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New WAC History Added to Fold3!

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In 1941, with the looming threat of war, Congress authorized the creation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). The bill became law in 1942, but since the WAAC was an auxiliary unit and not governed by United States Army regulations, enlisted women were not eligible for overseas pay or government life insurance. In 1943, a new bill created the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). The WAC would be part of the US Army, giving women the rank and benefits of enlisted men. About this same time, the 907th Post Headquarters Company was activated at Hill Field in Ogden, Utah. We’ve recently added new records to our Hill Air Force Base collection, including a history of the 907th Post Headquarters Company.

First Officer Candidate Class, WAAC Officer Training School, Fort Des Moines, Iowa

The primary purpose for the 907th’s activation was to release men for overseas duty. Female officers were brought in from WAC Training Centers in Florida and Iowa to command the new unit. When they first arrived, the barracks for women in the 907th, expected to number 135, were not yet completed. They got busy requisitioning beds, equipment, a mess hall, and all necessary supplies needed to train and house the new arrivals.

As the recruits arrived, they began specialized training. Women were taught to become radio mechanics, radio operators, supply officers, and other jobs held by male personnel. Pvt. Norene Sparks became the first WAC to replace an enlisted man at Hill Field in August 1943. Soon, WACs replaced dozens of positions held by men. The history for the 907th shows an exemplary disciplinary record with no punishments or court-martials. The WACs wanted to show military officials that they were serious about serving and could manage any job assigned. According to the history, their one complaint was not having enough to do. With the US deeply embroiled in WWII, the WACs made immeasurable contributions both at home and abroad.

During their downtime, WACs at Hill Field enjoyed different forms of recreation. The Red Cross established a day room where the women could gather and entertain friends. There was a piano, radio, games, and cards. Occasionally the WACs hosted dances or holiday parties. The WACs also developed a basketball team and played civilian opponents. They participated in service projects such as planning programs for patients at a local hospital.

As the military transitioned from WAAC to WAC, the designation of the 907th also changed. They became part of the 482nd Base Headquarters, and later, part of the 4135th AAF, Section C. Before WWII ended, more than 150,000 women served in the WAC. Other branches of the military also had similar women’s units, including the Navy WAVES, the Coast Guard SPARS, the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, and Women Airforce Service Pilots.

To read the history of the 907th Post Headquarters Company and see more records from our Hill Air Force Base Collection, search Fold3® today.

83 Comments

  1. U. User says:

    Freda Dean, was a member of the famed WAC 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion. Fold3 can easily incorporate the service of the “Six Triple Eight:”

    https://www.history.com/news/black-woman-army-unit-mail-world-war-ii

    • Anne Snyder says:

      I agree. The 6888th including the three members who died in France and are buried at Coleville sur Mer deserve all the information Fold3 can post. Mildred Peterson was a member.

  2. John Paul Gould says:

    How was this program related to the WASP program, which was based at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas?

  3. Gene McCandless says:

    My sincerest thanks to these Women who “ heard the bugle call within themselves “ and served their Country in its time of need.
    Gene McCandless
    USMC Vietnam 1968-69

  4. John David Harman says:

    My mother served as a WAC during WWII. She repaired tank radios at Ft. Knox, KY. She told a story of getting stuck upside down in a tank turret while working on a radio. Sadly, she passed young, in 1961. I have loving memories of her and pictures of her in uniform. Long time ago now…

  5. Michael O’Neal says:

    Any information on Catherine Burmester.
    Service number 00 703 181
    Rank Technician Fifth Grade
    December 29 1942 until October14 1945
    Stationed in Fitchburg MA
    London and Paris

  6. Michael O’Neal says:

    See first message

  7. I tried to find some info on the VA website about getting a military headstone for these women, sad to say I could not. If anyone can provide this info, please post—https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/memorial-items/headstones-markers-medallions/

    • Deb Ehmann says:

      Thank you George.

    • Sharon Cunningham says:

      George, If you find anything on how to do this, please post here! We all know someone in the Ladies Corps who deserve this recognition.

    • Clifford Fargason says:

      Here is the information from the link he posted:
      A Veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge or a service member who died while on active duty may be eligible for a headstone or marker if they meet the requirements listed below specific to when they served.

      Enlisted personnel who served before September 7, 1980, and officers who served before October 16, 1981
      At least one of these must be true. The Veteran or service member:

      Died on or after November 1, 1990, and their grave is currently marked with a privately purchased headstone, or
      Was buried in an unmarked grave, anywhere in the world

      Can I apply for one of these memorial items?
      In most cases, you can apply for one of these memorial items if you’re representing the deceased Veteran, service member, or family member in any of the below relationships or professional roles.

      One of these must describe your relationship to the deceased:

      A family member, or
      A personal representative (someone who officially represents the deceased), or
      A representative of an accredited Veterans Service Organization, or
      An employee of a state or local government whose official responsibilities include serving Veterans, or
      Any person who’s legally responsible for making arrangements for unclaimed remains or for details having to do with the deceased’s interment or memorialization, or
      Any individual representing the deceased, if the Veteran’s service ended before April 6, 1917

    • Mr. Fargason,

      One thing I would like to add to your description, the cemetery must approve the placement of the headstone. At least that was true about 10 years ago when I was placing headstones. I had no problem because I am one of the owners of the cemetery.

  8. Evangeline T O'Neal says:

    My mother was the first woman in Los Angeles County California to enlist. I have the news paper article on her military page for her . My mother was Evelyn Marth Morley she married my father John Henry Goodrich Squires AKK Mac Donald at Fort Ord California in 1945 he was a master sergeant . I loved my parents very much they both died in 1994 within 3 months of each other. They often spoke of their military life and the hard ships they had to endure . I still have their ration books for gasoline and food . My sister and I really miss them.

  9. Sylvia Gibson says:

    My Mother was a WAC. She enlisted 1943 while working at the Pentagon while it was being built. She worked for the WAR Dept in small arms procurement. Boot camp was Ft Ogalthorpe. Her and 47 other WACs were selected and followed Gen. Bradley until summer 1945. 12th US AG, SHAEF. She has 5 Battle Stars, had a Top Secret clearance. These women slept and lived as the male GIs did.

  10. Gail Callas says:

    I contacted the cemetery where my parents are buried. Both served in WWII; Daddy in the Army & Mom enlisted as a WAAC in 1943. Cemetery personnel made all the contacts, received & installed military medallions n my parent’s headstone. There is a medallion for the Army and also one for the WAC. Perfect!
    All I had to do was to send in copies of their discharge papers. In all, took about 4 weeks. I know my folks would be extremely proud.

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