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Women in World War II

Page history last edited by druberti@umass.edu 1 month, 2 weeks ago

 

 

Poster, December 1940Poster, December 1940
 

 

Topics on the Page

 

Rosie the Riverter, Wendy the Welder and the American Homefront

 
Women in the Military in World War II

 

  • Fly Girls

 

  • Top Secret Rosies (Female Computers of World War II)

 

  • Code Girls

 

  • All-Black Women's Army Corps 

 

 Cross-Links

 

 

 

 

Millions of women joined the workforce during World War II and transformed their roles from homemakers to supporting their families.  

 

They worked in factories to develop war materials, they joined the military, and after gaining a taste of independence, they rallied to gain equal rights in the workforce.

 

 

 

Rosie the Riverter, Wendy the Welder and the American Homefront During World War II


Social Changes During the War, from Digital History

 

 

 

Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II, National Women's History Museum

 

National WW2 museum page on women in war

 

Women Replace Men in the Workforce from Oakland Museum of California

 

  • 18 million women across the country were enlisted in the steel mills, foundries, automotive plants and shipyards of America
  • 200,000 served in the military

 

 

Wendy the Welder

 

  • Women workers helped build battleships across the Pacific Northwest

 

  • Of the four shipyards built by Henry J. Kaiser in Richmond California during the war and the 90,000 personnel of which it employed, approximately one-third were women.
     


Tending the Homefront: The Many Roles of Bay Area Women during World War II, National Park Service

Rosie's Pictures: Select Images Relating to American Women Workers During World War II, Library of Congress


Selected World War II Records of Federal Agencies in New England, National Archives at Boston

 

Women and Victory Gardens

 

Recruitment Poster, 1940s
Recruitment Poster, 1940s

 

 

 

WWII Women's Recruitment PosterLes Marguerites Fleuriront ce Soir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women in the U.S. Military in World War II

 

Click here for a history of the Women's Army Corps

 

Lesson plan on teaching the role of Women in the war

 

 

It's a Woman's War Too

More lesson plans featuring KWL charts 


Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theatre. 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage & Survival. Kathryn J. Atwood. Chicago Review Press, 2016

 

WASPS in front of a TB-25 Mitchell Trainer, 1944
WASPS in front of a TB-25 Mitchell Trainer, 1944

 

Fly Girls


Female World War II Pilots: The Original Fly Girls.

As the Magazine of History (Volume 24, no. 3, July 2010) points out, "from 1942 to 1944, about one thousand WASPs flew over twelve thousand newly manufactured aircraft from factories to military bases. They also towed targets for gunnery practice and tested repaired aircraft. Despite their skill and sacrifice on the home front (thirty-eight women pilots died in service) they were denied military status and benefits during the war and the program was abruptly ended in 1944, due largely to opposition from male service pilots."

 

 

Top Secret Rosies

 

 

Women breaking naval codes during World War II
Women breaking naval codes during World War II

 

Code Girls


More than half the American code-breaking force was female, about 10,000 women

Many were college graduates who had been excluded from math and engineering fields, but were now needed for their talent and expertise.

Source: "What Can We Learn from Women in Wartime," The New York Times (November 12, 2017)


How American Women Codebreakers of World War II Helped Win the War, Smithsonian (October 2017)

The Secret History of the Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis, Politico Magazine (October 10, 2017)

 

 

Overview of Women's Roles in World War II at Khan Academy

 

Beyond the Story: American Women During World War II

 

African American Women

 

 

 

https://www.history.com/news/black-woman-army-unit-mail-world-war-ii

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-an-all-black-womens-army-corps-unit-still-fighting-for-recognition/

 

https://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/ww2-pictures#women

 

 

 

In 1945, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (the only all African-American, all-female battalion during World War II) worked in England and France, making them the first black female battalion to travel overseas.

 

Commanded by Major Early, the battalion was composed of 30 officers and 800 enlisted women.

 

All-black Women's Army Corps unit still fighting for recognition

 

Soviet Snipers

 

This is a video discussing the Soviet women's sniper corps in WWII

https://youtu.be/n_qnd839mQs

 

 

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