IN WORLD WAR II


                       Lieutenant Colonel Pat Meid, USMCR

                                  Printed 1964
                                  Revised 1968

                        Historical Branch, G-3 Division 
                        Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps


                            DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
                           WASHINGTON, D. C. 20380


     This brief history of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in World War II is 
derived from official records and appropriate published and manuscript 

     It is reprinted for the information of those interested in the wartime 
organization, training, activities, and record of service of women who served 
as Marines from 1943 - 1946.


                                          R. G. OWENS, JR.
                               Brigadier General, U. S.  Marine Corps
                                    Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3

Reviewed and approved: 14 June 1968

                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                           Original    On-Line
                                                             Page       Page


Preface                                                                    4

Introduction....................................................1          7

I. Formation and Early History of the Women's Reserve...........2          8

     Preliminary Planning--Early Strength
     Estimates and Quotas--Selection of the

II.  Public Announcement and Early Recruiting...................7         13

          Public Announcement--Name vs. Nickname--
          The Enlistment Process

III. Training of the Women Reservists..........................13         19

       Officer Training--Recruit Training--
       Clothing Instructions--Transfer to New
       River--Troop Trains--"Hometown" Platoons--
       Training at Camp Lejeune--Specialist Training--
       Promotion from the Ranks--Reserve Officer Class

IV.  The Uniform...............................................23         29

       Official Issue--Those Dress Whites!--
          Special Uniform Class and Uniform Distribution--
          Uniform Board and Regulations

V.   Jobs and Job Assignments..................................28         34

       Job Classification--Promotion--The buildup--
          Jobs in Aviation--"Appropriateness" of Jobs--
          The Philosophy of Hard Work

VI.    Administration and Policies.............................36         42

          Cooperation with the Women's Services--
          Policy about Assignment and Housing 
          Assistants for the Women's Reserve--
          Policy about Women's Authority--Changing
          Policy on Marriage--Discipline and Morale

VII.   People in the Program...................................42         48

          The Women's Reserve Band--Quantico's Drill
          Team--Personalities in the WRs--Other WR
          Interests and Activities--Decorations
          Awarded Women Marines

                                                           Original    On-Line
                                                             Page       Page

VIII.     Hawaii Duty..........................................48         54

             Selection of Women for Overseas Duty--
             --Advance Party--Staging Area and Arrival

IX.       Demobilization.......................................53         59

             Computation of Credits--Strength at End of
             the War--Monthly Quota for Demobilization--
             Separation Centers--Last Days of the Wartime

X.        Overview.............................................58         64

             Civilian Background--Reaction to Military
             Life--Personal Benefit--Educational Back-
             ground--Regional Pattern of Enlistments--
             Composition of Reserve by Age and Test Scores--
             --Recruiting Results and Media Used--Overall
             Distribution by Rank--"VIP" Statements about
             Wartime Reserve

Notes..........................................................66         72

Appendix A.  Jobs in which Women Marines Were
             Assigned During World War II......................85         91

Appendix B.  Composition of the Women's Reserve:
             By Education......................................88         94

Appendix C.  Composition of the Women's Reserve:
             By State of Residence.............................89         95

Appendix D.  Composition of Women's Reserve:
             By Age............................................90         96

Appendix E.  Composition of Women's Reserve:
             By General Classification Test Scores.............91         97

Appendix F.  Key Dates in the History of Women
             Marines...........................................92         98

Appendix G.  Biographies of Wartime Directors, Marine
             Corps Women's Reserve.............................95        101

                         MARINE CORPS WOMEN'S RESERVE
                               IN WORLD WAR II


                            LtCol Pat Meid, USMCR


     "What!  Women Marines!  Quit your kidding."

     That was the first reaction of a group of Marines newly-freed from a 
prison camp in the Philippines in February 1945.  Eagerly they sought news 
from the combat correspondents about what had been going on in the Marine 
Corps since their capture in the early days of the war.  The released men 
could hardly believe it.  Women in the Marine Corps?  What did they do? How 
did they dress?  What were they like?  Were they pretty?

     Women in military uniform were a novelty to much of the rest of the world 
in the beginning of World War II, not only in this country, but in Canada and 
England as well.  In the United States, more than 265,000 women served in all 
branches of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines. The Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve (MCWR) was established by law as a part of the Marine Corps 
Reserve by the amendment of 30 July 1942 to the U.S. Naval Reserve Act of 
1938.  The mission of the MCWR was to provide women trained and qualified for 
duty in the shore establishments of the Marine Corps, thereby releasing 
additional male Marines for combat duty.

