“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 they carry on traditional roles of caring for the home and children, they often worked in essential roles in support of the war effort. While Rosie the Riveter became the image of the working WWII woman, her role was only just a portion of the significant contribution made by women during war times.
History clearly shows the importance of the combat soldier in WWII. However, without the contribution of women during WWII, our war effort would have been significantly limited. Women made critical contributions in several ways such as manufacturing, morale, and the military itself at a time when a large portion of our male work force was deployed fighting the war.
This paper explores the various roles carried by women during wartime in the 1940s. WWII presented opportunities in the military that had never been available to women. Traditional male roles in manufacturing were filled by women as the government recruited them to work in factories making things necessary to fight the war. Morale and entertainment brought women into roles they may have never considered during peace time. The total effect of women in WWII and how they stepped forward to sacrifice and serve was unprecedented in this country. Americans can thank the
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