Women and World War II

On May 14, 1942, Congress approved an Act that allowed women to enlist for noncombat duties in the U.S. military. The Act led to the creation of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), the Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES), the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), and the Semper Paratus Always Ready Service (SPARS). Many Florida women were quick to sign up and serve their country.

Portrait of Sarah Kaplan during World War II
Portrait of Sarah Kaplan during World War II

Jacqueline Cochran
Jacqueline Cochran – internationally known aviator
In 1943 Jacqueline Cochran was appointed to the General Staff of the U.S. Army Air Forces to direct the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. In 1945 she received the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal.

 

Annie Will Langford in her Navy uniform
Annie Will Langford in her Navy uniform

Portrait of U.S. WAVES sailor Shirley Rudler in uniform: Orlando, Florida
Portrait of U.S. WAVES sailor Shirley Rudler in uniform: Orlando, Florida

Portrait of USMC-WR 1st Lieutenant Alice
Portrait of USMC-WR 1st Lieutenant Alice “Martha” Dorn

 

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