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Women in WWII Photos

Two nurses in the Admiralty Islands
One of Fold3’s popular World War II collections is the WWII US Air Force Photos (via the National Archives). Among other things, this collection is great for finding photos of American women who served in certain capacities during the war. Although women served in a wide variety of roles at home and abroad during WWII, the images of women in this particular collection of photos tend to focus on three types of American female war workers: Army nurses, WACs (members of the Women’s Army Corps), and Red Cross workers.

Below is a sampling of just a fraction of these types of images:

To find more images of women during WWII, try searching the WWII US Air Force Photos collection for terms related to their roles, such as “nurse,” “WAC,” or “Red Cross.” You can also search for terms like “women” and “girl.” Or use this pre-formatted search as a starting point.

Do you have women in your family who served during World War II or any other conflict? Tell us about them! You can also create or expand a Memorial Page to share their story.

33 Comments

  1. My Dad’s cousin was the first ever woman war correspondent in WWI. She followed Pancho Villa through Mexico; was a correspondent in and WWI and II. I had some of her things and donated them to the Peggy Hull Exhibit at Kansas University in Topeka.

    • The best family histories sometimes get overlooked. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for including women journalists. They certainly should be included! WwII included only a little over l00 women journalists; yet they contributed fay beyond their numbers and overcame many obstacles that the military subjected them to.

  2. For those tracing family back into WWII, while photos may come from the Air Force files, the Army Air Corps did all the “Air Force” flying until September 1947 when the U.S. Air Force was established. The two names are intertwined and confusing so look at both in searches!

    • The Navy Air Force was also very active.

    • The very nice old lady that gave me my F.A.A. check ride for my Private Pilots Liscense in 1985 in Louisiana was one of the Army Air Corp ‘Flying 99’S, they delivered the P- 40 and P51’s from the factory to the boys.
      She was quite a lady. She told to not be nervous and that anyone they send to her from Nichols flight School was ready to fly! It was an honor to fly with her. I passed 100% 🙂 Robert Mays

  3. My mother was in the Air Force in Canada during WW2.
    Are there pictures of the Canadian forces?

  4. My mom was a marine stationed at Cherry Point SC during wwii. Have many pictures of her.

  5. can you help me find Juanita weekly Schultz born in 1876 in Mississippi die in bayou la batre 1944,,, she made have went by weems her father was Jacob weekly mother adele weekly. or wilmer {wilman} Schultz born 1903 die 1993 born in bon secour al

  6. Why are the WAVES not included?

  7. Our neighbor married an Australian nurse. When they came home from the War, he went into
    Private practice as an Orthopedic surgeon. Flora, his wife, used to tell stories about the soldiers, but she was so taken by an American doctor. I was sad to see them move to New York.

  8. My aunt was a WAVE officer during WWII and Korea. She worked in the war room at one time. How can I find a photo of her? My father (an Army officer) had several “official” photos taken of him during his career.

  9. My mother worked for civil service. She was a teletype operator. She began in 1943 at Wright-Pat AFB in Dayton, Ohio and then moved to Honolulu in 1946 (I believe that was the year) and served there in the same capacity until she married my father in March of 1948.

  10. My mother worked for civil service. She was a teletype operator. She began in 1943 at Wright-Pat AFB in Dayton, Ohio and then moved to Honolulu in 1946 (I believe that was the year) and served there in the same capacity until she married my father in March of 1948. Her maiden name was Naomi White.
    My husband also had an aunt who was a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war in Tacoma Washington. Her name was Ione Anderson.

  11. I would like to know if any of the WWII women actually were in combat. Especially those in the Air Corps.

  12. I would like to know if any of the WWII women serving with the Air Corps actually were engaged in combat.

    • The WASPs ferried aircraft from the US factories to bases in combat areas. I recall that during these dangerous, long, over-ocean flights their unarmed aircraft were attacked by enemy fighters. I beleve there were some lost in transit. Military prohibition against women engaging in combat caused these casualities not to be recorded as KIA, to the best of my knowledge.

  13. My mother-in-law, Jane Alton Walker, was an ambulance driver in Connecticut during the war.

  14. My Grandmother was a Rosie at Burbank Lockheed. She was diagnosed type 1 diabetic at that time. Marie E. Ashby.

  15. Sheila Priggen in World War II at Cheltenham.
    Have a great photo. How do I send it to you?

  16. My two aunts, Pauline Roberts Hutchins and Doris Roberts Lowrey,
    were in the Civil Air Patrol at the Pontiac Airport, Michigan. Pauline
    drove trucks from the Truck and Coach Factory in Pontiac to the Naval ships docked in New York and New Jersey.
    They were stunt pilots and I remember seeing them fly in the old Air Shows
    in the late 30’s and early 40’s. They were brave and audacious.
    They had babies at home and couldn’t leave home to enlist.

