Role of Women in Wwii Essay

4611 Words Sep 13th, 2012 19 Pages
Role of Women in World War II
“Our women are serving actively in many ways in this war, and they are doing a grand job on both the fighting front and the home front.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt, 1944
World War II (WWII) is often described as defining America’s “Greatest Generation.” That image was portrayed by a young, dapper, American airman, full of patriotism, courage, and a desire to make the world a better place. He was eager to conquer the world and return to the home front to make a better life for himself and his family. However, his wife, sister, and mother were also part of the Greatest Generation. During this time, American women bravely served both at home and overseas in roles they had never considered before. Not only did
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Doors have been opened for future generations as a result of women stepping forward and society’s acceptance of them.
II. Women in the Military
One of the most direct and significant roles that women had on WWII was their military service. According to Hartmann, “the American women most sharply wrenched away from the customary patterns of female behavior during the 1940s were those who served in the armed forces.”4 In May of 1942, after much debate and resistance, Congress passed a bill allowing women to serve as auxiliaries to the US Army, forming the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.) Once this happened, it was only a matter of months before four other women’s military branches were established. The Navy established the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and the Coast Guard formed the SPAR (Semper Paratus, Always Ready.) In February, 1943, the female Marines came into being with “no catchy acronym.”5 Later that year, the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), one of the most infamous of the female service units, was formed. It should be noted that while the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines were ranked members of the military, the WAAC and WASP members were still civilians serving with the Army, not in the Army. A year later, because of

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