     In February 1943, the month that the Women's Reserve was formed, American 
forces wiped out the final enemy opposition on Guadalcanal.  The bitter 
fighting there made it readily apparent that far more Marines would be needed 
in the combat zones for the grinding battles that would only slowly clear the 
way to victory.

     If the women caused innovations and creation of new traditions in the 
Corps, the effect of the Corps on them was no less profound.  It was found 
that there are no differences between men and women in respect to their fierce 
pride in the Marine Corps and that special "Once a Marine, always a Marine" 
brand of loyalty.  Years after the war, the story is told of a motorist on his 
way into the Marine Base at Quantico, who stopped at the Iwo Jima statue and 
picked up a little boy about nine years old.  He glanced at the youngster 
sideways as he drove along, noticing that the boy wore a Marine Corps emblem 
on his cap.


     "Is your father a Marine, son?" he asked conversationally.

     "No sir," replied the boy.  Then he added proudly, "But my mother 

     This is the story of those World War II Women Marines--why they were 
there, the varied jobs they did, and their contribution to the war effort.

             I.  Formation and Early History of the Women's Reserve

     On 7 November 1942, just three days before the 167th birthday of the 
Marine Corps, the Commandant signed a document that would bring about a great 
change in the life of the Corps during the years ahead.  He gave his official 
approval to the formation of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve, a movement that 
resulted in more than 20,000 women serving in this ruggedly male outfit during 
the next three years and releasing urgently-needed male Marines for combat 
duty.  Marine Corps Headquarters quickly and quietly went about setting up the 
policies and procedures needed to effect the innovation.  Official 
announcement, however, was not made to the American public until three months 
later--on 13 February 1943.  The Marine Corps had sought to avoid premature 
announcement before plans were completely developed, as it was felt this would 
not be in the best interests of the new Women's Reserve.

     Actually, the Marine Corps was the last of the four services to organize 
a women's reserve in World War II.<1>  This was no happenstance.  It was 
generally well-known that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant 
General Thomas Holcomb, had been against the formation of a Women's Reserve in 
the Marine Corps at the time the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and the 
Navy's Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) were first 
organized.  As he later commented, less than a year after the Women Marines 
had come aboard: "Like most other Marines, when the matter first came up I 
didn't believe women could serve any useful purpose in the Marine Corps... 
Since then I've changed my mind."<2>

     Strangely enough, there had been a precedent for women in the Marine 
Corps.  In World War I, a group of 305 intrepid young women had worn the 
forest green uniform with its famous globe and anchor insignia and had held 
private, corporal, and sergeant ratings.  They had performed their clerical 
jobs, mostly at Headquarters, with dispatch and loyalty and had served under 
the traditional no-nonsense Marine Corps discipline which decreed that any 
infractions on their part would result in their being "summarily 
disenrolled."<3>  They had even been instructed in the "simpler drill 
movements...before nine o'clock on the ellipse in Potomac Park," under the 
watchful eye of a Marine NCO, and had also participated in victory parades.<4>


     Rightly, however, when the matter of a Women's Reserve was discussed as a 
serious possibility in the Second World War, General Holcomb knew that 
admission of Women Marines this time would be on a scale and magnitude 
previously undreamed of.  It would create hundreds of new questions and 
problems, all of which had to be answered.

                             Preliminary Planning

     The decision to admit women to the Marine Corps was made as a result of 
studies prepared by the M-1 section of the Division of Plans and Policies at 
Marine Corps Headquarters.  Originally, the matter had been discussed months 
earlier but, because of the Commandant's feeling, had been dropped.  When it 
became apparent that such a move would release large numbers of 
urgently-needed combat personnel, the question was reopened and restudied.

     On 5 October 1942, Plans and Policies recommended establishment of a 
Women's Reserve and suggested to the Commandant that it be set up as a 
separate section within the Division of Reserve.<5>

     The Commandant concurred with the recommendation, and on 12 October wrote 
the Secretary of the Navy that "in furtherance of the war effort, it was 
believed that as many women as possible should be used in noncombatant 
billets, thus releasing a greater number of the limited manpower available for 
essential combat duty."<6>   He cited Public Law 689, 77th Congress, approved 
30 July 1942, which amended the Naval Reserve Act of 1938 by adding a section 
titled "Women's Reserve" and provided that it should be part of the Naval 

