The annotated index cards, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reference Library, cover articles published by or about Virginia Irwin from 1934-1963. Most of the cards document her feature articles for the "Everyday" section of the Post and range from national political conventions to the annual get-together of the hoboes of America. In 1944 she was accredited as a war correspondent to cover the European front. Her biggest newspaper coup came in April 1945 when she was one of three Americans to enter Berlin ahead of the American Military Forces and was able to send back eyewitness accounts of the siege.Virginia Irwin was born June 29, 1908 in Quincy, Illinois. She joined the Post-Dispatch in 1932 as a file clerk in the reference department but within a year was made food editor. In 1934 she became a feature writer. When the newspaper refused to send her to Europe as a war correspondent, she took a year's leave of absence to go to England to do public relations work for the American Red Cross. Shortly before D-Day in 1944, the Post-Dispatch accredited her as a war correspondent and Irwin covered the allied war effort in England, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland.
On April 27, 1945, she and fellow correspondent Andrew Tully of the Boston Traveller persuaded their army jeep driver to take them to Berlin. Both wrote eyewitness accounts of their entrance into Berlin before it fell to the Russians. The Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force disaccredited them for making the unauthorized trip and ordered their return to the United States. Later they were reaccredited and cited for meritorious service. On her return from war time service--which she recounted in a series of memoirs dubbed "from D-Day to Bidet". Irwin was assigned to the Post-Dispatch's New York bureau. She returned to St. Louis in 1960 as a writer for the "Everyday" section and retired in 1963 to Webb City, Missouri. She died August 19, 1980.
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER-ST. LOUIS
ROOM 221, THOMAS JEFFERSON LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
8001 NAUTRAL BRIDGE ROAD
ST. LOUIS, MO 63121