Women Go To War: Remembering The Greatest Generation And The Women Who Fought World War II


World Wat II Defense Worker Norma Jean Baker On The Cover Of Yank )Army) Magazine, 1944

Our grandmothers and great grandmothers didn’t go to combat but they did go to war. From movie stars to the fresh-faced California girl working in a defense plant with her friend ( a still unknown Robert Mitchum), who would become the biggest star in the post-war years of abundance, women did the jobs guys left behind. dothejobheleftbehindThey lost those jobs when the G.I’s came home but whether they were WWII “warriors”, nurses  or homeland heroines, they proved their mettle and showed off the strengths that set the stage for their liberated daughters a generation later. From The  Minnesota Historical Society: “Women have servedE448 21 b17 tumblr_lmu6jjaRcJ1qgdj5co1_400 wasp-wwii in military conflicts since the American Revolution, but World War II was the first time that women served in the United States military in an official capacity. Although women traditionally were excluded from military service and their participation in the Armed Forces was not promoted at the outset of World War II, it soon became apparent that their participation was necessary to win a total war.


Hitler’s Christmas Party For His Generals, 1941 by Hugo Jaeger


Since December 1941, 350,000 women served in the United States Armed Forces. They had their own branches of services, including:

  • Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps or WAC),
  • the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), and
  • the Women Accepted for Volunteer Military Services (WAVES).

Women also served in the Marines and in a branch of the Coast Guard called SPARS.


Yank Cover Girl Marilyn Monroe With Photographer David Conover Who Discovered Her


German Soldiers, WWII


Veronica Lake demomstrating “dangerous hair” for defense workers.


Journalist Margaret Bourke-White

About seventy percent of women who served in the military during World War II held traditional “female” jobs. recruitingposter5 rosie2 s_w04_50202021 s_w10_20708023 s_w16_11114066 s_w23_11220192 s_w28_01111152 s_w31_11121233 They worked as typists, clerks, and mail sorters. Although these jobs may have been less glorified that those of the men fighting on the front lines, women were essential in maintaining the bureaucratic mechanisms that are necessary in total warfare. Also, by filling office jobs that would otherwise be

Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino

held by men, women freed more men to fight. Women were not permitted to participate in armed conflict but their duties often brought them close to the front lines. One way that women participated in dangerous work was through their work in the Army and Navy medical corps.” — Minnesota Historical Society



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