In the 1930’s and 1940’s during World War II, women were not allowed to serve in the military to fight as soldiers. However, that did not mean that women could not play important and vital roles in the war.
With 10 million men fighting in World War II, it was the women who kept the factories up and running. They built the tanks, planes, and ships that were utilized in the battlefields. Women kept the U.S. home front together and served in the army even though they were not allowed to serve in battles. American women on the home front took on the role of “Rosie the Riveter,” the character that the U.S. government created to inspire and represent those women.
The women-led force in the U.S. Army was called “The Women’s Army Corps” or WAC. According to the traditions of American society at that time, many men were completely against women serving in the war. However, The First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, got WAC approved with the help of General George Marshall.
Women in the Army
The most remarkable role that women played in World War II was being a nurse. It was not very safe, since most of the hospitals were near war zones. The hospitals were near war zones in order to easily transfer injured soldiers back and forth. Serving as a nurse in such a brutal war required a great deal of courage and nerves of steel. Those brave women saved the lives of hundreds and thousands of injured soldiers.
Women also served in all posts that did not put them in direct fire line. For example, they sorted and delivered mail for the Army post office, fixed all types of Army vehicles, and worked on communication systems. After the invasion of Normandy, one of the biggest battles of World War II, several women landed on Normandy shores to help the soldiers.
Women Pilots in WWII
Upon realizing that many women had pilot’s licenses, the U.S Army formed the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). This division of women pilots was responsible for flying cargo planes into and out of military bases. This ensured that male pilots were available to fly in combat battles.
Famous women of World War II
Eleanor Roosevelt: The brave First lady who fought against social restriction to start WAC and include women in the present and future of their country. She also highlighted the mistreatment that Japanese-American citizens received as a result of Pearl Harbor and the war with Japan.
Queen Elizabeth II: Princess Elizabeth, at the time, was trained in Great Britain to become a mechanic. She served during the war in fixing military vehicles and driving military trucks. She is the only woman in the British royal family to have served in the military.
Anne Frank: Anne Frank is most famous for the diary entries that she wrote during her time hiding from the Nazis with her family. After two years, Anne and her family members were caught and sent to concentration camps.
Each and every woman who witnessed this war and did the smallest thing to help the military effort was, and still is, a hero. A war that big with an enemy that dangerous would not have been won without these amazing women.
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