Miss Yourlovin: Chapter 2
 

1On 28 July 1943, Station DEBUNK, an English-language radio station broadcasting Axis propaganda to the American home front, reported that twenty members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps1 had to be shipped from North Africa back to the United States because of pregnancy. At first glance, this broadcast might seem to support the contention of American public officials, like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, that slanderous rumors about female soldiers were the result of Nazi propaganda.2 But as one counterintelligence officer noted, "This particular rumor with varying figures has been widely circulating before." He wryly remarked that German broadcasters exhibited "some restraint" in limiting the number of pregnant Waacs to twenty. Homegrown rumors usually put that number much higher, ranging from several dozen to 250,000 women (at a time when the entire corps consisted of considerably fewer than one hundred thousand members).3

2The Army's investigation into the salacious rumors that hobbled its efforts to recruit and retain Waacs during the spring and summer of 1943 revealed that the so-called slander campaign originated not with the nation's enemies but with its own soldiers. Indeed, the Germans were slow to recognize the propaganda value of such rumors. By the time of the DEBUNK broadcast, insinuations of sexual immorality within the WAAC were already widespread and had been reported as fact in the popular press.

3This chapter traces the hostile rumors back their source and documents their spread from soldier to civilian. As other historians have shown, such rumors thrived and spread in the fertile ground of gendered assumptions about the nature of military obligation and service.4 But the slander was not simply a product of wartime constructions of gender but also a consequence—and perhaps the most telling manifestation—of the conflict between national goals and privatized notions of military obligation, for attacks on the corps' reputation were made in the name of protecting individual homes. Soldiers sought to prevent wives, sisters, and sweethearts from enlisting. As much as it exposed hostility toward military women, this incident also revealed servicemen's dependence on the women they loved and were forced to leave behind.


4Even as the War Department threw its weight behind Massachusetts Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers's bill to establish an auxiliary corps of civilian women serving with the Army, military planners were aware from British and Canadian precedent that the corps would likely attract malicious gossip.5 Although the bill made its way through Congress with minimal opposition, it was not without critics. Accusing his congressional colleagues of moral cowardice in the face of pressure from the War Department, Rep. Clare Hoffman of Michigan dramatically declared that he would put "the welfare of my country first" by voting against the WAAC bill. Women, he asserted, could best serve the nation not by joining the Army but by remaining at home. If women became soldiers, "who then," he asked rhetorically, "will maintain the home fires; who will do . . . the humble, homey tasks to which every woman has devoted herself; who will rear and nurture the children; who will teach them patriotism and loyalty; who will make men of them, so that, when their day comes, they too, may march away to war?" In the Senate, Francis T. Maloney of Connecticut, likewise, worried that the women's corps would "cast a shadow over the sanctity of the home."6 Such concerns would continue to haunt the new organization.

5The WAAC, nevertheless, enjoyed close to a year of relative calm, growing to over sixty thousand members between May 1942 and June 1943. Aside from an embarrassing and widely reported story about a young auxiliary who went absent without leave (AWOL) from Fort Des Moines in Iowa and was later discovered working as a dancer at a local burlesque theater,7 the corps enjoyed fairly positive press coverage. An August 1942 article in Time magazine, for example, described the "skirted auxiliary" as a "shrewd Army move" and characterized the corps' officer candidates and auxiliaries as intelligent, dedicated, and well adjusted. Yet even the most sympathetic news story might contain a note of ridicule. The same Time article portrayed the young women as somewhat overzealous, saluting "so often, so insistently that visiting regular Army officers had to use liniment on the arms that returned those salutes." More ominously, some of the women seemed determined to transgress gender norms by learning jujitsu and carrying weapons.8

6The corps' early image problems had less to do with bad press than with rumors emanating from the Army itself. In January 1943, WAAC Director Oveta Culp Hobby was concerned enough about servicemen's antagonism toward their female comrades to request an attitude survey. By April, it was clear that this hostility was both retarding recruitment efforts and causing some women to regret the decision to volunteer for service. From Toledo, Ohio, recruiter Marion Lichty reported on an auxiliary who requested release from service after a male officer embarrassed her in front of office coworkers with stories of "tough" and promiscuous Waacs. Another soldier apparently "took delight in telling a WAAC enrollee that one hundred out of a thousand Waacs were discharged for pregnancy." Servicemen also made sure that civilians—particularly women—were well aware of real or alleged indiscretions. By the time of Lichty's investigation, USO (United Service Organizations) lounges and service centers, where local women assisted and entertained GIs, had become "virtual hot beds of rumors."9

7In April 1943, rumors of Waac promiscuity were repeated on the floor of the Massachusetts State House. During a hearing on a bill that would permit women to serve as jurors, Rep. Daniel F. Sullivan of Lowell responded to testimony in favor of the bill by disparaging women who had recently shouldered new civic obligations. He charged that eighty-six Waacs stationed at Fort Devens had been discharged for pregnancy and that fifty-four more were being returned from Africa for the same reason. When confronted by Army intelligence officers two months later, Sullivan insisted that he had no wish to discredit the corps; he was "merely passing on a report" he heard from a confidential source whom he identified simply as an "Army medical officer." From personal observation as master of ceremonies at a dinner-dance club in Ayer where Fort Devens was located, Sullivan admitted that Waacs seemed "very well behaved." He blamed military personnel for most of the rumors, suggesting that jealous nurses were the main problem, even though his informant was male.10

8By May, a noticeable slowdown in recruiting led WAAC officials to suspect a subversive source behind the rumors. Alerting Army intelligence to "indications of an organized whispering campaign," Director Hobby requested an investigation. Her request was initially declined. One intelligence officer noted that the slanderous allegations Hobby identified were "in a similar vein" to those found by mail censors in soldiers' letters home from overseas. Another suggested that time might be better spent improving WAAC publicity than in investigating rumors.11 Less than a week after this refusal, the rumors found their way into the national press.

9On 8 June 1943, syndicated columnist John O'Donnell created uproar by reporting news of a "super secret agreement" between WAAC Director Hobby and "high ranking military officials" to provide servicewomen with contraceptives and prophylactics. O'Donnell was Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News. Like his boss, publisher Joseph Medill Patterson, O'Donnell was a former isolationist and tireless New Deal critic. Six months earlier, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had awarded the journalist a mock Iron Cross for a column critical of American soldiers in the field. The 8 June column was as much an attack on the Roosevelt administration as on the new organization. Characterizing the imaginary agreement as a "victory for the New Deal ladies" and a defeat for the sexual double standard, O'Donnell constructed a conspiracy (with Eleanor Roosevelt at the helm) to send American women into battle zones and into pre- or extramarital sex. Forced to retract his allegations, O'Donnell and his publisher remained determined to discredit the corps. Soon after this incident, O'Donnell was discovered "canvassing Army general hospitals." He sought ascertain the number of Waacs hospitalized for pregnancy and thus defend his reputation with undeniable proof of promiscuity.12

10The government moved quickly to deny O'Donnell's explosive allegations. Seeking to reassure current and future servicewomen and to shame rumormongers, officials typically blamed Axis elements rather than acknowledge American hostility—a tendency that would later characterize the push to prosecute Iva Toguri (a.k.a. Tokyo Rose) on charges of treason.13 Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson declared the "sinister rumors" to be "absolutely and completely false," reminding Americans that Waacs were a "cross section of the womanhood of our nation." Repeating slanderous stories about female soldiers not only insulted American womanhood but also aided the nation's enemies by undermining the Army's efforts to increase its "combat strength." Commander of Army Service Forces Gen. Brehon B. Somervell blamed "a person . . . sympathetic to the Axis" (meaning, it turned out, O'Donnell) for the rumors' spread, although he admitted that he did not know whether the stories were actually "inspired by the Axis." Eleanor Roosevelt was less circumspect. She scolded the American public for "fall[ing] for Axis inspired rumors like children."14

11Blaming enemy agents, however, was not simply a public-relations strategy—although there was some element of that. WAAC leaders wrongly believed, in the words of director of training Gen. Don C. Faith, that "enemy sources both within and without the country" held some responsibility for the rumors, even if they were not entirely to blame. The timing of the slander campaign seemed to support that suspicion. Director Hobby first became concerned about the rumors in January 1943 when bills to convert the corps from auxiliary to full military status were simultaneously introduced in both houses of Congress. The slander became more vicious and disruptive after Senate approval of the bill in February and March hearings by the House Committee on Military Affairs. John O'Donnell's derogatory column and others like it were published as members of Congress considered revised and amended versions of the bill and provided opponents with new grounds for objection. Most important, after the bill became law on 1 July, the rumors were perfectly timed to disrupt the corps' transition to full military status, which required auxiliaries to reenlist as soldiers subject to Army discipline by September.15

12The Army's investigation into the rumors' source and the process through which they spread began soon after the publication of O'Donnell's allegations and continued through much of the summer. It focused on two questions. The first was whether enemy agents were responsible for the widely circulated stories of sexual impropriety among members of the women's corps. The second was the whether there was a factual basis to the rumors.

