Tag Archives: WACs

Miller Brothers Company WAC Book

WAC book 1

Among the items of Aunt Marian’s that I found in my parent’s attic was a small booklet published by the Miller Brothers Company department store in Chattanooga. The booklet apparently was given to new WACs who were in basic training at nearby Fort Oglethorpe. It describes the store and the general area, and includes some blank pages at the back.

WAC book 2

WAC book 3

WAC book 4

WAC book 5

I was amazed that the first few pages of this book don’t describe the various departments in the store, but rather focus on personal shoppers, a mailing room (the women must have wanted to mail gifts home to family and friends), and food.

There are  more pages–I’ll share a few of them in future posts.

The store no longer exists, but the building was so awesome that today it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

WAC Obstacle Course

obstacle courseSource: United States Army in World War II: The Women’s Army Corps by Mattie Treadwell (Published by the Department of the Army in 1954)

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words–

Whew, Times have changed since the 1940s. Woman’s cloths back then could be so limiting (though they obviously didn’t totally prevent WACs from doing rigorous physical activities during boot camp).

Aunt Marian went to Fort Oglethorpe for boot camp. This photo was taken at another base, but it gives clues about what her boot camp experience would have been like.

I remembered seeing this picture when Shore Acres wrote a comment several days ago that included a link to an absolutely incredible video showing WACs at Fort Oglethorpe wearing dresses while practicing judo. Be sure to take a look at it.

Who Could Join the WACs?

Requirements potential enlistees needed to meet to join WACs, 1943
Source: Who Could Join the WACs? (1943)

Based upon this description  in a1943 recruiting brochure, women were required to have at least two years of high school to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)–though the high school requirement could be waived if a woman’s score on a Mental Alertness test indicated that she had “equivalent ability.”

I bet Aunt Marian was sweating that Mental Alertness test. According to the short biography of Aunt Marian that her sister Martha wrote, Aunt Marian only had an 8th grade education:

. . . She attended the Mountain Grove Country School–an elementary School. She did not attend high school. . .