Battleland

Swapping Silk for Khaki: America’s First Female Soldiers

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Marie Hansen for LIFE

"In their first gas-mask drill the WAACs took two minutes to get their masks adjusted." Fort Des Moines, Iowa, June 1942.

Amid the bumper crop of tales of sexual assault in the ranks of the U.S. military, it’s refreshing to go back in time — 71 years ago this month, to be precise — when Army created the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps amid World War II.

More than 150,000 American women served in the corps during World War II, double the 75,000 serving in the service today (but not as many as the 200,000 active-duty women now in uniform in all the services).

LIFE magazine, Battleland’s distant cousin, published a major piece on the WAACs in September 1942, four months after its creation:

The idea behind the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps is simply this: Women can do some of the jobs that men are doing in the Army. By taking over these jobs, they can release men for active or combat duty. For instance, if too many service troops are ordered away from a post, the post commander will send in a call for some WAACs. Pretty soon a WAAC contingent — probably a company — will descend on him and then disperse about the camp to do clerical work, mess work, light transportation work, mechanics work or any kind of work which women can do as well as men.

Check out some fascinating photos over at LIFE’s website, here.

1 comments
eduardcao95
eduardcao95

excuse me,
 hope to have a common family and mother. she worked for police. and task to control family and me. i have poisoned diet, air & water. at night some device shine on my heart, head, kidney,stomach,liver and even ... they make me weak, have disease and stupid, misleading, so that easy to control and lead to sick and die. i'm from china

my grandfather was a officer of Guo min party shanghai branch before year of 1949. (this year guo min party lose china civil war, retreated to taiwan island.)
several years later grandfather was asked to have a meeting and didn't came back, sent to jail, died. Given reason was drunk and slipped down. grandmother died in an unnecessary surgical operation. Doctor named wang xinsheng at shanghai the 4th people's hospital. she hadn't any deadly disease. before her time she requested to see father the last time, told him what happened. doctor acknowledged it.

whole family controlled by government. mother actually worked for police (apparently she was a worker in a factory) and married father to control him and the family. i 'm watched 24 hours as well. and have poisoned diet, (actually poisoned environment). they could poison everything, even water and air, and clothing( clothing poison would be absorbed by skin. I found out that my sweat has flower smell. it lead to blood jam) i realized it, until 1 year ago,


I lived in big trap in past 40 years. I realized true reason of so many problem in healthy which suddenly came out. the disease, and pains, weakness, getting more and more skinny, hard to breath, heart beating unbalanced rhythm. get more and more dim of the sight. eyes disease. (father has one eye almost blind could see only a little light). I was a healthy boy, in age of 8, jumping rope I could make 108 times per minute. in class, the result was numbered 2nd, and table tennis, classmates were afraid of me. this is only a few of total, there is more in the 40 years.
then they said i has mental problem need medicine. in china, a lot of people are sent to mental disease hospital for only reason that be against government. they are washing people. 

I was a boy that has refractory nature. that's the reason mother dislike me. and be choosen to be controlled. and they believe the children of grandfather like mine had the DNA against government. it said dragon give birth to dragon, father was a hero, son must be goodman
they limited my post and phone call till today and be watched. and someone try to collide me by truck in makati ave. makati city.

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