13Despite the many public pronouncements linking WAAC rumors to German propaganda, intelligence officers uncovered little evidence to suggest that the slander campaign was Axis-inspired. One case that seemed to support suspicions of enemy involvement was that of Hugo S, a native of Germany who was reputed to be a member of the German American Bund. Hugo had been a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1931; at the time of the investigation, he lived in New Jersey and was employed by a local manufacturer. He came to the attention of military authorities because of a statement he made before two coworkers on 24 April 1943—the familiar claim that five hundred Waacs had been shipped from Africa to New York because of pregnancy. Intelligence officers traced the source of the rumor from Hugo to his brother Richard, also suspected of subversive activities. Richard claimed he simply repeated a rumor that had long circulated in his hometown of Paterson; his goal was to prevent his niece (Hugo's daughter) from joining the WAAC. Investigators remained convinced that the brothers were spreading WAAC rumors "with malicious intent" but found no evidence of a deliberate smear campaign. In fact, some of the interview material suggested that, although Hugo probably suffered from divided loyalties, his purported pro-Nazi sympathies were likely overstated, particularly by coworker George H, the indignant father of a WAAC corporal. After hearing about the rumored pregnancies from another colleague, George searched out Hugo and punched him, knocking the other man to the ground; Hugo retaliated with a lawsuit.16

14A less likely fifth columnist was Army Air Force officer Charles S, who, in a letter to WAAC officer Margaret M, repeated rumors circulating around Camp Polk in Louisiana. "It might interest you," he wrote, "that there were 165 pregnated Waacs in one month—not official figures but it came from a good source. A friend of mine was in the hospital and one of the nurses told him. I understand that before the girls go out on passes they have to show that they have . . . contraceptives." Capt. S's latter statement was of particular interest to Army intelligence because of its timing, about a week before John O'Donnell's infamous column, and its similarity to the journalist's allegation that military officials were issuing contraceptives to the auxiliaries. Although described as "frank" and "cooperative" by investigators, Capt. S provided little useful evidence when interviewed a little over a month after writing the above letter. He was unable to identify the sources of his information with any certainty. The other officers and enlisted men at Camp Polk were able to elaborate on the rumors. One, for example, claimed to have heard that the high rate of pregnancy among Waacs was responsible for their recent transfer to another location. But all of the men interviewed were similarly vague about their sources.17

15On the question of whether or not the scandalous stories were based on fact, intelligence officers discovered some instances of "moral laxness" among individual Waacs but little evidence of rampant promiscuity. Lt. Lawrence Kerns's investigation of the Second WAAC Training Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, uncovered the most dirt. There, until recently, most of the women had been housed in hotels, and those who wished found ample opportunity to enjoy the city's nightlife in company with the soldiers and sailors who flocked to the resort on weekends. Servicemen bragged about their sexual conquests, and civilians complained of public drunkenness and promiscuous behavior in parks, near taverns, or on the beach. Certainly the records and recollections of local civilian and military police confirmed several cases of sexual misconduct—Waacs interrupted in the middle of coitus or found cohabiting with servicemen in hotel rooms and tourist cabins. But persons interviewed during the course of this investigation largely agreed that the troublemakers were a small minority and that on the whole, WAAC auxiliaries and officers were well behaved. Statistics back up this assertion. During the period between 1 January and 8 July, medical officers documented thirty-six illegitimate pregnancies out of a fluctuating population of five to ten thousand women and thirty-seven cases of sexually transmitted diseases. The rumored number of infections, however, was twenty-four hundred, representing roughly half of the Waacs stationed in Daytona Beach at the time of Kerns's investigation.18

16Although rumors were similar elsewhere, the rates of illegitimacy and infection in Florida were unusually high. Officers assigned to investigate Waac behavior at Fort Devens, Fort Des Moines, Fort Oglethorpe, and Camp Atterbury uncovered far fewer instances of misconduct. Despite Rep. Daniel Sullivan's claim that eighty-six of the Waacs stationed at Fort Devens had been discharged because of pregnancy, medical records revealed only eleven pregnancies (six to married women) and eleven cases of sexually transmitted diseases among the more than six thousand Waacs stationed there between 1 January and 26 June. At Camp Atterbury in Indiana, thirty-four unwed Waacs were rumored to have been "sent home pregnant." In truth, four women had been discharged for pregnancy, and in only one case was there any question of legitimacy. Furthermore, since their arrival four months earlier, there had been no reports of disturbances involving Waacs, save for one caused by a drunken soldier, and that incident was judged by the camp's intelligence officer to "reflect in no way" on the auxiliary or the corps.19

17Investigators' findings generally conformed to Capt. Charles D. Frierson's assessment that the conduct and "sexual morality of the average [Waac] is higher than that of the average civilian girl, possibly because of the lack of opportunity for delinquency" but "probably in greater measure due to pride in the Corps." Like service wives, Waacs were well aware of public scrutiny. They sought to protect their own reputations and that of the corps by enforcing through peer pressure "a proper demeanor and freedom from even the appearance of evil on the part of other members." Observed in taverns and nightclubs near Fort Des Moines, the women appeared "dignified" and "respectable" and were seldom intoxicated, typically limiting their alcohol consumption to one or two drinks over the course of the night. On the question of sexual misconduct, Frierson interviewed hotel managers, clerks, housekeepers, and bellhops. He uncovered one case of a Waac who reputedly "solicit[ed] sailors nightly in the lobby of one of the second-class hotels." But the rest of the hotel workers reported that they had never witnessed any misconduct or worried about Waacs being involved in "immoral proceedings." Des Moines drugstore owners confirmed this impression, informing Frierson of only a "dozen instances" of contraceptive purchases by corps members, most by married women.20

18Although the Waac of rumor was diseased and infectious, sexually transmitted diseases were never a serious health problem among corps members. In fact, the rate of infection among Waacs was significantly lower than the rate among servicemen and among the general population of civilian women.21 Over the seven-week period ending 14 May 1943, for example, the projected annual rate for Waacs was 5.3 per thousand;22 36 auxiliaries out of a total of 50,079 received treatment. The rate for servicemen was roughly five times higher. Furthermore, infected soldiers seldom named Waacs on contact reports. During that same seven-week period, only twenty-four of an estimated thirteen thousand soldiers treated for sexually transmitted diseases identified a Waac as their "probable source of infection."23

19As historian Leisa Meyer has shown, WAAC regulations, along with selection processes, helped produce this remarkably chaste corps of women. Placing respectability above health considerations, WAAC officials—perhaps wisely in light of the uproar produced by John O'Donnell's infamous allegations—withheld access to birth control and instruction on methods to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. They sought to recruit women who shared their bourgeois moral standards and disqualified from service any recruit found to suffer from a sexually transmitted disease. However, as Gen. Faith admitted in an off-the-record interview with intelligence officer Capt. C. C. Pierce, some Waacs "did not have the moral standards which the corps would obviously desire." In fact, a few proved to be former prostitutes—a situation that most WAAC leaders blamed on careless recruiting and the lowered educational (read "class") standards imposed on the corps by the Army in hopes of meeting ambitious enlistment quotas. Faith explained that the organization did its "best to weed out undesirables during the course of enrollment," but in cases in which such women went undetected, discharges were sought under the WAAC Code of Conduct, which prohibited members from behaving in a manner that would discredit the corps. Evidence of public drunkenness or of pre- or extramarital sex, for example, was justification for discharging the offender.24

20Despite lack of substance, the stories about promiscuous Waacs made sense to wartime Americans. Rumors about the corps drew on the historical equation of camp followers with prostitutes and harnessed popular concerns about female sexuality unleashed by war. Although subject to restriction (including curfews and nightly bed checks) and to surveillance by military police, Waacs fit the profile of suspect women. Living on Army bases beyond the oversight of family and home community opened them to criticism and unkind speculation. Like the transient "victory girls" who were reputed to have replaced professional prostitutes imprisoned under the May Act,25 Waacs were rumored to provide sexual services to soldiers stationed near them. Indeed, many rumors implied that the Army recruited women to perform sexual acts rather than clerical tasks—to serve, in other words, as "government-issue mistresses."26

