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Barbara A. Kucharczyk Collection

Identifier: WV 0277

Scope and Contents

The Kucharczyk Papers primarily contains uniform accessories and souvenirs from Barbara Kucharczyk's time of service in the U.S. Air Force. Also included are photographs, printed materials, and records relating to her military career.

The oral history documents Kucharczyk's childhood in a military family, her education at UNCG, her graduate studies at New York University, and her brief career in teaching. It primarily details her military career, including Officer Training School; her tours in Japan, Germany, and Korea; the Education with Industry Program; her duties and activities while stationed stateside at Shaw Air Force Base, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College; and gender discrimination in the air force.


  • 1977-2003, 2019


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical Note

Barbara A. Wolfe Kucharczyk was born in Kearney, Nebraska, to an air force family, and raised in various places while her father was in service: California, Florida, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, as well as Germany and Okinawa. She graduated from high school in Massachusetts and went on to attend The University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1966 to 1970, receiving her bachelor's degree in physical education.

In January of 1971, Kucharczyk moved to Newport News, Virginia, where she worked in the Hampton School District as a physical education teacher and a track, tennis, and gymnastics coach. In order to become sex education teacher, Kucharczyk enrolled in New York University's graduate program in human sexuality, and moved to New Jersey in 1974 to complete her master's degree. That year she was hired in Leonia, New Jersey, as a health teacher and softball coach.

Kucharczyk enlisted in the USAF in New Jersey in 1976. From June to September of '77, she attended Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and then was sent to Chanute Air Force Base in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, for the six month Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course. In 1978, she was sent to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, with the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, where she served as a maintenance unit officer, avionics branch chief, and job controller, in addition to temporary duty assignments to Korea and the Philippines. While in Japan, she married a fellow aircraft maintenance officer. She and her husband then applied to be assigned together and in 1981 were sent to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where she worked on flight lines and on the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Inspector General's team, for several years.

In 1984, Kucharczyk was assigned to the Air Force's Education with Industry Program and was stationed Fort Worth, Texas, to monitor procedures at General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) and learn about the defense industry. During this time, she and her husband divorced. After completing the ten-month program, she was sent to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, where she was a maintenance supervisor for a year. She was then transferred to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina where she worked for five years, during which time she was promoted to major and became Equipment Maintenance Squadron commander.

In March of 1990, Kucharczyk testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Women in Combat to open more military career fields to women. In June of that year she was sent to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama, where she attended Air Command Staff College. After completing the program, she became responsible for leadership and command curriculum for the base and for the international seminar program. Through this position she was able to travel to Spain and Germany, performing seminars. With her promotion to lieutenant colonel, she attended the Air War College at Maxwell-Gunter. Afterwards she became director of education and research for the Air Force Quality Institute. She spent two years in this position before being transferred to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, where she served as squadron commander.

In 1998, Kucharczyk was accepted for promotion to colonel. To accept the promotion, she was required to transfer to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. She wished to spend time with her family, however, and declined the offer, retiring from the USAF after twenty-one and a half years of service. Kucharczyk remained in Texas and worked as a teacher's aide for high school students with learning disabilities.


3.40 Linear Feet (4 Boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Barbara A. Wolfe Kucharczyk of Florida served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976 to 1998.

The Kucharczyk Papers primarily date 1977 to 1998 and cincludes March 2003 and April 2019 oral history transcripts, photographs and photograph albums, military papers and records, clippings, programs, writings, yearbooks, awards, artifacts, uniform and uniform accessories, insignia, ribbons, badges, and medals, which document her career in the U.S. Air Force.

Arrangement Note

This collection is organized into the following three series: 1. Papers, Printed Material and Photographs; 2. Oral History; and 3. Textiles and Artifacts.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Barbara A. Kucharczyk in March 2003. Additions 2013.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by UA Staff, September 2004. Reprocessed and edited by Beth Ann Koelsch, June 2010. Additions added July 2016.

Barbara A. Kucharczyk Collection
Cat S. McDowell and Beth Ann Koelsch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US