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Women Worked The Farms <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)Women Worked The Farms
(Click Magazine, 1943)
Although the Selective Service agency granted 4,192,000 draft deferments to farmers throughout the course of World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized that this number alone would never be enough to harvest the food necessary to feed both the home front and the armed forces. With this shortage in mind, the Women's Land Army was created in 1943 to provide that essential farm labor that proved so vital in winning the war. Between the years 1943 and 1945 millions of American women from various backgrounds rolled up their denim sleeves and got the job done. The attached magazine article is one of the first to tell the tale of this organization, and was printed at a time when there were only 60,000 women in the field.<
Women Worked the Railroads <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)Women Worked the Railroads
(Click Magazine, 1943)
"Nearly 100,000 women, from messengers aged 16 to seasoned railroaders of 55 to 65, are keeping America's wartime trains rolling. So well do they handle their jobs that the railroad companies, once opposed to hiring any women, are adding others as fast as they can get them..."
The Women of the U.S. Marine Corps  <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The Women of the U.S. Marine Corps
(Think Magazine, 1946)
"'Lady Leathernecks', as the trimly-clad members were affectionately dubbed, responded to their country's call some 19,000 strong, accomplishing more than 150 different jobs at more than fifty Marine bases and stations throughout the United States."

"Organized February 13, 1943 the Women's Reserve was directed by Lt. Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter (1895 1990). Women in the Marine Corps were authorized to hold the same jobs, ranks and pay as Marines."

The Women of the U.S. Navy <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The Women of the U.S. Navy
(Think Magazine, 1946)
The attached is a short article from THINK MAGAZINE that sums up the contributions made by the 87,000 American women of the U.S. Navy during World War II. These women were organized into a body called WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service):

"In 500 shore establishments of the United States Fleet, women in navy blue released enough men from non-combatant duty to man all of America's landing crafts in two important operations: the Normandy landings on D-Day and the invasion of Saipan."

"Created July 30, 1942, the Corps completed more than three years of service while the nation was engaged in war. The director was Captain Mildred H. McAfee (1900 - 1994), former president of Wellseley College."

The Navy Nurse Corps <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The Navy Nurse Corps
(Think Magazine, 1946)
The attached story of U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and the brave and remarkable women who gallantly served within it's ranks throughout the Second World War is told in this brief article. It documents the selfless service of Navy Nurses who stayed behind in the Philippines to face Japanese captivity rather than desert their patients.

"That was typical of the steadfast manner in which Navy Nurses adhered to duty throughout the war, forsaking personal comfort and safety to bring the benefits of their skills to the sick and wounded".

The U.S. Army Nurse Corps <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The U.S. Army Nurse Corps
(Think Magazine, 1946)
"The Army Nurse during World War II was at work in every quarter of the globe, serving on land, on the sea in hospital ships and in the air, evacuating the wounded by plane. Because of the rugged conditions under which she served, she was trained to use foxholes and to understand gas defense, to purify water in the field and to crawl , heavily equipped, under barbed wire."

By the time VJ-Day rolled around, the Army Nurse Corps was 55,000 strong.

(From Amazon: G.I. Nightingales: The Army Nurse Corps in World War II)

The Cadet Nurse Corps <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The Cadet Nurse Corps
(Think Magazine, 1946)
"Youngest and largest of the the women's uniformed services, the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, has made nursing history in the brief span of it's existence...the corps includes more than 112,000 women between 17 and 35 who enrolled to help meet the emergency demand for nursing service and at the same time prepare themselves for a post-war profession."
The WASPs <br />(Think  & Newsweek Magazines,  1942, 1946)The WASPs
(Think & Newsweek Magazines, 1942, 1946)
"The WASP program, for as such the Women Airforces Service Pilots became known, was begun in August, 1943. In addition to providing women fliers who could take over certain jobs and thereby release their brothers for front-line duty, the program was designed to see if women could serve as military pilots and, if so, to serve as a nucleus of an organization that could be rapidly expanded...The women who took part in the pilot program proved of great value to their country, flying almost every type of airplane used by the AAF, from the Thunderbolt fighter, to the C-54 transport, they flew enough miles to reach around the world 2,500 times at the Equator."

The WASPs were fortunate enough to have pioneering aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran (1906 1980) to serve at their helm.

Click here to read about the WAC truck drivers of the Second World War.

The Women of the U.S. Coast Guard <br />(Think Magazine, 1946)The Women of the U.S. Coast Guard
(Think Magazine, 1946)
"From the icy sweeps of Alaska to the tropical Hawaiian Islands, trimly clad girls in the dark blue of the Coast Guard SPARS have served since their organization was founded in 1942 to fill the shore posts of men at sea."

"Communications and radio work were an important phase of their duty. Another field in which SPARS were exceptionally active was aviation, with young women in navy blue working in control towers, instructing fledgling fliers via the Link trainer, and parachute riggers...SPARS were also required to familiarize themselves with weapons."

"Ranking woman officer is Captain Dorthy C. Stratton (1899 - 2006), Director of the Women's Reserve, appointed on November 24, 1942).

The Lady was a Spy  <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1954)The Lady was a Spy
(Coronet Magazine, 1954)
During World War II many women played roles as daring and courageous as were required of any man. This is the true story of one such woman, who gambled her life to help the Allies win the final victory in Europe.

"...I began my mission in wartime France as a British secret agent. Colonel Maurice Buckmaster had told me what my assignment was:"

"You will parachute into France with a wireless operator and a demolition specialist. The drop will be 40 miles from Le Mans, where Rommel's army is concentrated..."