21 Wacs and GIs at a dance sponsored by the 43rd Infantry Division in the Philippines. Although investigators did not examine Army policies (except to confirm that O'Donnell's charges were false), official attitudes certainly contributed to the perception that women were recruited as servicemen's companions if not mistresses. In the summer of 1942, for example, just months after the corps was established, the New York Times reported on European theater commander Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's proposal to bring African American Waacs to England. The women would "perform duties such as car driving and secretarial work and also provide companionship for thousands of Negro troops." The unstated goal behind this troop requisition was to discourage black servicemen from seeking the company of white women.27 Two years later, during the Allied invasion of Germany, another proposal to use servicewomen as sexual deterrents made the news. Allied officials had quietly planned to bring large numbers of American Wacs and members of the British Auxiliary Territorial Service to rear echelon areas in Germany. The hope was that in addition to performing clerical tasks, the servicewomen would discourage fraternization between male troops and German women by serving as soldiers' dance and bridge partners.28 Much to the horror of WAC officials, this plan became public as a result of a statement issued by British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's headquarters. This story sparked both official denials and denunciation of the corps from at least one radio pulpit.29

22 A panel of GI judges selected Cpl. Ruby Newell as the "the prettiest Wac in the United Kingdom." Even the Army's promotional efforts might be blamed for some of the confusion about whether Waacs should be regarded as companions or comrades. In August 1943, when the first WAAC battalion arrived in England to the strains of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," Stars and Stripes publicized the event with several articles emphasizing the Waacs' femininity and desirability. The armed-forces newspaper even reported that aboard the ship to England, tickets to WAAC parties were so valued that they were "accepted as legal tender in high stakes craps games." Encouraging servicemen to take advantage of this opportunity to hear from "girls back home," the newspaper published a list of the new arrivals organized by hometown and state.30 The following year the Stars and Stripes even sponsored a competition to crown "the prettiest Wac in the United Kingdom," calling on servicemen to send in photographs of likely candidates for publication and public admiration.31

23 Wacs and nurses form a conga line with combat troops at a rest center in France. When off-duty, Wacs stationed in overseas theaters of operations were expected to attend a multitude of social events as enlisted men's companions. In the China-Burma-India theater, for example, invitations were so numerous that WAC officials instituted dateless nights and quiet hours to provide enlisted women with some respite from the constant attention. And even at relatively isolated posts within the continental United States, Wacs were subject to constant social demands. At Fort Knox in Kentucky, "rationing the available free time of the Wacs into the desired number of dances, entertainments and other activities" had, according to an intelligence officer, become a "real problem." On the European continent, the Army inspector general noted that "the demand for WAC attendance at dances and parties far exceeds the supply of enlisted women." In order to ensure "fair coverage" the women's corps maintained a record of invitations accepted.32 This attention to equity was important, for some of the bitterest This cartoon captures both GIs' possessive attitude toward enlisted women and their suspicion of officers' purportedly roving eyes. complaints about female soldiers focused on their purported failure to fulfill social obligations. GIs accused enlisted Wacs of preferring dates with officers over enlisted men or with rear echelon soldiers over combat veterans. The latter charge was particularly damning and circulated in the form of an oft-repeated story: An infantryman starts up a conversation with a Wac sitting near him in a service club. She asks him whether he served in combat, and when he says yes, she walks away, informing him that Wacs do not associate with "paid killers." In a slightly different version of the story, a WAC officer declines a party invitation on behalf of the women under her command, stating "I don't believe that any of my girls would care to go out with any overpayed murderers!" However, the male officer organizing the party gets the last word, "In that case, I don't think we'd like to go with any of your underpayed (censored)!!" The censored word was likely "whores." In telling these stories, soldiers not only criticized Wacs; they also voiced resentment of officers' privileges and of rear echelon soldiers' access to scarce commodities. The implication was that Wacs were selfishly more concerned with career advancement or comfort than with boosting the morale of the men who most deserved their—and every citizens'—gratitude.33

24At the end of its extensive ten-week investigation, the Army's intelligence division concluded that popular prejudice, rather than Army policies, enemy propaganda, or actual misconduct, was to blame for the slander. In his report to Director Hobby, Gen. George V. Strong described the rumors as "the outward manifestation of a psychological adjustment the American public is undergoing in regard to women in uniform." Off-color stories about female soldiers, he wrote, "furnish a lively topic conversation in all walks of life." Unable to pinpoint responsibility for the rumors' origins, Strong concluded that most of the persons who spread them did so thoughtlessly and without subversive intent.34 A parallel investigation by WAAC recruiters, however, told a somewhat different story. They found that rumors in the communities they visited generally originated with soldiers and were, in many cases, intended to obstruct recruitment. Both intelligence officers and recruiters were correct.

25As Gen. Strong's analysis suggests and Leisa Myer has argued, the slander's spread was facilitated by dominant constructions of gender that made female soldiers appear at once ludicrous and threatening. The strange spectacle of women in military uniform marching like men, or, even stranger, delivering commands, was the opportunity for a joke at the women's expense:

I saw a few Wac's that came over here. They looked pretty smart but as usual they outsmarted themselves. This is what happened—the girls were marching down the street and their first sgt. gave the following command—"Company halt—left face right face—forward march.["] The girls fell right into step except one and the sgt. yells out—"Gertie, get in step"—with a Brooklyn accent—Well, I thought I would die laughing. The sgt. got angry at us and tried to show off her commands. She gave—left flank—march—and then she gave—right flank—march and the girls dispersed in different directions and started to run into one another. . . . It was very unmilitary like but indeed comical.

Recounted by a soldier stationed in England, the joke was on women who tried—and predictably failed—to behave like their male military counterparts. The danger was that women would also mimic servicemen's sexual conduct and, in the words of one airman, think that "the uniform gives them the right to shack up with any Tom Dick or Harry." Women who behaved in such a manner—the majority of Wacs, according to this serviceman—relinquished their right to "command the respect of a decent man."35

26Although the rumors were shaped by shared assumptions, concern was concentrated among military men. Most stories about sexual immorality within the women's corps began on Army bases and spread from soldier to civilian—to wives and sweethearts, service club hostesses, shop clerks, taxi drivers, waitresses. Among civilians, young women living near Army camps were usually the most hostile toward the corps. Intelligence officers often attributed this to feminine jealousy; local women, one reported, "deplore extra competition for the dwindling supply of men." Informed by familiar clichés about gossiping women, other intelligence reports like the one just quoted blamed civilian women for many of the rumors that troubled the corps. But further investigation revealed that women's attitudes derived largely from what they learned from male soldiers. When the wife of one intelligence officer asked her coworkers at an Indianapolis insurance agency what they thought of the corps, she found that the women with the lowest opinion of Waacs were all hostesses at the local servicemen's club. They told her that soldiers had advised them not to join the corps, informing them that "the Waacs were a 'bunch of tramps', 'were immoral', and that the organization was generally undesirable to belong to."36

27On furlough and in letters home, servicemen repeated the rumors to family and friends. In his hometown of Norwood, Ohio, for example, Sgt. Willard C reportedly "halted all interest in enrollment" by repeating the rumor that "there were 100 Wacs pregnant at Camp Atterbury" where he was stationed. A few months later, recruiter Lt. Barbara Fenton told a similar story from Minnesota. Visiting his mother in Red Wing, one young serviceman told the men and women of his hometown that "trainloads and busloads of WACs were brought into the post for just one purpose," which was an "immoral display to amuse the soldiers." Fenton concluded: "I hope you don't think I am an alarmist to repeat this to you, but when service men come home and insist they'll disown their own sisters for joining forces with so-called 'prostitutes,' I feel something should be done. Tales told by servicemen have hurt recruiting more than any one thing."37 The worried tone of Fenton's memo was warranted.

