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Catalog Number 1999.068B
Description Woman's Army Corp (WAC) Skirt, 1940s. The skirt is in khaki brown, and made of cloth. It is stitched with a tan brown color border around the waist of the skirt with a small hole at the end with a round brown button. Part of the waist in the front where the small hole at the end meets the round brown button is stitched and held together by small metal hooks. On the inside of the waist, towards the front, written in black and bold in pen, the text reads "3136". In the middle of the skirt, there is a golden zipper down the middle with golden teeth that mesh and engage as the zipper passes the slider. The rest of the skirt has a bottom that has a rounded straight edge.
Object Name Skirt
Collection Three-Dimensional Collection
Title Women's Army Corp. (WAC) Uniform, 1940s
Date 1940's
Creator Unknown
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "3136" (written in black and bold in pen, towards the front, on the inside of the waist)
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." []

Dimensions H-24.25 W-33 D-0.125 inches
Search Terms Army
Women's Fashion
World War II
World War Two
Subjects Clothing & dress
World War II