U.S. Army Remembers Betty White's World War II Service: 'A True Legend'

In 1941, Betty White put her career on hold to volunteer for the American Women's Voluntary Services during the Second World War

While Hollywood mourns the loss of iconic television star Betty White, who died Friday at the age of 99, the U.S. Army is remembering the actress for a role she played off the screen: that of World War II volunteer.

In a statement issued Friday on Twitter, the Army said it was "saddened by the passing of Betty White," adding that she had a personal history with the military branch.

"Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women's Voluntary Services. A true legend on and off the screen," the statement concluded.

While White began working as an actress and model in the late 1930s, her aspirations were put on hold during the Second World War. A month before her 20th birthday in 1941, she went to work with the American Women's Voluntary Services (AWVS).

The AWVS provided women volunteers to offer services such as ambulance and truck driving, fire-fighting, aircraft-spotting, navigation, and aerial photography.

In a 2010 interview with Cleveland magazine, White talked about her assignment — driving a truck of supplies to barracks in the Hollywood Hills — and attending dances for the troops ahead of their deployments abroad.

"It was a strange time and out of balance with everything," White told Cleveland, "which I'm sure the young people are going through now. We'll never learn. We'll never learn."

Betty White
Betty White during WWII. U.S. Army/Twitter

White's death on Friday came just two and a half weeks before she would have celebrated her 100th birthday.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE in a statement. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again."

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