     First endorsement of the Commandant's letter, on 26 October by the Judge 
Advocate General's office, approved this legal authority and read: "The 
creation of a Women's Reserve which shall be a branch of the United States 
Marine Corps Reserve appears to be fully authorized by the law.  The specific 
proposals of the Commandant of the Marine Corps as contained in the basic 
communication have been examined in this office and it is considered that they 
legally be approved."<7>

     The second endorsement on 30 October from the Commander in Chief, United 
States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations was similarly favorable.  
"Forwarded, recommending approval," it read in time-honored official naval 

     Final authority for creation of the Women's Reserve was received from 
Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on 31 October and President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt on 7 November.  This authorized an initial strength of 500 officers 
and 6,000


enlisted by 30 June 1943, with total strength by 30 June 1944 of 1,000 
officers and 18,000 enlisted.<9>

     Distribution of rank and grade was the same as that authorized for the 
men of the Marine Corps.  Based on the number of women to be enlisted, the 
distribution in rank of officers was specified as: 1 major, 35 captains, 35 
percent of the total number of commissioned officers to be in the grade of 
first lieutenant, and the balance, to be second lieutenants.<10>  The 
determination of the highest rank to be held by a member of the Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve was based on the language of Public Law 689, which provided 
for one officer with the grade of lieutenant commander for the Women's Reserve 
of the United States Naval Reserve, whose counterpart in the Marine Corps 
would hold the rank of major.<11>  Later amendments to the law advanced the 
rank of the senior woman in each naval service to captain (Navy and Coast 
Guard) - colonel (Marine Corps).

                     Early Strength Estimates and Quotas

     The first definite step toward physically establishing the Women's 
Reserve was taken 5 November, when the Commandant wrote the commanding 
officers of all Marine posts and procurement districts.  He announced that the 
Marine Corps was "initiating steps to organize a Women's Reserve" and directed 
all officers to survey the activities under their jurisdiction and report the 
number of Women Reservists (WRs) who could be used to replace officers and men 
in such categories as clerical, communications, transportation, mess and 
commissary, mechanical, and so forth.  He explained that "within the next year 
the manpower shortage will be such that it will be incumbent on all concerned 
with the national welfare to replace men by women in all possible 

     From the figures submitted by posts and stations, projections were made 
of the number of women who would require special training in such fields as 
Paymaster, Quartermaster, and Communications, as well as estimates of those 
WRs who could effectively use the skills they brought to the Marine Corps from 
civilian life.  Quotas were also established for recruiting of enlisted women 
and officers and tentative dates selected for the beginning training 

     Although the Marine Corps was authorized a strength of only 6,500 women 
by 30 June 1943, this preliminary survey indicated that more than 4,000 were 
needed at once.  The number of WRs


originally requested at Marine Corps-stations were:

     Quantico, Virginia                    692
     Cherry Point, North Carolina          688
     Camp Lejeune, New River,
       North Carolina                      726
     San Diego, California                 650
     Camp Elliott, California              981
     Camp Pendleton, California            416
     Parris Island, South Carolina         278
                                         4,431 <14>

                          Selection of the Director

     Considerable preliminary planning had to be done to facilitate successful 
recruiting, training, administration, and uniforming of the new Women's 
Reserve.  But probably the most important task confronting the Division of 
Reserve was selection of a director for the new reserve component.  The 
Commandant made no bones about the fact that the success of the new Women's 
Reserve would depend largely on the caliber and capabilities of the woman 
chosen for the post of Director, Marine Corps Women's Reserve.  Accordingly, 
in November he wrote Dean Virginia C. Gildersleeve, of Barnard College, 
Columbia University, to enlist her help.

     "It is my understanding that in the selection of the woman to head up the 
WAVES, the Navy availed itself of the advice of the Advisory Educational 
Council, of which you are chairman," he wrote.  "If it is not too much of an 
imposition, the Marine Corps would be glad if your council could undertake a 
similar service for it." General Holcomb stressed the point that it was not 
the intentions of the Marine Corps to dictate any method in the choice of 
candidates--whether decided upon by subcommittee or other means.  "We are only 
interested in procuring the services of some woman who is qualified for a 
commission as a Major in the Marine Corps and to assume the parallel position 
to Miss McAfee [Lieutenant Commander Mildred McAfee, Director of the WAVES]," 
he explained.<15>

     Shortly thereafter, Dean Gildersleeve and her committee presented a 
recommendation of 12 outstanding women, and the Marine Corps began making 
discreet inquiries as to their capabilities.  Personal interviews of the 
various candidates were conducted by Colonel Littleton W. T. Waller, Jr., 
Director of Reserve, under whose office the new Women's Reserve was to be 
placed for administrative purposes.  Colonel Waller and his right-hand man, 
Major C. Brewster Rhoads, toured the country to interview prospective 
candidates personally.  Their recommendations ultimately led to selection of 
Mrs. Ruth Cheney Streeter, 47, of Morristown, New Jersey.