28In some cases servicemen deliberately undermined the Army's enlistment efforts by targeting potential inductees. Heading to Pittsburgh with plans to enroll, three well-qualified WAAC recruits were convinced to remain civilians by a couple of soldiers they met on the bus. Appalled by the men's "lurid picture" of Army life, they caught the next bus home instead. While the report on this incident does not record what the two men said, it is likely that the women heard the "two most repeated . . . rumors" in the area at that time: 1) that 80 percent of all Wacs were pregnant; 2) that officers ordered their men to socialize with servicewomen because the Army would see that Wacs were "fixed up" if pregnant and "taken out of circulation until cured if diseased."38 Together with sensational press accounts, such rumors almost brought recruitment to a halt. Between February and August of 1943, enlistment dropped from a peak of 12,270 to just 839 women per month. From Utah, for example, recruiters reported that many women had withdrawn applications for enrollment at the insistence of a brother, husband, or boyfriend in the armed services. Others were unwilling to join due to the stories they had heard from soldiers.39 Only the aggressive All-States Recruiting Campaign that began on the final day of August and continued into December 1943 drove monthly enrollment figures back into the thousands. But the size of the corps never exceeded 100,000 members, considerably below its initial recruitment quota of 150,000.40

29In the spring of 1944, a nationwide poll of potential recruits (women between the ages of 20 and 50) conducted by the public relations firm Young & Rubicam under George Gallup's direction revealed the extent of the damage. Startlingly, attitudes toward the corps seemed to have worsened somewhat since an earlier survey from the summer 1943. Although respondents recognized the importance of the work performed by Wacs, they were reluctant to volunteer. Compared to the previous group surveyed, they were more likely to ascribe their reluctance to the corps' bad reputation. These women were well aware of soldiers' derogatory attitudes. More than half had a husband, brother, or boyfriend in the Army, and although only a quarter of them reported consulting the men about volunteering for service, 83 percent of those who did were advised against it.41

30 By linking the women's corps to prostitution and promiscuity, male military personnel attacked the young organization where it was most vulnerable—the respectability of its predominantly white, middle-class members.42 As Beth Bailey has shown, a woman's success on the middle-class marriage market depended largely on her reputation for sexual virtue. Recognizing the cultural power of this standard, WAAC leaders sought to safeguard the reputation of the corps and its members by restricting and punishing sexual behavior. Rumors and press reports undermined this effort by suggesting, in the words of one worried mother, that the Army was recruiting women of "low moral character" to gratify male soldiers' sexual desires.43 Fear for her good reputation and marital future might discourage an auxiliary from reenlisting or a civilian woman from volunteering, and servicemen ensured that women made this connection between marriage and military service. In a letter to his future wife Bertha, for example, Sgt. Alexander Bell warned, "What ever you do don't you dare join [the Army or Navy]. . . . One of the Waves stationed at the navy base here, says the work she is doing and the place isn't fit for a decent girl." He asserted in a later letter that he would never marry a woman who had performed military service.44

31Although soldiers shared among themselves gossip, dirty jokes, and even pornographic images of purported servicewomen,45 women were often their intended audience. Censorship violations recorded on comment sheets under the category "disparaging military personnel" were commonly found in letters addressed to wives, sweethearts, mothers, sisters, and other female friends.46 In the Southwest Pacific theater of operations—where white servicemen frequently measured their isolation in terms of access to white women—soldiers' accusations against the corps were often sexually explicit. Some compared servicewomen to the Japanese Army's comfort women, and many included what they claimed was the standard price for sexual services. Maj. Richard R, for example, alleged that Wacs usually charged $32 and that many were "coming home rich." Cpl. Thomas Y estimated the price for sex to be somewhat higher. "[T]he Wac here are doing a land office business and I'm not kidding," he wrote to a female friend. "[T]hey are 'selling what they used to give away' for about $50 a slice. I hope you get what I mean." Sgt. Robert B's account of Wac sexual misconduct was particularly graphic. "In all my travels," he wrote, "I have never seen women care less about their morals." Sgt. B claimed that several had already been sent home pregnant and complained:

They are giving their bodies up to most any one that comes along. They have been caught in broad daylight and not in any secluded places either. They sit right out here in the area and let men play with them during the day. I know this is true for I have seen it. One girl was so hot that she opened the front of her fatigue trousers so that the fellow could get his hand in. . . . [The nurses] are just about as bad. . . . I would never consider marrying a girl who had been in any branch of the service, if I were a single man, and no one else would either.

Many accounts of Wac immorality were designed to discourage loved women from enlisting or to justify the prohibition. Sgt. B's letter reveals that his wife had previously mentioned joining the corps, although she claimed to be "only kidding."47

32 At Fort Benning in Georgia, a rather "sheltered" 19-year-old officer candidate from Iowa pursued a similar tactic. Worried about his girlfriend Emmy's interest in enrolling, Don L described a purportedly unladlylike Wac named Phyllis in a letter home to his parents. "Phyllis disgusted me with her beer drink[ing], but," he wrote, "at least, she never cut loose with any vulger language," the way other Wacs did. Don claimed that if Emmy ever became a Wac, he "wouldn't have anything to do with her." "I [am] not going to let my girl unnecessarally [turn in] to that type of person," he insisted, "unless she'd rather not remain my girl, and that's her business." Don's remarks triggered an investigation when his indignant mother forwarded this letter to Director Hobby. The investigation revealed that Don could not have attended the party, because he was on duty that night; furthermore, Phyllis was a civilian. The investigating officer concluded that Don's unfavorable comments about the corps were directed at Emmy and that his goal was to "keep her home waiting for him."48

33Like Don, many servicemen threatened to end relationships with, break engagements to, or even divorce women who became Wacs. From Italy, one soldier wrote to his wife:

I assure you, your letter shocked me so, and it was not appreciated by no means. If you join the WAC's, you and I are thru for good, and I'll stop all allotments and everything. I'll not have my wife to be meat for the boys, as I see what they are over here in the WAC's. So you may become a WAC and if it's true, then I'm thru and I'll [n]ever want to see you again, if that's what you are going to do. I never thought my wife would double-cross me by joining the WAC's or the Army.

Responding as dramatically as if his wife had taken a lover—indeed accusing her of double-crossing him—this serviceman, like others, threatened to stop dependency allotments and to commence divorce proceedings. Comment sheets and censorship morale surveys from all theaters of operations record a multitude of similar warnings.49 Although it is impossible to know if such threats reflected the writers' intent or if they simply revealed servicemen's determination to keep their wives and sweethearts out of the Army, there is some evidence that servicemen did disown or divorce women who became Wacs. In a letter home to her parents after the first week of basic training, Pvt. Ann Bosanko described one of her comrades at Fort Des Moines as a recently divorced woman whose husband "divorced her for joining up, but has now calmed down and is clamoring for a remarriage."50

34 As a group, servicemen were far more hostile toward the corps than was the American population generally. The spring 1944 Young & Rubicam survey revealed that a large majority of civilians, both male and female, respected the corps and its members for the important jobs they performed. Asked whether they would advise a sister, friend, or daughter to volunteer for service, 37 percent of civilian men answered in the affirmative; a similar number stated that they would "leave it to the girl's own decision." Only 28 percent reported that they would warn against enrollment. In the context of widespread "apathy" and continuing rumors, this response seemed so positive that the public relations firm urged the Army to enlist civilian men in their efforts to increase WAC enrollment.51 A fall 1943 survey of white enlisted men revealed soldiers' attitudes to be far less favorable. Most servicemen believed that Wacs contributed little to winning the war and that the women would be better employed in defense factories. Only 17 percent would advise a friend to volunteer, and 70 percent asserted that they would not like to see their sisters become Wacs.52

The few [Wacs] I have made contact with are the same as whores. I have seen plenty of them since coming here 9 months ago. My opinion of these bums is based on what I have seen. It is nothing at all to see them stagger out of the bushes at night with a soldier. On many a weekend the[y] wind up in a hotel room with someone. If my sister ever tried to join them I would kill her first.53

35The statement above was written in response to an invitation on the final page of the soldier survey to write "any further remarks . . . as fully as you like." This invitation elicited an intensity of feeling that the more structured questions did not capture. More than a third of the 3,434 soldiers who took the attitude survey responded to this question. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of their comments were critical, and many concerned Wacs' purported promiscuity. An Army Research Branch analysis of such remarks described them as "irrational," even "hysterical." Characterized by "profanity . . . elaborate exclamation points, capital letters, reiteration of charges, violent expressions of contempt and horror," these responses exhibited such excessive distress that psychologists diagnosed the presence of "strong unconscious motives of hostility, jealousy, frustration . . . aroused concomitantly."54

36Why were servicemen so much more vehemently opposed to the WAC than were male civilians? Part of this discrepancy probably lay in the desire of draft-age men (18 through 45 years old) to remain in the civilian workforce. The Army made this connection between women's voluntary service and the military draft explicit in November 1943, attributing an increased draft quota, in part, to a lag in WAC recruitment.55 In addition, there is considerable evidence that servicemen, in Leisa Meyer's words, resented "women's entrance into a previously male-only preserve." Many insisted that women were out of place on Army bases, and those who feared losing their noncombat job assignments to Wacs were particularly antagonistic. Noting the "bitterness" of such men in his July 1943 report on hostile rumors at Fort Knox, intelligence officer Henry C. White speculated that "a large proportion of the responsibility . . . lies with this class of personnel."56 Compared to the Army as a whole, the men who held replaceable jobs were significantly more likely to assert that it was "not necessary to the war effort to have women in the Army" and that "Wacs do less important work than non-combat men." However, on the question of whether or not to advise a sister or girlfriend to enroll, Research Branch pollsters judged the differences to be "slight."57

