The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was established during World War II, May 15, 1942, “for the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of the women of the nation.”
On July 3, 1943, the WAAC became a component of the Army and was renamed the Women’s Army Corps. No longer an “auxiliary,” members were accorded the same pay and privileges as their male counterparts.
More than 150,000 women served in the Women’s Army Corps in World War II. Members of the corps performed with distinction and valor in a wide range of duties both in the overseas theaters of war and in the United States.
On Camp Lee there were detachments of WAC enlisted women at the Post Headquarters, Quartermaster School and the Army Service Forces Training Center. There were WAC officers in the Office of the Quartermaster General and the Quartermaster Board. WAC Soldiers also worked at other Quartermaster posts and depots nationwide performing duties in training, personnel, sales, inspection, procurement, stock control, storage, fiscal and contract termination.
WAC personnel were in high demand in the Quartermaster Corps as indicated by the Quartermaster General, Maj. Gen. E. B. Gregory who said, “Personnel of the Women’s Army Corps have become an integral part of this organization and we now have unfilled requisitions from QM installations requesting more WAC personnel. The QM Corps greatly needs women to serve in many capacities for which they are inherently qualified.”
At the end of the war in 1945, the Army rapidly demobilized. By December 1946, the corps was less than 10,000. That same year the Army asked Congress to establish the Women’s Army Corps as a permanent part of the regular Army based on the outstanding success of the corps during the war. On June 12, 1948 the Woman’s Army Corps became a permanent separate corps of the U.S. Army.
─ Information compiled from the U.S. Army Women’s Museum Web site.