Women in the Military/ Defense Industry By Sarah Espitia and Genesis Morales

Description : In the beginning of December 1941, 359,000 women served in US armed forces, during WWll. These women had their own branches of services like

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAC)

Women’s airforce service pilots (WASP)

Women accepted for volunteers military Services (WAVES)

Contribution :

  • About 70% of women who served in the military during world war 2 held traditionally “females” jobs.
  • They worked as typist, clerks, and mail sorters.
  • Women were not permitted to participate in armed conflict but close to the front of lines.
  • One way that women participated in dangerous work was through their work in the Army and Navy Medical Corps.

First Hand Account :

Lieutenant Elsie S. Ott was one of the first women receive an air medal. She was already trained nurse, she joined the WAC in 1941. Ott was assigned to the first evacuation first flight with only 24 hours. This plane had no medical equipment beyond a first aid kit. Her mission was to pick up the the wounded in India.Ott reported that flight, recommending important changes that need to be fixed on that flight and a few months later a new unit , the 803rd military air evacuation squad, and ott was promoted captain

Legacy and Significance

  • It opened doors and opportunities for women during World War 2
  • World War II changed both the type of work women did and the volume at which they did it
  • African American women struggled to find jobs in the defense industry, and found that white women were often unwilling to work beside them when they did
  • 75% of women reported that they wanted to continue working after World War II

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