     President of her class at Bryn Mawr College; the mother of four grown 
children, including three service sons (two in the Navy, one in the Army); for 
more than 20 years active in New Jersey health and welfare work; and a 
spirited woman who only a year or so earlier had taken out both her private 
and commercial pilot's licenses; Mrs. Streeter seemed to have the right 
combination of personal characteristics and organizational abilities that 
would be required of a Woman Marine Director.<16>

     Prior to public announcement of the new Women's Reserve, Mrs. Streeter 
was quietly commissioned a major, USMCWR, on 29 January 1943 and sworn in by 
Secretary of the Navy Knox.  She was not, however, the first woman to go on 
active duty in the Women's Reserve in World War II.  Earlier that month, Mrs. 
Anne A. Lentz was sworn in as the first commissioned officer, with the rank of 
captain. (A civilian clothing expert who had helped outfit the WAACs, she had 
originally come to the Marine Corps Headquarters in December on a 30-day 
assignment to design the uniform for the Marines and wound up by wearing one 

     In respect to procurement and training, existing facilities of the WAVES 
were to be used as much as possible.  This was spelled out in a joint letter 
from the Chief of Naval Personnel and the Commandants of the Marine Corps and 
the Coast Guard to the Secretary of the Navy.  Since the Women's Reserve of 
both the Marine Corps and Coast Guard were also part of the Naval 
Establishment, it was officially recommended that their members be procured 
through the Office of Naval Officer Procurement and be trained "insofar as it 
is practical" in schools already established for members of the WAVES.<18>

     In February 1943 there were six other women who, like Major Streeter and 
Captain Lentz, had been directly commissioned from civilian life before actual 
public announcement of the Women's Reserve.  All were selected because their 
abilities and experience fitted them for key Marine Corps billets which had to 
be filled at once--such as recruiting and training.  Commissioned without any 
formal indoctrination, they went on duty immediately at Marine Corps 
Headquarters with their new rank and in civilian clothes.

     These early Women Marines were:

     Women's Reserve representative for Public Relations--First Lieutenant E.
         Louise Stewart;

     Women's Reserve representative for Training--Captain Charlotte D. Gower;

     Women's Reserve representative for Classification and Detail--Captain
         Cornelia D. T. Williams;


     Women's Reserve representative for West Coast Activities--Captain Lillian
         O'Malley Daly;

     Women's Reserve representative for Recruit Depot--Captain Katherine A.
         Towle; and

     Women's Reserve Assistant to the Director--Captain Helen C. O'Neill.<19>

                    II.  Public Announcement and Recruiting

     Although the last-organized of the four women's wartime services, three 
important factors were in the Women Marines' favor from the start.

     First:  That the Marines freely shared their own name, a proud name that 
had witnessed 168 years of tradition and esprit.  Thus, they became the only 
women's service which didn't have an alphabetical designation or semi-official 

     Second:  That the Women's Reserve was accepted as a full-fleged part of 
the Marine Corps and was not an "auxiliary" service.

     Third:  That the men's distinctive forest green uniform was followed 
closely, with requisite feminizing modifications for the Women Marines.  This 
like the name, made the women feel they were being accepted on an equal basis 
in the Corps, rather than as an auxiliary, and they worked twice as hard to 
make sure they rated being called "good Marines."

     Colonel Waller, Director of Reserve, in a recommendation to the 
Commandant, a month before announcement of the Women's Reserve was made to the 
public, declared:

     "Women Reservists of the U. S. Marine Corps will not be especially 
designated as in the case of, "WAVES" or "SPARS,"' but will be called Marines.  
It is proposed that they will be uniformed in the forest green of the Marine 
Corps with suitable differences being made in the material and in the cut of 
the uniform to conform to the convenience and smart appearance of women, but 
sufficiently like the Marine Corps uniform to permit no possibility of doubt 
as to the branch of service to which the Women Reservists are attached."<20>


