Posted Comment on http://www.kahs.org FROM e-budo.com:
Does that Navy officer look Asian to you? If so, then she could be Susan Ahn Cuddy, sister of actor Philip Ahn. She graduated from San Diego State, and joined the Navy in December 1942, age 27. Ms. Ahn (she was still single then; not many eligible Korean men in Southern California in 1942) was rejected from OCS at first (race), but was allowed to enlist and subsequently sent to Navy OCS at Smith College in Massachusetts. She was originally part of the LINK Trainer program in Georgia, and then an aerial gunnery instructor at Okalaka, Florida. (The first female gunnery officer in the USN, actually; she trained at Pensacola and then assigned to Atlantic City Naval Air Station.) She came out of WWII a 2-stripe lieutenant, assigned to what would today be NSA, where she continued working as a civilian after the war. (Her graduate work done in the 1950s was on a place called Vietnam.)
BTW, Mrs. Cuddy says the way to get your relatives to accept your mixed-race marriage is to have kids.
Source: "A Conversation with Susan Cuddy," "Occasional Papers," a publication of the Korean American Historical Society, Vol. 4, 1998-99; URL: http://www.kahs.org
|SAC - From LA to DC and Back|
Susan Ahn Cuddy was born in 1915 in Los Angeles, California. She was the eldest daughter of Dosan Chang Ho and Helen Ahn. Her parents were the first Korean married couple to come to the United States in 1902. All of the Ahn Children were born in California. Her father told his children: “Do your best to be good American citizens but never forget your Korean heritage.”
As the family established themselves, the Ahn house became a haven for many Koreans in America. The Young Korean Academy (Hung Sa Dan) made its headquarters at the Ahn′s residence as a resource center for many Koreans. Many exiled Korean patriots, including Soh Chae Pil, the first Korean American citizen, visited the Ahns while they lived at 106 North Figueroa during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The Ahn family also lived at a house on the University of Southern California campus and today it serves as the Korean Studies Institute.
Even today, Mrs. Cuddy's accomplishments are considered remarkable and unparalleled. During her youth Susan Ahn Cuddy worked for many of her father Dosan′s Independence organizations in Los Angeles. Susan attended Beaudry Elementary, Central Junior High and Belmont High School. She enjoyed and participated in sports such as baseball and field hockey. When Susan was at Los Angeles City College she was in charge of Women's Baseball as well as playing great at Second Base. She played for the Bing Crosby Croonerettes softball team. She had to stop playing to keep her amateur status to play college baseball. She had another chance to play after college. She decided to join the Navy and serve America and Korea..
Susan graduated from San Diego State University in 1940 and joined the United States Navy in 1942 serving until 1946. She felt joining the Navy was a way to help free Korea from the harsh Japanese Colonial Era rule and was eager to join the Navy to fight the Japanese. Susan first worked as a Link Trainer and became the first woman Gunnery Officer training US Naval pilots.
Susan eventually became a Lieutenant and went on to work for US Navy Intelligence and the Library of Congress.
Then she went to work for The National Security Agency in Washington D.C. During the Cold War, she was in charge of a think tank of over 300 agents working in the Russia section. She received a Fellowship from the National Security Agency to study at the University of Southern California in 1956. Susan worked on many top secret projects for the Department of Defense and other agencies during her service with the United States government until 1959.
In April 1947 Susan married Chief Petty Officer Francis X. Cuddy an American Irishman who also worked for OP20G, Navy Intelligence and NSA. Chief Cuddy died in 1994. He was a code-breaker and helped the United States free Korea through his specialty work since he spoke Japanese fluently. After his Navy career he worked for Kodak and GAF in film processing sales. He helped finance the Ahn family′s Moongate restaurant business and developed its famous tropical drinks. Chief Cuddy was an accomplished bartender in Hawaii while in the Navy.
In 1959 Susan Ahn Cuddy came home to Los Angeles and joined the Ahn family in managing the famous Phil Ahn′s Moongate Restaurant in Panorama City until 1990. In 2003, the State Assembly of California of District 28 named Mrs. Cuddy the Woman of the Year in honor of her commitment to public service. On October 5th, 2006 she received the American Courage Award from the Asian American Justice Center in Washington D.C.
Mrs. Cuddy and the other Ahn family Korean American pioneers are influential role models inspiring many of today′s young generation and community leaders. Mrs. Cuddy is recognized and honored today for her commitment to protecting the security of the United States of America, positively empowering the Asian American community, being a barrier breaker for Women's issues and a challenger of racial inequality. A trailblazing pioneer achiever she truly was.