Mrs. Olga V. Suppes

Mrs. Olga V. SuppesA native of Washington DC, Olga Suppes began her career with the War Department in 1918 as a messenger in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance while she was still a high school student. During the interwar years, her diligence and dedication to the Army and Ordnance Corps were rewarded with promotions to minor clerk, clerk, and finally senior clerk in 1940.

When Germany overran France in June 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to provide aid to Great Britain, and Suppes played a significant role in coordinating the transfer of US military surplus to the British. As a clerk in the Ammunition Supply Division of the Ordnance Department's Field Service, she took charge of the transactions leading to the transfer of millions of rounds of small arms and artillery ammunition, as well as explosives and smokeless powder, to Great Britain through a commercial intermediary, the United States Steel Corporation.

Once the Lend Lease Act, which permitted direct delivery of war material to England and other countries fighting the Axis Powers, was passed in March 1941, Suppes' responsibilities were substantially increased. She was tasked with organizing the Lend-Lease Section of the Ammunition Supply Division, which continued the process of shipping ammunition, bombs, powder, and TNT to the beleaguered British.

As the likelihood of American involvement in the war loomed, Suppes was promoted and transferred to General Headquarters, US Army Air Forces, Bolling Field to help staff and lead the military's rapid expansion program. A year later, in 1942, she was promoted again and became the Administrative Assistant to the Officer-in-Charge of the Ordnance Section, US Army Air Forces. This activity was responsible for providing the specialized units that armed the aircraft and maintained the Army Air Forces' ground equipment, and Suppes played a significant role in assigning civilian technicians, analyzing fiscal requirements, allocating funds, and coordinating Ordnance functions at the various air bases.

Suppes' continued superior performance earned her additional promotions in 1943 and 1944. In 1943, she became the Senior Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance where she initiated and coordinated statistical studies for the Field Service; and in 1944, the Administrative Officer to the Chief of the Field Service Division, where she assumed responsibility for administering the Division's substantial depot and field service activities.

Further advancements came after the war. In 1951, she was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer of the Field Service Division, and, in 1958, ultimately, to GS13, Supervisory Management Officer in the Field Service Division. In this position, she was responsible for both the Division's personnel management program as well as coordination with units in the field and other Army agencies.

Ms. Suppes retired in 1963, coincidental with the disestablishment of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, after 45 years of dedicated service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps. She died in 1993.