                             Public Announcement

     The first official announcement of the Women's Reserve was made on 13 
February 1943, and the Navy procurement offices throughout the country which 
were charged with the duty of enlistment suddenly found themselves swamped 
with women who wanted to be Marines.  In the nation's capital, more than 100 
filed applications the first two days after enlistments opened and caused one 
recruiting officer to complain that the overload of applicants was causing his 
office staff to "get behind in their work."<21>  Applicants ranged all the way 
from Mrs. Otho L. Rogers, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. Henry T. Elrod, of 
Coronado, California, both widows of Marine majors recently killed in combat, 
to schoolgirls, office workers, grandmothers, and college students.<22>

     Enthusiasm ran so high that a number of women even tried to enlist on the 
Saturday the initial announcement was made, even though enlistments were not 
supposed to be officially open until the following Monday.  The records show 
that some of them succeeded.  The distinction of being the first World War II 
Woman Marine (other than the handful of officers direct-commissioned before 
public announcement) went to Lucille E. McClarren, of Nemahcolin, 
Pennsylvania, who enlisted in Washington, D. C. on 13 February.<23>

     Eligibility requirements for both enlisted and officers were:

     United States citizenship; not married to a Marine, either single or 
married but with no children under 18; height - not less than 60 inches; 
weight - not less than 95 pounds; good vision and teeth.<24>

     For enlisted or "general service," as it was called, the age requirement 
was from 20 to 35 inclusive, and a candidate was required to have at least two 
years of high school.<25>

     For officer candidates, requirements were originally the same as for 
WAVES and SPARS: age from 20 to 49 inclusive; either a college graduate, or 
with a combination of two years of college and two years of work 

     From the very beginning, it was a problem for the Marine Corps to cope 
adequately with the stream of volunteers.  Through courtesy of the WAVES, the 
Navy Department made a unique and generous offer: some of its own officers, 
currently undergoing training, would transfer to the Marine Corps to help with 
recruiting, if the Marine Corps so desired.  The Marine Corps, sorely pressed 
for personnel, was happy to reply "Yes!" A


number of WAVES volunteered, and a group of 19 was selected, since the Marine 
Corps had 19 procurement offices throughout the country.  These 19 ex-WAVES 
were sworn in as new Marines and went on the job immediately to recruit Women 
Marines.  Ironically, they still wore their WAVE uniforms, as the first Marine 
Corps uniforms were not yet available.<27>

     Throughout those early hectic months there was, inevitable, much "trial 
by error" and the type of resourceful improvisation that has always been the 
hallmark of the Marine Corps.  Some Marine officers, for example, in the large 
cities, who were severely pressed for additional help in the mountain of 
paperwork inherent in enlisting large numbers of women, wrote to Headquarters 
requesting authority to enlist capable civilian women as Marines to work in 
their own offices.  The women would go on duty immediately to help out in the 
critical overload of work, and would receive their actual indoctrination as 
Women Marines later.  These requests were granted in many cases.<28>

     Minimum age for a prospective member in the Women's Reserve had been set 
by Congress in its 1942 amendment to the Naval Reserve Law and remained 
unchanged throughout the war.  It was, nevertheless, a matter which aroused 
considerable agitation on the part of younger women, and both the White House 
and the Director received numerous letters on the subject.  In one instance, 
an articulate young lady, representing a group of nearly twenty 18- and 
19-year-old girls from Springfield, Ohio, wrote a highly persuasive letter to 
Major Streeter, asking the logic in a ruling which permitted 18-year-old boys 
to defend their country, even at the supreme sacrifice, when the girls could 
not.  Another enterprising young woman from Avonmore, Pennsylvania, who 
obviously was well-versed in her facts, pointed out that in the last war girls 
18- and 19-years old were allowed to enlist in the Marines and girls not quite 
18 could join with their parents' consent. "If girls 17 were allowed to enroll 
in the last war," she asked Mrs. Roosevelt, "could it be possible for a girl 
19 to enroll in the Marines today?"<29>

     A number of parents also wrote to ask if their daughters could enlist, 
even though not yet the required age of 20.  One such request came from a 
World War I holder of the Distinguished Service Cross.  In January 1943, prior 
to actual formation of the Women's Reserve, he wrote the Commandant:

     "I know this is no time to reminisce, but I do want to bring this to your 
attention.  I am the Marine from 96th Company, Sixth Regiment, who was with 
Lieutenant [Clifton B.] Cates and a few other Marines that captured 
Bouresches, France, and I turned over the first German prisoner and machine 
gun to you that our battalion captured on the night of 6 June 1918.


