Women of World War II: A Behind the Scenes Driving Force
On December 7, 1941, this country experienced an event as it had never experienced. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor rocked this country to its core and forever changed history. Women played a pivotal role in all aspects of the war from the home front to nursing the wounded, or acting as secret agents it is undeniable that women were vital to the war effort but did not get the praise and recognition that they deserved. It is estimated that during World War II, some 350,000 women served in the U.S. Armed Forces, both on the home front and over seas meanwhile, with all of the men that were enlisting there were countless jobs that needed to be filled. “Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home.” (Women of WWII paragraph 1). Nursing the Wounded:
Military nurses were very much involved in the turmoil at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Many believe that these women perhaps had the most stressful task of all women involved in the war effort. The attacks on Pearl Harbor left 2,235 service members and 68 civilians dead. Eighty-two Army nurses were serving at three Army Medical Facilities in Hawaii that terrible day. It didn’t matter if you were a military or civilian nurse everyone had one purpose and that was to save as many lives as possible.(Women in World War II) Being a nurse especially on that infamous December morning was filled with pressure and confusion. . (Women in World War II)
Everyone was looking to the nurses to save those that were injured by the bombings and little was known about what exactly was happening. More than two hundred Army nurses lost their lives during World War II. Sixty-six army nurses and eleven navy nurses were imprisoned in concentration camps and some were there for three years or more. .(Nurses in World War II) Not only were these brave women being looked upon to save lives often they had to worry about their own lives and freedom. (Nurses in World War II) Women in the Sky:
“Sweetwater, Texas, September 1943: One hundred and twelve women pilots arrived in this small, dusty Texas town, eager to start the Women Air Force Service Pilots training program. They were to enter Class 44-W-2, the second class of women scheduled to graduate in 1944. These women were a diverse lot. Some were entering the program with the minimum number of flying hours (thirty-five), while some held a commercial license or an instruc- tor's rating, with several hundred hours of flying time. Some had started flying as early as 1936, and some had started only in 1943. Ages ranged from eighteen to twenty-eight. All, however, were pilots before they arrived”. (Cole, 1995 pg4) “How could so many women have learned to fly on their own initiative (this was only one class out of eighteen), as early as 1943? Where did they come from, and how did they manage to become pilots?” (Cole, 1995 pg.3) For once marital status, or class did not matter there were women from all walks of life they all had a love of flying and all of them wanted to serve America in it’s time of need. These awesome women were the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. Thirty-eight W.A.S.P’s lost their lives in World War II and many more went on to receive top military honors.(American Women in WWII). "This is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and ever weapon possible. WOMEN PILOTS, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used” Eleanor Roosevelt 1942. Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp:
General George Marshall supported the idea of introducing a women's service branch into the Army. In May 1942, Congress instituted the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, later these women got sick of performing military...
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