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Molly Marine.
Molly watches the sky above New Orleans for possible Axis saboteurs.

Molly Marine

Field review by the editors.

New Orleans, Louisiana

In 1943 the Marines needed bodies to perform its various nonviolent tasks. Most of the men were in combat (and they could be drafted anyway), so it was decided to try to interest women in joining the Corps. Recruiter Sgt Charles Gresham of New Orleans enlisted the help of French Quarter artist Enrique Alferez, and on November 10, 1943, the city's statue of "Molly Marine" was unveiled.

Molly Marine.

Alferez sculpted a young woman with binoculars and a clipboard staring skyward, presumably on the lookout for Nazi rockets or Japanese balloon bombs. His model for Molly was another New Orleans native, Judy Mosgrove, who was herself a former Marine. It was the first statue of a woman in military uniform in America.

Bronze was rationed during the war, so Alferez made his Molly out of concrete reinforced with granite and marble chips. A metal version of Molly had to wait until 1999, when a mold of the New Orleans statue was used to make two bronze replicas: they now stand at Marine Corps bases in Parris Island, South Carolina, and Quantico, Virginia. But Molly in New Orleans is still the cement original.

Also see: Quirky Monuments of New Orleans

Molly Marine

Canal St., New Orleans, LA
On the southern edge of the French Quarter, on the south side of Canal St. in the median of Elk Place/Basin St.
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In the region:
Quirky Monuments of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.

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