  17. I saw an interesting photograph the other day. It was of Marlene Dietrich on stage at the front. Standing quietly near her was Captain America! I know that she was assigned bodyguards because the German high command really wanted to capture and execute her as a traitor. I’m assuming the guy in the Captain America outfit was one of her bodyguards.

    In the movie “White Christmas” , Crosby and Kaye are shown entertaining the troops at the front in Belgium when they are shelled, beginning the Battle of the Bulge. This really happened, though it was Dietrich’s performance that was shelled at Ardennes. She was trapped behind enemy lines for several hours while the SS were murdering over three hundred captured Americans.

    During that same episode another woman – a civilian reporter – shot two Germans as they tried to force entry into a radio communications truck. She and the crew of the truck then drove as fast as they could to safety.

    The ladies running a Red Cross doughnut wagon saved my uncle’s life. They found him where he had been left for dead in the middle of a mine field, got him out, and performed emergency surgery on him in the doughnut wagon.

    So, women were involved in combat, although not often deliberately.

    My own mother worked at the PX at Bowman Field in Louisville. B-17 and glider crews trained there. She was just out of high school and too small to pass the physical into the WACS.

  18. My mother was one of 1100 Women’s Air Service Pilots & they are not mentioned. Her last tour of duty was towing targets over the Badlands behind her B-17 for male pilots who would soon be sent overseas for active duty.

  19. My mother was a SPAR – the women’s branch of the US Coast Guard. She did her basic training in Florida and her “barracks” was one of the grand hotels built by Flagler (Breakers? Royal Palm?) that was taken over by the government.

  20. My Mother, Marbrey Payne Dunaway, was a Marine Sargent stationed at Miramar during WWII. She told me that her group repeatedly requested weapon’s training, but encountered much resistance. Finally, the women marines were offered training sessions that began in the dawn hours on Sunday mornings. The commanders did not expect to see 100% participation for every session! Those marines proved worthy of the title!

    I have a few pictures from that time. Do not forget about the women Marines.

  21. My mother was an airplane mechanic during WWII at Brookley Army Airfield, Alabama. Her specialty was with hydraulics . She spoke of her experience there many times which she was very proud of.

  22. MY mother, Alice Gallagher, was A WAC lieutenant during WW II and stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. She did her basic training in Arkansas and always talked of how she helped a fellow officer by taking her shoes into town to be soled because she was not allowed as an African American. She had many stories and I have a trove of photos. She met Eleanor Roosevelt and other celebrities and saw the men coming back from Battan. Did something with providing recreation for the returning soldiers as well as library work and was sent to the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco. My aunt was also a WAVE officer and another aunt an ARMY Nurse all during WW II. Glad you are recognizing these women and their contributions.

  23. good morning and thank you
    You can have photos related to the bombing of Novi Ligure, Italy Piemontese?
    Thank you very much
    Best regards
    renato

  24. My mother was an Army Nurse in WWII. She was stationed in England and later to Nancy, France. The rest of her crew went to the South Seas. She worked a split shift, working from 8am to Noon, then 4 pm to 8pm. Her brother (Army) died while she was in England and is buried outisde of Rome in the American Cemetery. She met my father (Army) in France. they were married in 1946.

    • Colleen,

      My mother was also an Army Nurse in WWII, and she was also in both England and France. Mom told us tales of being in “town” when the officials ordered all the nurses to go back to base. The nurses knew “something big” was about to happen, and indeed, the invasion of Normandy was about to begin. Mom’s maiden name was Cosby Higginbotham, nicknamed “Higgy”, and she was received her Nurse’s training in Charlestown, WVA. She met my father at Fort Sill, OK.

  25. Mighty 8th in Savannah, Ga is finally letting women in the Museum. Was a good old boy show before that. It is at the end of the tour.

  26. Hi my family was in world war 2 I can’t find the info that I need 2 can anyone help please it was my grandfather and his brothers Edward earnest Roberts in 1989 he was 68 but he was a military prison guard in the ww2.charles Roberts was in the Marnie’s☺ Jerry Lee Roberts who was 51 when he died in 1994 harlod Roberts Richard Roberts there all brothers out of saint Joseph missouri

  27. Hi Ian from saint Joseph mo and I am trying to find out info regarding the Roberts family on 4and6 th hickory streets in saint Joseph mo they supposed to of ran a filling station raced cars out of Skidmore and Osborn missouri…Forrest “frosty “Roberts,Grace,Daniel,harlod,charles,ester,Richard,Kenneth,Edward,Jerry if any one knows or members can you please contact me