37Soldiers' resistance to the women's corps ran deeper than age-old resentment of female interlopers in a previously masculine sphere. As far as servicemen were concerned, the problem was not simply that female soldiers invaded Army bases and took over coveted noncombat jobs. The more pressing danger was that their wives, sisters, and sweethearts might enlist. Social class (as measured by level of formal education) significantly affected servicemen's attitudes toward the corps. Better educated servicemen were considerably more likely than their less privileged comrades to assert that they would discourage a sister or girlfriend from volunteering for service. Soldiers whose formal education ended with grade school appeared to be less attached to what researchers called the "middle class lady concept"; they also were more likely to see military service as an opportunity for advancement and the acquisition of new skills.58 But the slander was not confined to middle-class soldiers; all ranks and races spread WAC rumors.59 Length of service was an equally powerful determinant of soldiers' attitudes. New recruits were far more favorably inclined toward the WAC than men who had been in the Army for six months to a year or more. Finally, the men most opposed to the corps were those with the least investment in soldiering; they were significantly more likely than other men to think that their own work was "not worthwhile" and that they "would be more useful" as defense workers than as soldiers.60

38The process through which civilian men were transformed into soldiers helps explain why military service fostered hostile attitudes toward the WAC. Selected, examined, inducted, and tested, young men were first classified and then assigned to forts and camps across the United States. In basic training, inductees learned to march in formation and to use and care for weapons "by the numbers" of Army field manuals. Along with these new skills, basic training taught submission to leaders and conformity to peers. When not marching or being drilled in the use of weapons, men often were assigned duties they found demeaning, tasks that in civilian society were commonly assigned to women or racial minorities: washing dishes, cleaning latrines, mopping floors, collecting garbage. White middle-class recruits were particularly sensitive to this perceived loss of status; as a group, they developed a whole arsenal of "adjustive reactions" that enabled them to maintain self-esteem while acceding to Army discipline. Psychologist Irving Janis, who served with the Army's Research Branch, used this concept to explain patterns of behavior common to men in basic training. "Goldbricking," for example, became almost a game among inductees, who competed to see who could look busy while completing the least amount of work. Realizing they had no choice but to obey orders when assigned menial tasks, they asserted their will and protected their self-esteem by indulging in this disguised form of protest.61

39Resisting and submitting to military hierarchy and discipline, recruits became part of a family of men. Although most learned to find some pleasure in this new affiliation, basic training was fraught with emotional conflict. Young men responded to their commanding officers as they had to their fathers, initially resenting their power but ideally (from the standpoint of Army officials) identifying with their authority.62 As observed by psychologists and psychoanalysts, the resemblance between military and early childhood socialization was most striking in the way both processes provoked sexual fears. Awakening without the erections that were habitual in civilian life, recruits often sought reassurance by making jokes of their anxiety. Irving Janis described a hypothetical round of such jokes. One man might start the conversation by pointing to his penis and saying, "This damn thing is getting so useless that pretty soon I won't even be able to [piss] out of it." Another might join in with the remark: "Hell I couldn't get a [hard on] now even if I had a movie star in bed with me."63 The conversation would continue along these lines, with other men confessing to a similar lack of sex drive. They jokingly attributed the Army with "castrative intentions," sometimes commenting, "They might as well cut the damn thing off as soon as you get into the Army, and be done with it." Although a recruit might make such remarks in a humorous, self-deprecating manner, the comments revealed real concern about impotence and sterility. The perennial rumor that Army cooks, under orders, secretly added saltpeter to the men's food was another symptom of this fear. Reputedly responsible for the men's diminished sex drive, saltpeter was supposed to make them more easily disciplined as soldiers.64 Some servicemen were concerned enough to look into the matter when assigned to KP (kitchen police) duty; daily lessons in submission made the rumor seem plausible. Janis speculated that men's need to reassert their virility fueled the compulsive and boastful promiscuity into which some soldiers "plunged" after basic training.65

40Because many young men experienced military service as a threat to their manhood, they were peculiarly dependent on women, not simply as available sexual partners but also, and more important, as the obverse—absent and unsullied ideals. Yet as I demonstrated in the preceding chapter, idealized wives and sweethearts were as often objects of anxiety as of desire. "A woman is the only clean and decent thing a man has in this world," one soldier wrote, adding, "Lets keep them that way . . . " Worried that women would soon be subject to military conscription, this soldier vowed to "do everything in my power to prevent it," for he and his comrades considered Wacs to be "bums," unworthy of servicemen's "respect." Likely drafted and dissatisfied with his Army assignment, this serviceman complained that a full quarter of soldiers "aren't doing anything to win the war and would be doing a thousand times more for the war effort if they were back home in their old jobs." If manpower were more efficiently and effectively deployed, Wacs would be unnecessary. Many other soldiers' comments about the WAC combined criticism of the Army with hostility toward military women.66

41The question that seemed to produce the most anxiety on the Army survey of attitudes about the WAC asked soldiers to imagine how women might best serve the nation if drafted for civilian or military service. Among the choices were working in a defense factory, taking a government job, or joining one of the women's services (WAC, WAVES (Navy), SPARS (Coast Guard), Army Nurse Corps, or Women Marines). Reading between the lines, suspicious soldiers, like the one quoted earlier, worried that military conscription was in the works. A few believed that drafting women would benefit the war effort, but most were emphatically opposed. Many insisted that such a plan would demoralize soldiers and "jeopardize" the "moral character of the country"; one even threatened to desert. "I intend getting married in the near future," he wrote, "and if ever a bill was passed of drafting women for the WAACS & mine was inducted—the Army wouldn't keep me from leaving here a second. I'd go to any extent to make dam sure, she'd be released." To protect his fiancée's "morals" and thus preserve his future happiness, this soldier was determined to combat his nation's efforts to draft a sufficient force of female soldiers.67

42Servicemen's concerns about military conscription were not without grounds. In the fall and winter of 1942, Army planners quietly examined the possibility of drafting five hundred thousand women annually before concluding that such a plan was too controversial to pursue. A Gallup poll from the following summer confirmed this insight. It found that Americans were divided on the question of whether single women, ages 21 through 35, should be drafted for military service. The group most in favor of such a policy was women in that age range.68

43Although military conscription was not on the legislative agenda, the question of women's obligation to the nation at war and of the state's power to compel women's labor became topics of broad and active public debate with the introduction of Sen. Warren Austin and Rep. James W. Wadsworth Jr.'s National War Service Bill. Based on British precedent, the bill would insert women ages 18 through 50 into the nation's selective service system as part of a civilian labor pool that could be drafted to fill shortfalls in agriculture and industry. Military personnel, government employees, pregnant women, mothers of dependent children, and caretakers of the sick and elderly were exempt from service. The proposed legislation generated considerable opposition from labor advocates, peace activists, and rightwing mothers.69 As historians Holly Stovall and Linda K. Kerber have shown, opponents sought to discredit the bill by mobilizing domestic anxieties; they charged that conscripted labor would endanger American home life along with American democracy. Despite such efforts, a Gallup poll from the summer of 1943 revealed broad public support for a national service bill. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed favored drafting women and men to meet labor shortages,70 recognizing in the words of Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson, "the equality in obligation of all to serve on the firing line, or in the shop, or on the farm in the way that will best serve the Nation."71

44Where domesticity seemed to clash most with government policy was less the conscription of women than of parents. With the so-called father draft approaching in late summer 1943,72 Gallup asked poll respondents to decide whether the Army should draft three hundred thousand married fathers or the same number of single women for noncombat military jobs. The father draft exposed a chink in gendered assumptions about wartime obligation. Fearing "the break up of too many families," a large majority of American civilians—male and female—agreed that unmarried women should be drafted before fathers. Seventy-two percent of single women surveyed in late summer 1943 were among the hypothetical policy's supporters. This finding is important, because Young & Rubicam's interviews revealed that although only a small portion of potential Wacs wished to volunteer, many more were willing to serve if drafted. The pollsters found, furthermore, that a civilian labor draft would make military service more attractive. Forty-eight percent of the women surveyed indicated that they would prefer enlistment in one of the women's services to conscripted employment in industry. Better jobs and the opportunity to travel, particularly to overseas theaters of operations, were among the prime inducements.73

45Perhaps women's willingness to serve was what made soldiers so anxious, for they believed that wartime obligation differed according to sex.74Men were obliged to fight for the state, women to wait faithfully for their servicemen. Women's contributions to the war on farms, in factories, or in government offices, though valuable and admirable, were secondary to romantic and domestic commitments. If and when conflict arose, familial obligation trumped civic duty. Willing to leave their homes to serve the state, servicemen resented what they perceived as the Army's effort to interfere in their domestic affairs by recruiting, or worse drafting, women. Many donned the traditional mantle of male defender, claiming to protect wives, sweethearts, and sisters from regimentation, immoral associates, and predatory GI "wolves."

