Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1999.068a
Description Woman's Army Corp (WAC) Jacket, November 2, 1942. This jacket is in khaki brown, and is made of cloth. The jacket has a collar with two gold lapel pins on each end of the sleeve. Both gold lapel pins are round in shape and pinned to the collar by brass round pins. The one on the left end of the collar has an image of Athena, goddess of wisdom, craft and war, which is the insignia for the Women's Army Corp (WAC). On the one on the right end of the collar, embossed in gold, and in bold, the text reads "U.S.". The jacket has two pockets near the top portion of the chest of the jacket with brown, small round buttons that are embossed with the symbol of a bald eagle. In the middle of the jacket, there are small holes on one end, and medium sized round buttons, shaped similar to the small round buttons on the the pockets at the top. The buttons fit nicely through the small holes on the one end. Each of the buttons are embossed with same symbol of the bald eagle. Towards the bottom front of the jacket, there are two pockets, one on each side, stitched a little bit on the outside border of the pocket. Inside the right hand pocket, printed on a white piece of cloth, the text reads "JACKETS, WAAC, MEMBERS, / SUMMER / SIZE 18R / GAYNES INC / Cont. W-669 QM 22623 / Dated Nov. 2 1942 / Spec. No. Tent. Spec. / P.Q.D. No. 216A / Dated August 29, 1942, Type 1 / Stock No. 55-J-550-58 / Phila M.Q. Depot / Inspector". The text "JACKETS, WAAC, MEMBERS" and "Dated August 29, 1942, Type 1" are disproportionately smaller than the text above and in bold. The text "SIZE 18R / GAYNES INC" is disproportionately bigger than the rest of the text and is in bold. In between the text above and the word "Inspector", there is a signature in ink with two lines at the top and one line at the bottom of the signature. The jacket is stitched along the sides, front and back and on its sleeves. The jacket also has two sleeves with one of them at the top left shoulder has a blue round fabric badge with two gold wings surrounding a white star and a red circle in the middle. The blue round badge is stitched to the top left shoulder. At the bottom of the right sleeve, stitched to the sleeve, a black round badge with one "S" and one "C". The "C" is in the middle of the "S", making the two letters interlock. At the top right of the inside of the collar, printed on a white piece of cloth in black, the text reads " SIZE / 18R". The words "18R" is disproportionately bigger than the text above.
Object Name Jacket
Collection 3D - Clothing
Title Woman's Army Corp (WAC) Jacket, November 2, 1942
Date November 2, 1942
Creator Unknown
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "U.S." (embossed in gold, and in bold on the right end of the collar)

"JACKETS, WAAC, MEMBERS, / SUMMER / SIZE 18R / GAYNES INC / Cont. W-669 QM 22623 / Dated Nov. 2 1942 / Spec. No. Tent. Spec. / P.Q.D. No. 216A / Dated August 29, 1942, Type 1 / Stock No. 55-J-550-58 / Phila M.Q. Depot / Inspector". (printed on a white piece of cloth inside the right hand pocket with the text "JACKETS, WAAC, MEMBERS" and "Dated August 29, 1942, Type 1" are disproportionately smaller than the text above and in bold, the text "SIZE 18R / GAYNES INC" is disproportionately bigger than the rest of the text and is in bold and a signature in ink in between the rest of the text and the word "Inspector)

"S" & "C" (stitched at the bottom right sleeve)

SIZE / 18R" (printed on a white piece of cloth in black at the top right of the inside of the collar)


Notes "Beginning in October 1940, men between 21 and 35 were drafted for mlitary service and on December 11, 1941, the US declared war on against Japan's allies, Germany and Italy. As their husbands, sons and brothers left home, many American women asked, “how about us?” Acting as their spokeswoman, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers (Massachusetts) introduced a bill in May 1941 calling for the creation of an all-volunteer women's corps in the Army.

Initially, members of Congress, the press and the military establishment joked about the notion of women serving in the Army, but as America increasingly realized the demands of a war on two fronts (Japan and Germany), leaders also faced an acute manpower shortage. In May 1942, the House and the Senate approved a bill creating the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and Oveta Culp Hobby, Chief of the Women's Interest Section in the Public Relations Bureau in the War Department and a lobbyist for the WAAC bill, became its first director. Although the women who joined considered themselves in the Army, technically they were civilians working with the Army. By spring of 1943, 60,000 women had volunteered and in July 1943, a new congressional bill transformed the WAAC to the Women's Army Auxiliary (WAC), giving Army women military status.

The Army opened five WAAC training centers and in July 1942, the first group of 440 women officer candidates (40 of whom were African American) and 330 enlisted women began training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Uniform supply was inadequate but it did not deter training. Except for weapons and tactical training, the women's courses paralleled those for Army men, as did their training circumstances." [http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/rr/s01/cw/students/leeann/historyandcollections/history/lrnmrewwiiwac.html-12/20/2016]

Dimensions H-24 W-27 D-0.125 inches
Search Terms Clothes
Clothing
Jacket
Jacket, Army
Jackets
Women
World War II
World War Two
Uniforms
Women's Fashion
Subjects Clothing & dress
Women
World War II
Uniforms