Credit: National Archives

Oveta Culp Hobby, was the first director of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC)—later known as the Women's Army Corps (WAC)—helped to pass the bill authorizing women's participation in the US Army along a difficult path through Congress. An experienced parliamentarian and former assistant editor of the Houston Post-Dispatch, Hobby was also the mother of two children and wife of the former Governor of Texas, William Pettus Hobby.  Following the war, she served as the first Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Hobby told the first WAAC officer candidate class, "You are the first women to serve...Never forget it...you have a debt and a date…A debt to democracy, a date with destiny.”

This photograph was taken during a press conference in London, England, November 1942

Click HERE to see 3 more images of Ms. Hobby.


Edith Nourse Rogers, served as a legislator from 1925 until she died in 1960. She was most noted for her legislative initiatives on behalf of veterans and women. Her most notable achievements were legislation creating the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, which provided women with the opportunity to serve in the armed forces in a wide range of activities in addition to nursing, and the G.I. Bill of Rights, which gave returning World War II veterans opportunities to go to college, obtain job training, and receive low-interest loans to buy houses.

This photograph shows Representative Edith Nourse Rogers visiting the WAC Detachment in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. 

Credit: Women’s Memorial Foundation


Credit: Women’s Memorial Foundation

Mildred McAfee, President of Wellesley College, was named to head the Women’s Reserve of the Navy known as the WAVES (Women Accepted for Emergency Volunteer Service). Utilizing a network of fellow academics, McAfee quickly developed policy and programs to recruit, train and deploy more than 80,000 women officers and enlisted personnel between 1943 and 1945.

“My first assignment was just getting enough women to start doing something, and what they were to do was as vague to me as it was to all the rest of  the Navy at that time."

This Time magazine came out when Captain Mildred H. McAfee, WAVES Director, and Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, US Fleet, were preparing to speak on a nation-wide broadcast celebrating the second anniversary of the WAVES, 31 July 1945.