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American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2003


Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Enlisted Uniform


The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (W.A.A.C.) was created by a May 14, 1942 Act of Congress. The original legislation had been introduced by Congresswomen Edith Nourse Rogers on May 28, 1941. On July 1, 1943 the name was changed to Women's Army Corps (W.A.C.). Approximately 100,000 women served during the war and 155 became casualties. Female army nurses, who were members of the Army Medical Corps, had a separate status within the Army and were not members of the W.A.A.C.

The enlisted W.A.A.C. is wearing a summer "Hobby Hat" with an early style enlisted hat insignia. The "Hobby Hat" received its nickname for Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby, the Director of the W.A.A.C. The early style hat insignia, called "the buzzard," was not popular and it was replaced with the same hat insignia worn by male personnel in 1944. The basic hat was the same for officers and enlisted women, but the officer's hat insignia was larger and not on a circular disk. The Hobby Hat was phased out during the 1944-1945 period and replaced by the women's style garrison cap.

Her uniform is a khaki summer jacket. On the collar is a pair of enlisted women's brass disks. One on her left is the Women's Army Corps branch insignia, Pallas Athene, the Greek goddess of war. The disk on the right side cannot be seen but should be the same worn by all enlisted personnel, a disk with the letters "U.S." A pocket button can be seen and is of a special type worn only by W.A.A.C. personnel early in the war. It is khaki colored plastic, bearing an eagle similar to that of the hat insignia. It can be found in sizes 28, 23 and 16mm. This button was phased out after July 1943 and was replaced with the standard U.S. Army button, bearing the arms of the United States. The jacket was worn with a skirt, which is not seen in this photograph.

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