46Yet, behind the mask of chivalry, self-interest was apparent. The fear driving much of the slander and most prohibitions against military service was that loved and idealized women would prove no better than Wacs were rumored to be. One GI explained his opposition to the corps in this manner, "[I]f I had a wife that joined the W.A.A.C.'s I would divorce her, because probably she would be going out with some other soldier, and the normal girl will do those things and it would only end up in a broken home after the war . . ." He predicted that a woman who served would become "an intirely different person than when you left her much to your dissapointment." The problem was not that Wacs were abnormal but rather that the average woman placed in similar circumstances would behave in the same manner. Away from parental restraints and thrown into bad company, even a "nice girl" might be "ruined," dashing soldiers' hopes for happy postwar homes. Indeed, wives and sweethearts might discover that they enjoyed their independence and later rebel against the domesticity soldiers so desired. Wacs, another soldier asserted, "would never be satisfied to return to keeping house or raising families."75

47Most servicemen assumed that the Army changed whomever it touched, usually for the worse. Young soldiers, one of the groups most hostile to the WAC, were particularly disturbed by changes they noticed in themselves. Surveyed in the fall of 1945, the majority of white enlisted men under the age of 25 reported a significant decline in personal habits and morals as a result of their Army experiences.76 This perception helps account for soldiers' belief that military service would damage women's character. It also helps explain their yearning for "the sweetness and decency that only the home can provide." Because the Army changed them, soldiers sought stability at home. They expected women to preserve the prewar status quo and attributed to them the power to restore men's moral compasses. Asserting that the nation needed women to "stay home," one solider explained that women's wartime responsibility was to "help get the democracy . . . ready for the soldiers that come back, & be able to help straighten their men out of their regimental complexes & back into the free thinking civilian he was before he gambled his life for his country."77

48Military conscription forced men to leave their homes and to defer their plans for the future. Although most consented to this sacrifice, they resented the Army for disrupting, and in many cases endangering, their lives. Anticipating an economic depression once the war boom ended, soldiers worried about their chances of earning an adequate income and settling into a satisfying family life.78 They wondered whether they would have the opportunity and ability to become husbands, fathers, breadwinners, and homeowners. Because servicemen believed the material and social bases of mid-century manhood were at stake, they clung more tightly to the women they loved and remembered. Their fears of inadequacy aroused not only yearning for wives and sweethearts but also hostility toward military women. Wacs represented the possibility of female independence at a time when men were particularly dependent on women's affection. Away from home and in service to the nation, these women were freed from family obligations and, the servicemen feared, wedding vows.

Notes

Note 1: Founded as the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in May 1942, this organization's official name changed to Women's Army Corps (WAC) on 1 September 1943 when the corps and its members gained full Army status. I use Waac and Wac to refer to corps members. back

Note 2: Jo Ellen Adams, "1st Lady Defends WAACs' Morals," [New York?] Daily News (9 June 1943), File: 330.14: O'Donnell Column & Rumors (9 June 1943), Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, National Archives, College Park, Md. (NACP). back

Note 3: L. R. Forney to George Strong, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the WAC (30 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. See also Mattie E. Treadwell, The Women's Army Corps (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1954), 214–6. back

Note 4: Leisa Meyer, Creating GI Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women's Army Corps during World War II (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), chapters 1 and 2; Linda K. Kerber, No Constitutional Right To Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), chapter 5; Ruth Roach Pierson, "They're Still Women After All": The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood (Toronto, Ont.: McClelland and Steward, 1986), chapters 4 and 5. back

Note 5: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 32–3, 780–81. On hostile rumors about Canadian Women's Army Corps and the British Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and later Auxiliary Territorial Service, see Pierson, "They're Still Women After All," chapters 4 and 5; Lucy Noakes, Women in the British Army: War and the Gentle Sex, 1907–1948 (New York: Routledge, 2006), 75–81, 113–15, 121–3. back

Note 6: Congressional Record, 77th Cong., 2nd sess., 1942. Vol. 88, pt. 2, 2580–2608 and pt. 3, 4085–93. On the establishment of the WAAC, see Myers, Creating GI Jane, chapter 1; Mattie E. Treadwell, The Women's Army Corps (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1954), 13–45. back

Note 7: Aux. Kathryn Doris Gregory took the stage name of Amber D'Georg and later billed herself as "The Original WAAC Strip-Teaser." Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 169, 765; United Press, "WAAC Dances in Chorus," New York Times (5 December 1942); "WAAC AWOL," Time 40 (14 December 1942), http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,774104,00.html (accessed 5 April 2007). back

Note 8: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 194–5; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 25–8; Ann Allen, "The News Media and the Women's Army Corps: Protagonists for a Cause," Military Affairs 50 (April 1986): 77–80; "They Work Too Hard," Time 40 (24 August 1942), http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,849952,00.html (accessed 5 April 2007). back

Note 9: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 170–71, 195–6; Marion O. Lichty to Commanding General, 5th Service Command, Re: Investigation of Rumors in Toledo, Ohio (14 April 1943), File: 330.14 O'Donnell Column & Rumors (9 Jun 1943), Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 10: John Lansdale Jr. to Director of Intelligence First Service Command (24 June 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A..A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6–11–43); Paul F. Gaughran, Interview with Representative Daniel F. Sullivan (26 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43); Thomas F. O'Connor to Robert Bushnell (1 May 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6–11–43); all in Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal File, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 11: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 201; Oveta Culp Hobby to Office of the Director of Administration, ASF (18 May 1943); J. M. Roamer to A. C. of S. G2 (22 May 1943); L. R. Forney to J. M. Roamer (3 June 1943; all in File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. thru 6–10–43, Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 12: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 201–4; Meyer, Creating G. I. Jane, 33, 47–8; Obituary for John Parsons O'Donnell, New York Times (18 December 1961); John O'Donnell, "Capitol Stuff," [New York Daily News (8 June 1943)], File: 330.14: O'Donnell Column & Rumors (9 Jun. '43); Office of Internal Security and Intelligence (Fort Washington, Md.) "Summary of Information" (23 July 1943), File: 330.14; both in Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 13: For more on Iva Toguri and the legend of Tokyo Rose, see chapter 5. back

Note 14: Associated Press, "Stimson Assails Rumors Hitting WAAC Morals," Cleveland News (10 June 1943) and Jo Ellen Adams, "1st Lady Defends WAACs' Morals," [New York?] Daily News (9 June 1943), File: O'Donnell Column & Rumors (9 Jun, '43), Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; William S. Jacobs Jr., Re: General Somervell's Testimony before the Ramspeck House Service Investigating Committee . . . (18 June 1943) and enclosure, File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–20–43(6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319; all in NACP. See also Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 204–5; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 58–9. back

Note 15: C. C. Pierce Jr. to Officer in Charge, Re: Interview with Brigadier General Don C. Faith (23 June 1943) and enclosure, File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6/11/43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP; Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 118–21, 200–1, 219–21, 224–9; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 38–40, 44–8. back

Note 16: James A. Kelly, Report of Case II-bl7803m (2 August 1943); George V. Strong to Oveta Culp Hobby, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the WAACs (21 August 1943); both in File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 214–6. back

Note 17: John Lansdale Jr. to Director of Military Intelligence, Eighth Service Command (25 June 1943) and enclosure; Ferdinand I. Moore Jr., Report of Investigation VIII-12481m (3 July 1943); both in File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 18: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 208–11. Lawrence A. Kerns to Military Intelligence Service, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (19 July 1943) File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 19: W. K. Dunn to Military Intelligence Service, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (5 August 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43); Jackson A. Jordan to Officer in Charge, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the Women's Army Corps (26 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43); Charles D. Frierson, "Summary of Investigation: Origin of Rumors Concerning Women's Army Auxiliary Corps" [July 1943], File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43); Lawrence A. Kerns to Military Intelligence Service, Re: Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (3 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43); all in Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 20: Charles D. Frierson, "Summary of Investigation: Origin of Rumors Concerning Women's Army Auxiliary Corps" [July 1943], File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 21: Public Health Service rates were calculated by different methods, but as Mattie Treadwell points out, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among civilian women was generally 87 to 90 percent that suffered by men, whereas the rate of disease among servicewomen was consistently and significantly lower. Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 193, 372, 398, 447, 469, 618–20. back

Note 22: Rates for 1943 and 1944 remained low at 8.3 and 10 per thousand, respectively. Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 229n. back