     "I have a big request to ask....As I have no sons to give to the Marines, 
I would be more than happy if you....would recommend my daughter to the newly-
formed Marines Women Reserve Corps.  While I appreciate that her age may be a 
little young, she will be 18 this June....I feel sure she could fit into your 
program.... surely this is not too much for a D. S. C. ex-Marine to ask of 
you.... "<30>

     The minimum age limit of 20 years for women members of the Naval Reserve 
had been established by law, however, and so it remained.  Persons writing 
such letters were thanked for their interest in the Marine Corps, with the 
suggestion being made that the girl reapply later when she became the proper 

                              Name vs. Nickname

     The public took great interest in every detail about the new organization 
and freely submitted trick names for the new Women's Reserve even before the 
time it was officially formed.  Unsolicited suggestions came from Congressmen 
and private citizen alike.  Typical "names" included MARS, Femarines, even the 
unwieldy Women's Leather-neck Aides.<31>

     However, the firm decision had been made that the Women Reservists would 
be called simply "Marines." As the Director of Reserve, Colonel Waller, wrote 
to Representative Louis Ludlow of Indiana: "...these women will not be 
auxiliary but members of the Marine Corps Reserve which is an integral part of 
the Corps and as....they will be performing many duties of Marines it was felt 
they should be so known."<32>

                            The Enlistment Process

     Candidates both for officer and recruit (boot) training were enlisted by 
naval procurement offices in each of the four major procurement districts into 
which the country was divided.  New enlistees were placed on "inactive duty" 
while their applications and supporting papers were processed by Marine Corps 
Headquarters and then notified of the training class, whether boot or officer, 
to which they were assigned.  The women were designated as either Class VI (a) 
officer or Class VI (b) enlisted.  (Previously established male categories of 
the Reserve were: Class I - Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; Class II - Organized 
Marine Corps Reserve; Class III - Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve; Class IV - 
Limited Service Marine Corps Reserve; and Class V - Specialist Volunteer 
Marine Corps Reserve.)<33>


     A prospective applicant, regardless of classification, had to submit a 
physical statement by her own physician; fill out and return the application 
to the recruiting station; take an aptitude test and complete physical; and 
have a personal interview with the Officer-in-Charge.  He in turn submitted a 
statement of opinion as to the woman's capabilities and value to the service.  
Final decision on whether or not to accept a particular candidate was made by 
Headquarters Marine Corps.  In some cases, an otherwise well-qualified 
candidate was permitted a waiver for a physical or educational requirement she 

     The traditional selectivity of the Marine Corps was in evidence at once.  
Indication of its high standards is seen in the fact that the Marine Corps 
Reserve Reviewing Board at Headquarters rejected approximately 25 percent of 
the applicants for officers candidates' class whose applications were 
forwarded from the procurement offices.<34>  Public response to recruiting was 
eminently satisfactory.  Summarizing the first month's progress of the new 
women's service, Colonel Waller commented:

     "The women of the country have responded in just the manner we expected 
....Thousands of women have volunteered to serve in the Women's Reserve and 
from them we have already selected more than 1,000 for the enlisted ranks and 
over 100 as officers."<35>

     This was a good record when it is remembered that the WR goal was only 
6,000 enlisted and 500 officers by 1 July, the maximum number that could be 
enrolled up to that time.

     Some of the interest of the nation's women was undoubtedly stirred by the 
nationwide trip which Major Streeter made during the first month of the 
Women's Reserve.  She visited 16 major cities from coast to coast, as well as 
the Marine Corps posts where her women would shortly be serving.  She spoke 
before a number of large public gatherings, including women's clubs and 
college assemblies, and everywhere found a "spontaneous enthusiasm among women 
for the new women's service organization."<36>  Indeed, so ambitious was her 
schedule of speaking engagements that at one point her voice gave out!<37> 
Returning to Washington on 26 March from the first of what would be many trips 
to the field, she commented: "The privilege of swearing in many enlistees gave 
me an opportunity to observe the young women joining our ranks.  I found them 
to be most sincere, intelligent, and attractive representatives of American 
young womanhood."<38>

     Enlistments in the Women's Reserve during its first eight weeks totaled 
2,495.  Of that number, 28 were on active duty; 211 were enrolled in officer 
candidates' class; and the rest were either in recruit training or awaiting 
orders to active duty.  During this first two months of its existence,


nearly one-seventh of the total enlisted strength and more than one-quarter of 
the future officers were enrolled.<39>

