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WAC photographs, Planet News Ltd., collection of Edith G. Wells

First image: “We, WACS of the 2nd World War learning to use our rifles in England before going to Normandy 1943”

Second image: “Mess in the London Streets after bombing raid”

Though they enlisted for noncombatant support, WACs experienced the dangers of war. WACs were trained in the defensive use of rifles and other wartime skills. During the 1944 German blitz of London, a bomb destroyed the WAC headquarters.

Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

We, WACS of the 2nd World War learning to use our rifles in England before going to Normandy 1943 Mess in the London Streets after bombing raid

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.