Note 23: John A. Rogers to Col. Catron, Re: Venereal Disease in WAAC Personnel (22 May 1943), enclosure in C. C. Pierce Jr. to Officer in Charge, Re: Interview with Brigadier General Don C. Faith (23 June 1943) and enclosure, File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6/11/43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 24: Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 62–70, 104–7, 131; Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 498–500; C. C. Pierce Jr. to Officer in Charge, Re: Interview with Brigadier General Don C. Faith (23 June 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 6–21–43 thru 6–30–43 (6/11/43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 25: The May Act prohibited prostitution "within such reasonable distance of military and/or naval establishments as the Secretaries of War and/or Navy determine[d] to be needful." On the May Act and "victory girls," see Medical Department, United States Army, Preventive Medicine in World War II: Communicable Diseases, vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, 1960), 142–3, 169; Allan M. Brandt, No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States Since 1880 (expanded ed.; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 166–7; Marilyn E. Hegarty, "Patriot or Prostitute?: Sexual Discourses, Print Media, and American Women during World War II," Journal of Women's History 10 (Summer 1998): 115–21. See also Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 33–7, 101–4, 130–32. back

Note 26: A common phrase in soldiers' letters and survey responses. back

Note 27:  "Duty in England for Negro Waacs," New York Times (16 August 1942); Brenda L. Moore, To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American Wacs Stationed Overseas during World War II (New York: New York University Press, 1996), 80–1; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 48; Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 597–9. back

Note 28: For more on fraternization, see chapter 3. back

Note 29: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 405; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 48–9; James MacDonald, "Sending of Women to Germany Urged," New York Times (5 December 1944); "Wacs to be Sent to Reich to Keep GI Minds GI," Stars and Stripes, London ed. (6 December 1944); "Mission Refused," Newsweek 24 (18 December 1944): 54, 56; Paul Morency to Edward M. Kirby (19 January 1945) and enclosure, File: 330.14, Box 91, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 30: Charles F. Kiley, "557 GI Janes Here for Duty with Air Force"; "Tickets to WAAC Party Aboard Ship Were Legal Tender"; Philip Bucknell, "Lipstick Drill Comes to the ETO"; "Know Anyone in This List?"; "WAAC Meets Old Boy Friend"; all in Stars and Stripes, London ed. (20 July 1943). back

Note 31: The London edition of Stars and Stripes carried almost daily coverage of the competition from 7 October through 14 November 1944. back

Note 32: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 402–3, 468–9; Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 128, zx133–5. Henry C. White, Re: General Situation at Fort Knox, Kentucky (20 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319; Bernard L. Green, "Report on Survey of Welfare and Morale Conditions in Elements of the Women's Army Corps in the European Theater of Operations" (28 May 1945), File: 68, Box 6, Inspector General Inspection Reports, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498; both at NACP. back

Note 33: Base Censorship Detachment No. 6, "Morale Report for Period Ended 15 August 1944" (15 August 1944), File: Morale Reports, Base Censorship Detachment #6, Box: Morale Reports #1 thru #2, G-2 Headquarters Records, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 492; "Censorship Survey & Morale Report, B.C.O. 7 (1–15 March 1945)," File: Base Censor Office #7, Base Censor Office Correspondence, Military Intelligence Service, G-2, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498; "Questions and Comments by ETOUSA Returnees During Sound-Off Sessions at the AG and SF Redistribution Stations, 5 March to 31 March 1945," File: 330.11, 1 Nov. 44–31 Dec. 44, Box 507, G1 Decimal File, Entry 43, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; all in NACP. back

Note 34: George V. Strong to Oveta Culp Hobby, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the WAACs (21 August 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–17–43 thru 7–31–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 35: Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 3–4, 25–6, 34–5. Base Censor Office 4, "Morale Report 1–15 August 1943" (15 August 1943); Comment Sheet BCD 3–708 (28 September 1943), File: Rumors-Morale, Box 192, Historical and Background Materials Relating to the Legislation and Administration of the WAAC and Its Successor, The Women's Army Corps 1942–1949, Entry 55, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 36: Charles D. Frierson, "Summary of Investigation: Origin of Rumors Concerning Women's Army Auxiliary Corps" [July 1943]; Jackson A. Jordan to Officer in Charge, Re: Origin of Rumors Concerning the Women's Army Corps (26 July 1943); both in File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. back

Note 37: Shirley L. Berton report on Norwood (ca. 18 June 1943), File: 330.14 O'Donnell & Rumors (9 Jun. '43); Barbara L. Fenton to Dorothy McCandlish, Re: Unfavorable Publicity for the Women's Army Corps (30 October 1943), File: 330.14; both in Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security—Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 38: Carol Hossner Bessey recalled a similar—though less discouraging—encounter with a soldier on her way to enlist in Salt Lake City, Utah. Battle of the WAC (Ashton, Idaho: privately published, 1999), 3–5. Edward J. Permar to Director, WAAC, Third Service Command, Re: Rumors (3 July 1943), File: Rumors-Morale, Box 192, Historical and Background Materials Relating to the Legislation and Administration of the WAAC and Its Successor, The Women's Army Corps 1942–1949, Entry 55, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 39: Mary L. House to Commanding Officer, Headquarters Utah Recruiting and Induction District, Re: Report on Adverse Propaganda Encountered by Recruiters in the Field (20 August 1943), File: (330.14) O'Donnell Column & Rumors (9 June 1943), Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 40: During World War II, enlistment never again reached the heights of February 1943. It averaged about three thousand women per month until the end of the war. Higher entrance requirements were partially responsible for the lower enlistment figures. Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 172–4, 231, 235–46, 765–6. back

Note 41: Young & Rubicam, "A National Study of Public Opinion Toward the Women's Army Corps" (Spring 1944), Box 204, Historical and Background Materials Relating to the Legislation and Administration of the WAAC and Its Successor, The Women's Army Corps 1942–1949, Entry 55, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. See also Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 246–7. back

Note 42: Compared to male soldiers, Waacs were relatively well educated; most had completed high school, and many had attended college. The vast majority had been employed as clerical workers before they entered the military. On WAAC demographics, see Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 73–5; D'Ann Campbell, Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), 22–7; D'Ann Campbell, "Servicewomen of World War II," Armed Forces & Society 16 (Winter 1990): 252–4. back

Note 43: Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), 77–8; Josephine G. Kison to Oveta Culp Hobby (12 June 1943), File: 330.14 O'Donnell & Rumors (9 Jun. '43), Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 44: Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 211–4; Alexander Bell to Bertha Moss (20 June 1943, 26 May 1944), Alexander and Bertha (Moss) Bell Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. back

Note 45: One of the most popular sets of pornographic images circulating among soldiers on New Guinea was a series of eight photographs showing a white woman in a WAC uniform performing a striptease. Agent 2289 to Officer in Charge, Re: Obscene Photos of a WAC (4 December 1944), File: CIC Correspondence -1944, Box T-1425; Information Slips 44–1157, 44–1264, and 44–1305 (21 October and 1 November 1944), File: Information Slips APO 929, 1001–1099, Box T-1422; all in G-2 Theater Censor, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP. back

Note 46: Pacific theater intelligence files housed at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, are particularly fruitful sources of censored letters. Boxes T-1409-T-1415, T-1418-T-1420, G-2 Theater Censor, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP back

Note 47: Comment Sheets TC-2181 (25 November 1944) and TC-2060 (9 August 1944), File: Comment Sheets, 1944, R-Z, Box T-1420; Comment Sheet 920–45–223, File: 742, Box T-1411; both in G-2 Theater Censor, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP. back

Note 48: Mrs. C. V. L to Col. Oveta Culp Hobby (10 October 1943); Emily C. Davis to Director, Women's Army Corps, Re: Conduct of Wacs at Fort Benning Georgia (n.d.); Col. Oveta Culp Hobby to Mrs. C. V. L. (2 November 1943), all in File: 330.14, Box 92, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 49: Base Censorship Detachment No. 6, Morale Report for Period Ended 31 August 1944 (1 September 1944), File: Morale Reports, Base Censorship Detachment #6, Box: Morale Reports 1 thru #2, G-2 Headquarters Records, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 492, NACP; Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 212–3. back

Note 50: Anne Bosanko Green, One Woman's War: Letters Home from the Women's Army Corps, 1944–1946 (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1989), 23. back

Note 51: Young & Rubicam, "A National Study of Public Opinion Toward the Women's Army Corps" (Spring 1944), Box 204, Historical and Background Materials Relating to the Legislation and Administration of the WAAC and Its Successor, The Women's Army Corps 1942–1949, Entry 55, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 52: Research Branch, Morale Services Division, Army Service Forces, "What the Soldier Thinks of the WAC" (10 December 1943), Box 8, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 53: One of 1,381 written responses to question 39, Survey 90, Reel 20, Box 2, War Department Special Staff, Information and Education Division, Formerly Security-Classified Microfilm Copy of Records Relating to the Morale of Personnel 1942–1945, Entry 477a, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 54:  "Analysis of the Argument that the WAC's are Bad for a Girl's Character," File: S-90: Attitudes Toward Women in the Service, Box 11, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Personnel, & Reserve), Research Division, Reports and Analyses of Attitude Research Surveys, Entry 92, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back