     In at least one place the recruiting was going so well that it occasioned 
this cautioning remark from the procurement officer-in-charge: "While it is 
not properly a concern of this office, it is felt that the Division of Reserve 
might well consider decreasing the overall publicity given to the women's 
program since the number of applications far exceeds the authorized quotas. It 
is considered to be bad public relations by this office when unavoidable 
circumstances necessitate turning away many desirable and well-qualified 
applicants who have been encouraged to believe that their enlistment could be 

     Despite the problems inherent in such an undertaking, by July 1943 
sufficient female personnel had been trained so that it was possible to 
transfer all enlistment procedures from the naval procurement offices to 
Marine recruiters, who from then on handled the enrollment of the women as 
they had been doing right along in the case of the men.  As always, physical 
examinations were the responsibility of the Navy.<41>

     By 1 November 1943, the number of officers and enlisted personnel sworn 
into the service totaled more than 11,000--less than 1,000 short of the 12,000 
member quota set for 1 January 1944.  Of this number, approximately 8,500 had 
been classified and were on duty.  In February 1944, one short year after its 
formation, the strength of the Women's Reserve totaled nearly 15,000.  A year 
earlier, the organization had consisted of four officers; now, it numbered 
approximately 800 officers and 14,000 enlisted women, and was well within 
sight of its final recruiting goal.<42>

     Observed the Director in May 1944: " is anticipated that by 31 May 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve will have reached its total authorized 
strength.  Although our quota is much smaller than those of the WACs (Women's 
Army Corps) or WAVES, the fact still remains that though we were the last of 
the women's military services to be organized, we are the first to succeed in 
enlisting all the women we can presently use.  Furthermore, we reached our 
goal in two and a half months less time than we expected.  The original plan 
called for recruiting to start on 1 January 1943 and proceed at the rate of 
1,000 per month until 30 June 1944.  Actually, we did not start until 15 
February 1943 and reached our quota on 31 May 1944, thus accomplishing our 
mission in 15 1/2 months instead of 18."<43>


                      III.  Training of the Women Reservists

     In addition to its assistance with recruiting, the Navy also offered the 
use of its training facilities for both officers and enlisted personnel in the 
early organizational stages of the Women's Reserve.  This helped the Women 
Marines get off to a good start.  Had it been necessary for the Marine Corps 
to train its own staff for its women's schools before they could begin to 
operate, there would have been a delay of several months in putting the women 
to work for the Marine Corps and releasing men for combat duty.  Classes for 
officers and enlisted women both began in March 1943, at Mount Holyoke College 
and Hunter College, respectively.

                               Officer Training

     On 13 March 1943, exactly a month after initial public announcement of 
the Woman's Reserve, the first class of 71 officer candidates entered the U. 
S. Naval Midshipmen's School (WR), Northampton, Massachusetts, to begin its 
training with the WAVES.  The U. S. Naval Midshipmen's School comprised the 
facilities of both Smith College, at Northampton, and Mount Holyoke, in nearby 
South Hadley.  Marine candidates received their training primarily at the 
latter.<44>  Included in the class were representatives of a variety of fields 
of civilian life--including educators, scientists, secretaries, and women from 
other businesses and professions.<45>

     Marine officer candidates followed the same course of instruction as the 
WAVES for the first half of their training, approximately four weeks.  This 
included Naval Organization and Administration, Naval Personnel, Naval History 
and Strategy, Naval Law and Justice, Ships and Aircraft.  Instruction in the 
second part, or advanced indoctrination, was separate from the WAVES.  This 
consisted of Marine Corps subjects given by Marine Corps instructors.  The 
curriculum included Marine Corps Administration and Courtesies; Map Reading; 
Interior Guard; Safeguarding Military Information; and Physical Training.  As 
with all Marine recruits, throughout both phases of the entire course, the 
women were schooled rigorously by male Marine drill instructors, who had been 
transferred from the Parris Island Recruit Depot to Mount Holyoke for this 

     On 6 April, members of the first class received their silver OC pins, 
which marked their promotion to officer cadet status.  This was a 
specially-created category, authorized by the Secretary of the Navy, to 
correspond to the status and pay rating of their contemporaries in the WAVES.  
Since Navy candidates went through their training as midshipmen, it was


felt desirable for members of the two groups to have equal standing.<47> 
Successful candidates received their commissions on 4 May, a little over seven 
weeks after they had entered. The second candidates' class began its training 
on 10 April and the third class, in early May.  Altogether a total of 214 
Women Marines completed officer training at Mount Holyoke, with a new class 
entering each month.<48>

