- Note on Sources
- The framework for this volume is the chronological history of the Corps
maintained by the Office of the Director, WAC (ODWAC). This chronology is a
part of the ODWAC Reference File held by the Army Center of Military History
(CMH) in Washington, D.C. In published form, it is included in The Role of
the WAC (ST 35-150), a special text prepared by the WAC School, Fort
McClellan, Alabama, to present a narrative history of the WAC, its training
centers and schools, and its participation in the national defense effort.
First issued in 1962, the volume was revised several times.
- Archival Material
- The bulk of the source material used in this volume is from documents that
originated in the offices of the assistant chief of staff, G-1, (ACofS, G-1)
and the director of the Women's Army Corps (DWAC). Beginning in 1944, the
ODWAC was assigned to the ACofS, G-1 (Personnel) on the Army general staff
for administrative services including records management. Thus,
correspondence, reports, and records of permanent value originated by the
DWAC are included with the ACofS, G-1, files, held by the National Archives
and Records Administration (NARA) at the National Archives in Washington,
D.C., or in its regional record centers.
- The files of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and the Women's Army
Corps (WAC) 1942 through 1950 are in Record Groups (RGs) 165 and 319 in the
Modern Military Branch, NARA, Washington, D.C. These record groups also
contain files retired by the various general and special staff divisions of
the War Department and the Department of the Army (e.g., G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4,
Budget Division, Information and Education, etc.). Record Group 165 holds
WAC correspondence, administrative reports, legislative background material,
and the "Hobby files," which contain Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby's
personnel files and WAAC records accumulated in 1942 and 1943. Record Group
319 occasionally overlaps RG 165, but it primarily contains correspondence
between 1942 and 1950, papers collected by WAC historian Mattie E. Treadwell,
correspondence concerning the National Civilian Advisory Council on the WAC
1944-1948, WAC recruiting campaign publicity 1943-1944, files of the special
assistant to the DWAC 1942-1943, and records relating to WAC personnel and
administration 1945-1950. Record Group 319 also contains the files of the
director of personnel and administration which
- include WAC records for the period 1950-1954. WAC records after 1954 are
held in the Military Archives Division, Washington National Records Center,
- In locating the ODWAC records it is useful to know the various titles held
by the G-1 (Personnel) after 1945. Between 1946 and 1950, he was known as
the director of personnel and administration (DPAD), Department of the Army.
In March 1950, he reverted to the title assistant chief of staff, G-1 (ACofS,
G-1) and held it until January 1956 when another reorganization gave him the
title deputy chief of staff for personnel (DCSPER), the title he holds
- ODWAC Reference Files
- The DWAC often initiated requests for new or revised policies affecting
women but, because her duties were advisory rather than functional, she
seldom initiated the official staff work that went to the chief of staff or
to the secretary of the Army for approval. For example, to change a
recruiting policy, the DWAC would forward her recommendation on an
interoffice memorandum to the chief of the DCSPER directorate having
functional responsibility for enlisted procurement (i.e., the Directorate
for Procurement and Distribution). That directorate would prepare the staff
action and coordinate it within the DCSPER directorates, including the DWAC,
and with other staff divisions or agencies having an interest in the action
before sending it up to the chief of staff or higher for approval.
- This staff procedure was generally followed when any division or agency
wanted to change an Army policy. The directorate that prepared the official
staff work was responsible for maintaining and, later, retiring the file
that accumulated on a particular action. An office that had a vested
interest in a particular staff action was authorized to collect copies of
the action as it progressed through the staffing procedure. These files,
known as "convenience" or "reference" files, could be
retained as long as desired by an office. Often the availability of storage
space determined the length of stay. In the ODWAC three or four file
cabinets held reference copies of official staff work on the subject ranging
from "assignment" to "weapons training." Between 1948
and 1971, as storage space diminished, each director would transfer some of
her reference files to the WAC School for safekeeping. There, the director
of doctrine and literature and, later, the school librarian integrated these
files with reference files from the WAC Center commander's office and that
of the assistant commandant of the WAC School; the collection became known
as the "WAC Archives." Before the WAC Center and School was
deactivated in December 1976, the WAC Center commander transferred the
"WAC Archives" to the curator of the Women's Army Corps Museum. In
1977, the newly constructed WAC Museum building was
- opened at Fort McClellan and these files were placed in the research room
where they are available for use by serious researchers. The collection
occupies approximately eight steel file cabinets and is called the WAC
Historical Reference Collection. In this volume, the collection is cited as
History Collection, WAC Museum. The WAC Museum also maintains a collection
of WAC photographs, clippings, films, scrapbooks, periodicals, regulations,
books, and audio-visual items that may also be consulted with the curator's
- In 1978, the last DWAC transferred custody of her convenience or reference
files to the author at the Army Center of Military History. In this volume,
these files are cited as ODWAC Reference File, CMH, with a folder title.
