.. the assembly lines going and keep the planes flying. Women were also given the opportunity to fly these planes as well. Originally called WAFS, these women are actually considered to be the first women to fly in and pilot military aircraft. These women were part of a ferrying squadron that was dreamed up and started by a woman by the name of Nancy Harkness Love. This soon was renamed to the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASP.
These women were responsible for the delivery of aircraft to their home bases and for ferrying them back and forth from the war (Women were vital to military success in war). Women also served much like they did during World War I in which thousands worked with organizations in the theaters of war. Many of these organizations such as the YMCA, the YWCA, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army literally traveled with the soldiers over to Europe to aid in the fight. According to the Women’s Overseas Service League, an organization started in 1921 to help those women who have served, says that nearly 90,000 women would find their way overseas during this war. Of that number, about 33,000 were officially assigned with the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps (Women were vital to military success in war). What, Women Marines? You’ve got to be kidding. This was the first reaction of male Marines that had just been freed from a prison camp in the Philippine’s in early 1945 (World War II). This is because as WW II started, a woman in the Marine Corps was something that was unheard of.
But on July 30, 1942, the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established and became part of the Marine Corps Reserve. Their mission was to provide qualified women for duty at all U.S. based establishments in order to release the men for combat duty. Things even progressed further by February 1943 when American forces disposed of all the enemy opposition on Guadalcanal. This was a bitter fight and it soon became apparent that many more Marines were going to be needed if the war in the pacific was to continue.
They soon learned that the pride of the Marine Corps was just as strong in women as it was in the men, as they all contained that Once a Marine, always a Marine mentality. Women officers were soon being given a direct commission that was based on their ability and civilian expertise. These women did not receive any type of formal indoctrination or schooling and went onto active duty immediately. There were over two hundred different jobs that these women were assigned too. Many of these jobs include, radio operators, parachute riggers, drivers, aerial gunnery instructors, control tower operators, auto mechanics, and agriculturists. By the time that World War II came to a close, eighty-five percent of all the enlisted personnel that were assigned to the U.S.
Marine Corps Headquarters were women. The influence that these women provided to the Marine Corps so great that a statue named Molly Marine was built and dedicated in New Orleans, Louisiana to honor all the women of the Marine Corps. Women also served in the medical field as nurses just as they did during World War I. Nurses were a big part of finding some of the medical technologies that are used to this day because of the war. The wards within the U.S.
were greatly reduced in the number of experienced nurses on hand and nursing students was actually running them. These nurses had to cut the way they were treating patients such as those who had just given birth because of the low manpower. Before the war, the nurses would do everything to take care of the patients from bathing to feeding the infant. When the war broke out, the nurses started to have the lower income mothers take care of themselves and to breast feed the infants why the nurses continued to pamper all the private patients. It didn’t take long before they noticed the difference between those staying in the wards and the private patients.
Those in the wards were actually happier and the infants were healthier. This started precedence all across the country (A psychiatric nurse in the Philippines). There are many contributions from nurses overseas during World War II that are often overlooked while reclaiming women’s history. In 1942 when the Japanese took Bataan and Corregidor, more than 100 military nurses were captured. Seventy-seven Army and Navy Nurses were held in Japanese concentration camps for a thirty-seven month period. But besides their hardships, the women of the Nursing Corps also received recognition for their actions.
Over sixteen hundred Army Nurses and five hundred sixty-five WACS were recipients of these decorations. Many women also paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. In fact, more than two hundred Army Nurses lost their lives during World War II. Seventeen of those are buried in American cemeteries on foreign land. Through all of these women have given to their country, they weren’t given the same treatment or status in the military that was afforded by the men.
When President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, this perspective had change. Since World War I, the role that women have played in the military has grown tremendously over time. Today women make up eleven percent of the military and are serving in almost all aspects. And it all started eighty-three years ago during World War I. REFERENCES http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/awards/witnesstowar /witness1.html.
WW I left its enduring mark. http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/awards/witnesstowar /guide.html. Background on Women in World War I. http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/awards/witnesstowar /womenatwar.html. Women were vital to military success in war. http://www.wasp-wwii.org/wasp/stats.htm. WASP Entrance Requirements. http://www.usmc.mil/history.nsf/54d36a359c642?Open Document&ExpandSection=13,11. World War II. http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/WWII Women/Philippines.html.
A psychiatric nurse in the Philippines. History.