Note 55: Associated Press, "Full Draft of 300,000 Men Now Indicated for January," New York Times (29 November 1943). back

Note 56: Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 39–40; Henry C. White, Re: General Situation at Fort Knox, Kentucky (20 July 1943), File: MID 322.12 W.A.A.C. 7–1-43 thru 7–16–43 (6–11–43), Box 579, Army Intelligence Decimal Files, Entry 47B, Army Staff, RG 319, NACP. See also Campbell, Women At War With America, 40; Jeanne Holm, Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution, rev. ed. (Novato, Calif.: Presidio, 1992), 50–51; Pierson, "They're Still Women After All," 174. back

Note 57: Research Branch, Morale Services Division, Army Service Forces, What the Soldier Thinks of the WAC (10 December 1943), Box 8, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 58: On the relationship between class status and satisfaction with Army jobs, see Samuel Stouffer et al., The American Soldier, vol. 1, Adjustment during Army Life (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1949), 153–4, 250–58, 321–8. back

Note 59: On slander by African American servicemen, see Charity Adams Earley, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 1989), 186–7; Moore, To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race, 134–7, 146–7. back

Note 60: Frederick H. Osborn to Miller G. White, Re: Research on Soldiers' Opinions about the WAC (n.d.) and "Analysis of the Argument that the WAC's are Bad for a Girl's Character," File: S-90: Attitudes Toward Women in the Service, Box 11, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Personnel, & Reserve), Research Division, Reports and Analyses of Attitude Research Surveys, Entry 92, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330; Research Branch, Morale Services Division, Army Service Forces, "What the Soldier Thinks of the WAC" (10 December 1943), Box 8, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; both in NACP. back

Note 61: Irving L. Janis, "Psychodynamic Adjustment to Army Life," Psychiatry 8 (May 1945): 159–76. See also Henry Elkin, "Aggressive and Erotic Tendencies in Army Life," The American Journal of Sociology 51 (March 1946): 408–13; Howard Brotz and Everett Wilson, "Characteristics of Military Society," The American Journal of Sociology 51 (March 1946): 371–5; S. Kirson Weinberg, "Problems of Adjustment in Army Units," The American Journal of Sociology 50 (January 1945): 271–8; William C. Menninger, Psychiatry in a Troubled World: Yesterday's War and Today's Challenge (New York: Macmillan, 1948), 58–68; Lee Kennett, G.I.: The American Soldier in World War II (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1987), chapters 2 and 3. back

Note 62: William Menninger described this process as oedipal in nature. Psychiatry in a Troubled World, 46. back

Note 63: Bracketed words show where Irving Janis used the words "urinate" and "erection" but commented, "Obviously a less formal term occurs in actual conversation." back

Note 64: Psychoanalyst Marie Bonaparte recorded similar rumors among European soldiers. French soldiers complained of "doctored wine" and German troops of iodine in their meat and coffee rations. South African cooks were accused of putting "bluestone" (or copper sulfate) in Army food. British soldiers believed their bread ration was tainted, and even British servicewomen complained that sedatives were added to their tea. Marie Bonaparte, Myths of War, trans. John Rodker (London: Imago, 1947), 52–5. back

Note 65: Janis, "Psychodynamic Adjustment to Army Life," 159, 168–70. back

Note 66: Survey 90, written responses to question 39, Reel 20, Box 2, War Department Special Staff, Information and Education Division, Formerly Security-Classified Microfilm Copy of Records Relating to the Morale of Personnel 1942–1945, Entry 477a, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 67: Ibid. and Survey 90, File: S-90: Attitudes Toward Women in the Service, Box 11, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Personnel, & Reserve), Research Division, Reports and Analyses of Attitude Research Surveys, Entry 92, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back

Note 68: Fifty-eight percent of women, ages 21 to 35 favored such a draft. Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 95–6, 122–3, 153–4; George Gallup, "Draft of Own Sex Backed by Women," New York Times (18 August 1943); George H. Gallup, The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 1935–1971, vol. 1 (New York: Random House, 1972), 401. back

Note 69: On the mothers' movement against military conscription, see Glen Jeansonne, Women of the Far Right: The Mothers' Movement and World War II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). back

Note 70: Kerber, No Constitutional Right To Be Ladies, 248–50; Holly Stovall, "Resisting Regimentation: The Committee to Oppose the Conscription of Women," Peace & Change 23 (October 1998): 483–99; Treadwell, Women's Army Corps, 247–9; George Gallup, "Manpower Draft Favored in Poll," New York Times (29 August 1943); Gallup, Gallup Poll, 1:316, 327, 378, 431; Committee on Military Affairs, Senate, 78th Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on S. 666, A Bill to Provide for the Successful Prosecution of the War through a System of Civilian Selective War Service with the Aid of the Selective Service System, pts. 1–24 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1943); Committee on Military Affairs, Senate, 78th Cong., 2nd sess., Hearings on S. 666, A Bill to Provide for the Successful Prosecution of the War through a System of Civilian Selective War Service with the Aid of the Selective Service System, pts. 1–3 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1944). back

Note 71: Committee on Military Affairs, Senate, 78th Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on S. 666, 407. back

Note 72: On drafting fathers, see William M. Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War": The Second World War in the Lives of American Children (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 31. back

Note 73: George Gallup, "Draft of Own Sex Backed by Women," "Draft of Fathers Opposed by Public," and "Voters Back Draft of Single Women," New York Times (18 August and 15 September 1943 and 10 March 1944); Gallup, Gallup Poll, 1:401, 406, 412, 420, 435; Young & Rubicam, "A National Study of Public Opinion Toward the Women's Army Corps" (Spring 1944), Box 204, Historical and Background Materials Relating to the Legislation and Administration of the WAAC and Its Successor, The Women's Army Corps 1942–1949, Entry 55, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 74: On gendered constructions of wartime obligation, see Robert B. Westbrook, Why We Fought: Forging American Obligation in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2004), chapters 3; Kerber, No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies, chapter 5; Meyer, Creating G.I. Jane, 19–22. back

Note 75: Survey 90, written responses to question 39, Reel 20, Box 2, War Department Special Staff, Information and Education Division, Formerly Security-Classified Microfilm Copy of Records Relating to the Morale of Personnel 1942–1945, Entry 477a, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; "Analysis of the Argument that the WAC's are Bad for a Girl's Character," File: S-90: Attitudes Toward Women in the Service, Box 11, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Personnel, & Reserve), Research Division, Reports and Analyses of Attitude Research Surveys, Entry 92, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330; "Censorship Survey & Morale Report, B.C.O. 7 (1–15 April 1945)," File: Base Censor Office #7, Base Censor Office Correspondence, Military Intelligence Service, G-2, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 498; all in NACP. back

Note 76: Samuel Stouffer et al., The American Soldier, vol. 2, Combat and Its Aftermath (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), 610–13, 631–3; Research Branch, Morale Services Division, Army Service Forces, "What the Soldier Thinks of the WAC" (10 December 1943), Box 8, Director of the Women's Army Corps Security-Classified General Correspondence, Entry 54, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; Research Branch, Information and Education Division, "Some Soldier Attitudes about the Effects of Army Life" (31 July 1946), File: Spec. Memo No. 8, Box 989, Research Division, Surveys on Troop Attitudes, Entry 93, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330; both in NACP. back

Note 77: Menninger, Psychiatry in a Troubled World, 97; Survey 90, written responses to question 39, Reel 20, Box 2, War Department Special Staff, Information and Education Division, Formerly Security-Classified Microfilm Copy of Records Relating to the Morale of Personnel, Entry 477a, War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165, NACP. back

Note 78: Stouffer et al., American Soldier, 2:598–9. Research Branch, Information and Education Division, European Theater of Operations, "Attitudes Toward the War and the Future: A Comparison of Opinions Expressed by Enlisted Men Surveyed in Late August 1945 with Those of Enlisted Men Surveyed Four Months Earlier" (October 1945), File: ETO-108, Box 1017; Research Branch, Information and Education Division, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, "What Combat Soldiers Think the Biggest Problems Are That Will Be Facing Them After the War" (20 June 1945), File: MTO-42, Box 1030; both in Research Division, Attitude Reports of Overseas Personnel, Entry 94, Office of the Secretary of Defense, RG 330, NACP. back