Many Americans opposed the idea of women in military service in non-nursing jobs. But following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress authorized women to serve with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard in 1942, and the Marines in 1943 for the duration of the emergency plus six months. More than 400,000 women served, 432 died, and 88 were prisoners of war.In the bottom left photo is Donna Mae Baldenecker, first WAAC bugler, Fort Des Moines, Iowa. In the bottom right photo is WAC Private First Class Rose Salute, Harlingen Army Air Field, Harlingen, Texas.
Left - 9th Company, 3rd Regiment, 73rd Basic Company, First WAC Training Center, Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
Right - WAVES in formation on the grounds of the Washington Monument
Left - Army nurses attached to the Army Air Corps bivouac in Hawaii as part of training for combat areas, c.1945
Right - Hawaii’s WACs review infantry troops parading in their honor, Hawaii, 3 January 1945.