- Unpublished Monographs
- A number of unpublished monographs in the Army Center of Military History
helped in the preparation of early chapters of the volume. Those covering
World War II included "The History of Military Training, WAAC/WAC
Training in the Army Service Forces" by Maj. Lavinia L. Reed, 1945;
"The WAC Program in the Army Forces" by Lt. Col. Betty Bandel,
1946; and "The WAC in the Army Ground Forces, World War II" by Lt.
Col. Geraldine P. May, 1947. The last named contained numerous appendixes
including an interesting and candid daily journal kept by the WAC plans
officer, Lt. Col. Anna W. Wilson, between August and November 1945.
Information on utilization and location of WAC personnel during the Korean
War was found in "Personnel Policies in the Korean Conflict" by
Maj. Elva Stillwaugh, 1953. "The History of Army Service School
Training in the Quartermaster Corps (1945-1953)" by Thomas A. Johnson
contained information on WAC specialists training during the period when the
WAC Training Center was co-located with the Quartermaster Training Center at
Fort Lee, Virginia.
- The Doctrine and Literature Division of the WAC School produced a number
of studies between 1955-1965 that are retained in the WAC Historical
Reference Collection. Among these are the "Feasibility of Establishing
an NCO Academy for WAC Personnel" (1956), "WAC Necrology
1941-1963," "WAC Decorations and Awards" (1963),
"Comparative Attrition Rates WAC OCS 1942-1962" (1964),
"Statistical Analysis of the College Junior Program 1956-1965"
(1965), "Women in the Military Services of Countries Other than the
United States" (1963), "WAAC/WAC Staff Conferences" (1963),
and "Summary of Information on Negro Women Who Have Served or Are
Serving in the Women's Army Corps 1942-1963 with Particular Reference to WAC
Officers" (1963). Most of these studies were written or inspired by Lt.
- Charlotte Lane, who headed the Doctrine and Literature Division between
1961 and 1965.
- Historical Reports
- The internal reports of historical activities prepared by commanders and
chiefs of staff divisions at the WAC Center and WAC School provide a
valuable source of information on WAC training activities. These reports
were furnished monthly or quarterly to the WAC Center historian who prepared
the semiannual, annual, or biennial summary of major events and problems for
the command. Most of these annual reports are in the Reference Branch, CMH.
A complete set of the reports (1948-1978) and the feeder reports prepared by
the commanders and division chiefs are preserved in the WAC Historical
Reference Collection of the WAC Museum.
- Histories of WAC detachments in the field, prepared by the unit commander,
were included in the summary of major activities of their next higher
command, usually the commander of special troops or the headquarters
commandant. Historical reports submitted by the latter were consolidated and
included in the summary of major events and problems submitted by the post
commander through channels to Department of the Army.
- The DWAC submitted her annual historical report to the G-1
(Personnel)/DCSPER, who then included it as a separate chapter in his
overall summary of major events and problems.
- WAC Conference Reports, Memos, Newsletters
- Colonel Hobby initiated the annual WAC staff advisers conference.
Beginning in 1950, lack of travel funds frequently prevented the DWAC from
convening her staff advisers that frequently. The director's staff prepared
a report of each conference. During the early years, the report was a
verbatim record of the talks and discussions. After 1950, the report
included an agenda for each day and copies of talks and reports made during
the conference. To ensure a timely flow of information to the staff
advisers, in December 1958, Colonel Milligan began sending them a monthly
memorandum containing news and reminders of Army and WAC plans and policies.
Subsequent directors continued sending the memorandums until January 1970.
Thereafter, news for the staff advisers was included in the WAC Journal, a
quarterly magazine published by the WAC School until December 1975 when
funds for such publications were curtailed. While some of these records are
in the ODWAC Reference File, CMH, a complete collection is maintained in the
WAC Historical Reference Collection at the WAC Museum.
