Women Veterans
Courtesy of the Veterans Administration






JUNE 14, 1775                                     U.S. Army established


OCTOBER 13, 1775                          U.S. Navy established


NOVEMBER 10, 1775                       U.S. Marine Corps established


AUGUST 4, 1790                                 U.S. Coast Guard established


SEPTEMBER 18, 1947                      U.S. Air Force established





JANUARY  2, 1901                             Army Nurse Corps established


MAY 13, 1908                                      Navy Nurse Corps established


NOVEMBER 11, 1918                       Veterans Day (WWI Armistice signed)


MAY 15, 1942                                      Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) established


JULY 30, 1942                                     Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service

                                                                WAVES) established (by Public Law 689)

                                                                [LCDR Mildred McAfee assumed post as the

                                                                first Director on August 3.]


NOVEMBER 8, 1942                          "Operation Torch" -- Army Nurses and WAACs

                                                                deployed to North Africa [60 Army Nurses

                                                                landed with assault troops in N. Africa

                                                                near town of Arzew.  Often under sniper fire,

                                                                nurses of the 48th Surgical Hospital began

                                                                caring for invasion casualties.  On Nov. 13,

                                                                1942, the ship carrying the first 5 WAAC

                                                                officers to the war was sunk.  Rescued by a

                                                                British destroyer, they served on

                                                                Eisenhower's staff.]


NOVEMBER 23, 1942                       Women's Reserve U.S. Coast Guard (SPARs)

                                                                established under LCDR Dorothy Stratton

                                                                ["SPAR" from the Coast Guard motto Semper

                                                                Paratus "Always Ready"] [NOTE:  SPARS were

                                                                stationed in all U.S. Coast Guard District

                                                                offices except Puerto Rico, and eventually

                                                                deployed to Hawaii and Alaska.  Their

                                                                assignments were clerk, storekeeper,

                                                                parachute rigger, chaplain's assistant, air

                                                                control-tower operators, boatswains' mates,

                                                                coxswains, radiomen, ship's cook, vehicle

                                                                drivers and pharmacist's mates.  A few SPARs

                                                                work on loran, then a secret radio signal



JANUARY 13, 1943                           Marine Corps Women's Reserve established


JANUARY 27, 1943                           The first WAAC unit overseas, the 149th,

                                                                landed in Algiers and provided clerical,

                                                                telephone and postal support.  [Note:

                                                                First Hispanic WAAC, Carmen Contreras-Bozak,

                                                                served with the 149th WAAC HQ in Algiers.


FEBRUARY 13, 1943                         Marine Corps Women's Reserve (WRs) established

                                                                [Maj. Ruth Cheney Streeter was first

                                                                Director of WRs]


JULY 1, 1943                                       Women's Army Corps (WACs) established


AUGUST 5, 1943                                 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

                                                                established [merged from Women's Auxiliary

                                                                Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) founded by Nancy

                                                                Love in September 1942 and Women's Flying

                                                                Training Detachment (WFTD) commanded by

                                                                Jacqueline Cochran] [NOTE:  Over 1,070

                                                                served and 38 were killed in plane crashes.

                                                                WASPs did not receive veteran status until



JANUARY 27, 1944                           Army nurses wade ashore at Anzio, five days

                                                                following the invasion.  Six Army nurses

                                                                died in early February in bombings.


JUNE 10, 1944                                     Army nurses land at Normandy, four days after



JULY 14, 1944                                     The first WACs arrive at Normandy, serving

                                                                as telephone operators, typists, clerks,

                                                                secretaries, and drivers.  More than 8,000

                                                                WACs served in the ETO, including England,

                                                                Scotland, Wales, France, and Germany


SEPTEMBER 27, 1944                      Public Law 44 signed permitting WAVES and

                                                                Women Marines to serve overseas.

                                                                [Army and Navy nurses were in the Pacific

                                                                Theater prior to Pearl Harbor--some taken

                                                                prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines.

                                                                By war's end, military nurses were scattered

                                                                across the theater in hospitals, air

                                                                evacuation units, and on hospital ships.

                                                                Six Army nurses were killed when a Japanese

                                                                suicide plant his the USS Comfort off

                                                                Okinawa.  Over 5,500 WACs deployed to the

                                                                SW Pacific Theater in places like Hollandia,

                                                                Oro Bay, New Guinea, Leyte and Manila.  A

                                                                few SPARs served overseas in Alaska and

                                                                Hawaii.  After P.L. 44 was signed, WAVES and

                                                                WRs were deployed to Hawaii.]


OCTOBER 19, 1944                          Black women were admitted to the WAVES.

                                                                Lt(jg) Harriet Ida Pickens and Ens. Francis

                                                                Wills were the first black WAVES commissioned


FEBRUARY 3, 1945                           Army Nurse POWs and Navy Nurse POWs released

                                                                in the Philippines


FEBRUARY 11, 1945                         6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

                                                                -- the only black WACs to serve overseas --

                                                                arrived in Europe and broke all previous

                                                                records in getting mail to the front lines


MARCH 1945                                      First Navy flight nurse, Ens. Jane Kendeigh,

                                                                USNR, reaches Iwo Jima.


APRIL 16, 1947                                  Women's Medical Specialist Corps established


JUNE 12, 1948                                     Women's Armed Services Integration Act enacted


JULY 1, 1949                                       Air Force Nurse Corps established


NOVEMBER 8, 1967                          Women eligible for General and Admiral ranks


JUNE 11, 1970                                     Two women promoted to 1-star rank


JUNE 1, 1973                                       First woman promoted to 2-star rank


OCTOBER 20, 1978                          Women's Army Corps (WAC) disestablished


NOVEMBER 6, 1986                          Women In Military Service For America Memorial



NOVEMBER 11, 1993                       Dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial,

                                                                Washington, D.C.


OCTOBER 18, 1997                          Dedication of the Women In Military Service

                                                                For America, Arlington National Cemetery


JULY 17 (now in Sept)                        POW-MIA Recognition Day  [let us never forget

                                                                the courage and sacrifice of our women





Above information courtesy of WIMSA


Posted:   9 Nov 97


The Northwest Veterans Newsletter