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Army Recruiting poster, “Nurses Are Needed Now!... ” by Stu L. Savage, 1944

During World War II, women served in many noncombatant roles, including as crucial medical support personnel. More than 59,000 women served in the Army Nurse Corps, often close to the front lines of battle.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Army Recruiting poster, “Nurses Are Needed Now!... ” by Stu L. Savage, 1944

Women in the Military: World War II

During World War II, Congress authorized women to serve in auxiliary forces to assist the armed services. Some 150,000 American women joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)—renamed the Women's Army Corps (WAC)—and thousands more enlisted in women's divisions of the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. They worked in the U.S. and overseas, providing clerical, communications, intelligence, transport, medical, scientific, and other essential military support.