- Other publications were also helpful to the author. The WAC Newsletter
(1944-1946) was published by the Information and Education Division of the
War Department. A private national magazine, the WAC Journal (originally
titled Squeaky Crumbs), was edited and published between 1946 and 1950 by a
former WAC officer, Alva Christensen, and several friends. In 1949, the
National WAC Veterans Association began publishing a monthly newsletter, the
Channel, to keep members informed of meetings, organization, and general WAC
news. The Channel continues to be published today. The WAC Foundation, a
private corporation that supports the WAC Museum, publishes a semiannual
newsletter, the Flagpole. Almost complete sets of these publications are on
file at the WAC Museum.
- Army Publications
- The Army uses regulations, circulars, memorandums, and letters (listed in
descending order of permanence) to publish official policies and procedures.
Until the WAC entered the Regular Army and Reserve in 1948, the adjutant
general (TAG) issued circulars to publish directives affecting the WAC.
However, Army regulation (AR) provisions were extended to include women by
adding the sentence: "Whenever the term `enlisted men' is used, it will
be construed to include enlisted women of the Women's Army Corps unless
obviously inappropriate." In 1949, TAG assigned a block of AR numbers
"625" to the Women's Army Corps, as it did to other branches.
Early in World War II, TAG had assigned the WAC a basic number,
"35," to identify its field manuals, mobilization training
programs, and pamphlets.
- The first Army regulation devoted to the WAC was AR 625-5, Women's Army
Corps General Provisions, 25 January 1949; the first special regulation (SR)
was SR 625-5-5, Discharge of Officers and Warrant Officers on Marriage and
Pregnancy, 11 January 1949. Special regulations, created in 1949, added
detailed information to the basic policies of a parent AR. Usually an AR
generated several SRs to explain any complex provisions. In 1955, the Army
discontinued SRs and lumped all the information into the basic regulation. A
few years later, the Army discontinued the practice of assigning a series of
AR numbers to each branch and, instead, assigned blocks of numbers by
subject matter. WAC Regulations, General Provisions, were renumbered AR
601-110 on 8 July 1958 and listed under "Personnel, General." On
26 July 1967, the WAC regulation was renumbered AR 600-3.
- The WAC regulation contained extensive information for the convenience of
commanders and personnel officers who administered WAC officers and enlisted
women. It contained the mission and organization of the Corps and described
the duties of the director, WAC staff advisers,
- and detachment commanders. It outlined policies and procedures (e.g.,
utilization, separation, detention, training, promotion, etc.) for WACs that
differed from those for men and listed other regulations that affected WAC
management, housing, uniforms, or investigations.
- When special regulations were discontinued, nine concerning the WAC were
integrated into others for men on the same subject. Only two ARs pertaining
to WACs (AR 600-3, General Provisions, and AR 67030, Uniforms and Insignia
for Women in the Army) remained by 1960. An AR on the WAC Student Officer
Program, AR 601-115, initiated in 1967, was discontinued in February 1975.
AR 600-3 was discontinued directly after the Corps was disestablished in
1978, and AR 670-30 was absorbed by AR 670-1, Army Uniforms and Insignia,
- Oral Histories
- Between 1974 and 1978, students at the Army War College interviewed
several WAC officers as part of the school's oral history program.
Interviews with Maj. Gen. Mary E. Clarke, Brig. Gen. Mildred LC. Bailey (two
volumes), Col. Mary A. Hallaren, Lt. Col. Hortense M. Boutell, and Lt. Col.
Lucy C. Bond were audio-taped, and, by 1984, all but the latter had been
transcribed and were available to researchers at the Army War College,
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
- In 1981 and 1984, the WAC Foundation, located in the WAC Museum, prepared
video-tape oral histories on Colonels Hobby, Hallaren, Rasmuson, Gorman;
Brigadier Generals Hoisington and Bailey; and Maj. Gen. Mary E. Clarke. The
Foundation also video-taped interviews with dozens of other officers and
enlisted women on a range of subjects including service in World War II,
Korea, and Vietnam, recruiting duty, serving as cadre, in the WAC BanU, in
the 149th WAAC Post Headquarters Company, the move to Fort McClellan, and
many others. These tapes are available for research at the WAC Museum.
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