Click here to read about the women who spied for the Nazis during the Second World War.

Women War Workers <br />(Pic Magazine, 1943)Women War Workers
(Pic Magazine, 1943)
Attached is a photo-essay from a 1943 issue Pic Magazine illustrating the roll women played in a California bomber factory.

Click here to read about the women war workers of W.W. I.

Women Behind the Guns <br />(Assorted Magazines, 1942)Women Behind the Guns
(Assorted Magazines, 1942)
When it became clear to the employers on the American home front that there was going to be a shortage of men, their attention turned to a portion of the labor pool who had seldom been allowed to prove their mettle: they were called women. This article recalls those heady days at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground when local women were trained to fire enormous artillery pieces in order that the Army weapons specialists understand the gun's capabilities. This column primarily concerns the delight on all the men's faces when it was discovered that women were able to perform their tasks just as well as the men.

Click here to read about what was involved in training a WAAC.

''Sand Diego - A Woman's Town'' <br />(Click Magazine, 1944)''Sand Diego - A Woman's Town''
(Click Magazine, 1944)
"Sand Diego wanted women for its war industries. Since the beginning of the war boom San Diego has cajoled, bribed and appealed publicly for women. And San Diego got women, not only for the war industries, but for every other conceivable job. They became letter carriers, bus drivers, high-altitude window washers, milk deliverers, office workers."
She Worked The Graveyard Shift <br />(The American Magazine, 1943)She Worked The Graveyard Shift
(The American Magazine, 1943)
"Thousands of American girls are traveling the same road as 21-year-old Dorthy Vogely, our new Cover Girl this month. No longer do they live at home waiting for a nice young man. Instead they've gone on their own to help win the war..."
Women Working for the War <br />(The American Magazine, 1942)Women Working for the War
(The American Magazine, 1942)
Here is an account by one reporter of his visit to an American aircraft factory early in the war. His article concerns the novelty of female laborers:

"We climbed to a catwalk in the rafters and looked down on one of the most fascinating factories on earth. It was gay as a flower garden. Women in bright blouses and slacks were everywhere, doing everything. Blondes and brunettes and redheads and - well , middle-aged ones. Mostly pretty. And every one eagerly intent upon her job."

Click here to read about what was involved in training a WAAC.

Distributing Women Throughout Industry <br />(The American Magazine, 1942)Distributing Women Throughout Industry
(The American Magazine, 1942)
One of the seldom remembered branches of the War Production Board was the Women's Labor Supply Services which served to eradicate the various draft deferments that were keeping too many men out of the military. Thelma McKelvey was the woman in charge of this body:

"This captain of industry expects to see women workers in factories and farms increase from 700,000 today to 4,000,000 by mid-1943."

Badass <br />(The American Magazine, 1943)Badass
(The American Magazine, 1943)
For those who survived it, the Second World War changed many lives - some for better, some for worse. Gale Volchok was rescued from a dreary job in New York retail and delivered to the proving grounds of two different infantry training camps in New Jersey. It was under her watchful eye that thousands of American soldiers learned to throw their enemies into the dirt and generally defend them selves.
No Work, No Nooky <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1943)No Work, No Nooky
(Collier's Magazine, 1943)
In an effort to put an end to worker absenteeism at defense plants, a fetching welder at the Albina Engine & Machine Works shipyard (Portland, Oregon), Jeannine Christiansen unhatched a sure-footed scheme to do just that. Recognizing that (most) men don't find life worth living without rubbing noses with the females of the species, Miss Christiansen instituted the NO WORK NO WOO movement (I think you can guess what Woo means). The attached report states that it was effective and spread to other factories along the West Coast.
The Aerial Nurse Corps of America <br />(The American Magazine, 1941)The Aerial Nurse Corps of America
(The American Magazine, 1941)
To read the U.S. magazines and newspapers printed in 1941 is to gain an understanding as to the sixth sense many Americans had in predicting that W.W. II would soon be upon them - and this article is a fine example. One month before Pearl Harbor the editors of AMERICAN MAGAZINE ran this column about Lauretta Schimmoller (1902 - 1981) who established the Aerial Nurse Corps of America, which, at that time, was composed of over 400 volunteers:

"All air-minded registered nurses, they stand ready to fly with medical aid to scenes of disaster...Now established on a nation-wide scale, ANCOA, with its 19 national chapters, has already handled more than 3,000 emergency cases."

Women At The Brooklyn Navy Yard <br />(<i>PM</I> Tabloid, 1942)Women At The Brooklyn Navy Yard
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"The Navy Yard in Brooklyn (NY) got along with men mechanics for 141 years, up to now - but this is a tough war. Women are now being hired to help build and repair warships and their accessories."
Women In The War Effort <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Women In The War Effort
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
Eight months into America's entry into the war came this article from PM reporting the War Manpower Commission and their data as to how many American women up to that point had stepped up to contribute their labor to the war effort (over 1,500,000):

"Women have been found to excel men in jobs requiring repetitive skill, finger dexterity and accuracy. They're the equals of men in a number of other jobs. A U.S. Employment Service has indicated women can do 80 percent of the jobs now done by men."

Equal Pay for Equal War Work <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Equal Pay for Equal War Work
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"The War Labor Board has decreed 'equal pay for equal work' for women in war industry... George W. Taylor, WLB vice-chairman, wrote the decision and said that any other condition than that of pay equality was 'not conducive to maximum production'."