, 11 – Quad-City Times at

8“Two Former WACS Reenlist in Army; First in Davenport,” The Daily Times, Davenport, Iowa, 17 August 1946, p.4, 17 Aug 1946, 4 – The Daily Times at

9“News in Brief: Cpl. Richenda A. Gunsworth,” The Daily Times, Davenport, Iowa, 17 February 1947, p.6, 17 Feb 1947, 6 – The Daily Times at

10“Married in Marlboro, Md.,” The Quad City Times, Davenport, Iowa, 6 March 1950, p.5, 06 Mar 1950, 5 – Quad-City Times at

11“Resigns,” The Daily Times, Davenport, Iowa, 23 August 1962, p.25,. 23 Aug 1962, 25 – The Daily Times at

12Richenda ‘Dicque’ Hoffman,” The Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa, 10 May 1988, p.9, 10 May 1988, 9 – Quad-City Times at