At first, servicewomen filled administrative and clerical jobs to "free a man to fight." But as more and more men were shipped overseas, women replaced them in jobs previously considered unsuitable for women.  Before long, women were serving in virtually every occupation except direct combat—in the motor pool, as radio operators and repairmen, gunnery instructors, mechanics, flight instructors, and in other advanced technical and scientific fields.


Women Marines receive weather reports via radio, El Toro
Marine Air Base, California, 1944.
Credit: Women’s Memorial Foundation


WACs Stephena Plechavy and Kitty Martis, 107th WAC Detachment, San Francisco Port of Embarkation, Fort Mason, California, July 1943.
Credit:  Women’s Memorial Foundation


WAVES at work, Naval Air Station,
Weeksville, North Carolina, July 1945.
Credit: Women’s Memorial Foundation


SPARs of the 11th Naval District learn the intricacies of an automobile engine.
Credit:  National Archives


WACs at work in the photography section, Harlingen Army Gunnery School, Harlingen, Texas.
Credit:  Women’s Memorial Foundation


WAACs leave the First WAAC Training Center,
Fort Des Moines, Iowa, for duty in Fort Clark, Texas, 1943.
Credit: Library of Congress

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