     Administratively, the Marine training unit had the comparable status of a 
Marine detachment aboard ship.  The women had their own commanding officer who 
was responsible for discipline, as well as for coordinating instruction in 
drill and academic subjects with that of the school.  The Marine candidates 
were organized into separate companies and were under the immediate command of 
an officer of the regular Marine Corps, Major E. Hunter Hurst.  But the WR 
detachment itself was part of the WAVES school complement, under final 
authority of the commanding officer of the Midshipmen's School.<49>

     All officer candidates enlisted as privates.  At the end of their 
preliminary four-week training period, women considered not qualified for 
appointment as cadets had the option of either being transferred to Hunter 
College for completion of basic training, or of being ordered to their homes 
and inactive status in the reserve district to wait ultimate discharge from 
the Marine Corps.  Cadets who, upon completion of their training, were not 
recommended for commissioned rank, submitted their resignations to the 
Commandant via official channels and were subsequently discharged.  If they 
wanted to reenlist as a private, they could do so, provided they were not over 
age for enlistment.<50>

                               Recruit Training

     Two weeks after the first officer class began its training, the first 
class of 722 enlisted women entered Hunter College, The Bronx, New York or, as 
it was officially known, the U. S. Naval Training School (WR).  Due to the 
size of the group, its members were ordered to arrive over a three-day period, 
24-26 March, in three equal daily contingents.<51>  The "boots" were billeted 
in nearby apartment houses and began their instruction with the WAVES on 26 

     The administrative set-up was similar to Mount Holyoke but vastly larger.  
Although part of the host Navy organization, the Marine recruits were 
organized into separate companies, each headed by a male Marine officer and 
combined into a battalion, under command of an officer of the regular Marine 
Corps, Major William W. Buchanan.  The first class was divided into 21 
platoons of approximately 35 women each.<52>


     A senior woman officer, Captain Katharine A. Towle, was a member of Major 
Buchanan's staff from the beginning.  Other women officers were added to it 
after the first officer candidates' class was commissioned.  A group of 33 
instructors, including 10 officers and 23 enlisted, comprised the major's 
staff.  They instructed the women in both Marine Corps and general subjects, 
the curriculum being similar to that of Mount Holyoke.  In addition, there 
were 15 to 20 sharp-eyed drill instructors to supervise the close-order drill 
of all the women in the training school, both WAVES and Marines.<53>

     Included in the first group of enlisted women were many stenographers and 
secretaries, telephone operators, two motor mechanics, laboratory technicians, 
an acetylene welder, a commercial artist, a parachute maker, woodcraft 
workers, and others representing a wide variety of occupations and civilian 

     The first class was graduated 25 April 1943, in a little over four weeks' 
time.  Subsequent classes entered every two weeks, and numbered some 525 
recruits each.  Indoctrination lasted approximately four weeks, but individual 
classes varied from three-and-a-half to five weeks because of the need to 
coordinate schedules with the WAVES.  Between 26 March and 10 July, six 
recruit classes entered and a total of 3,280 women Marines were graduated.  
Despite the intensity and fast pace of the training, attrition--about two 
percent--was quite low.<55>

                            Clothing Instructions

     Members of both the first candidates' class and recruit class went 
through half their training in civilian clothes.  Uniforms were issued in the 
latter part of April, as soon as they became available in quantity.  Detailed 
instructions issued to prospective WRs before they left home for training had 
spelled out clearly the clothes they should bring with them, including two 
pair of comfortable dark brown, laced oxfords.  "Experience has proven that 
drilling tends to enlarge the feet," the mimeographed instructions stated 
matter-of-factly.  In addition to the list of necessary clothing, all trainees 
were sharply warned not to leave home without orders; not to arrive before the 
exact time and date stamped on their official papers; and not to forget their 
ration cards.<56>

                            Transfer to New River

     By the early summer of 1943, the Marine Corps had readied its own 
schools.  Although it was originally under the orders to use existing 
facilities of the Navy insofar as was practical for procurement and training, 
the size of the classes both at Hunter and Mount Holyoke dictated the need for 
larger facilities.


     In July 1943, the fifth month of the Women's Reserve, both the officer 
candidates' class and recruit depot were transferred to Camp Lejeune, New 
River, North Carolina.  Together with the specialists' schools, which had been 
in operation at New River since May, they comprised the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve Schools.  Here, nearly 19,000 women took their training throughout the 
remainder of the war.

     The third class of officer candidates was commissioned at Mount Holyoke 
on 29 June.  The combined battalion of WAVES and Marines passed in review 
before Major Streeter, Lieutenant Commander McAfee, Director of the WAVES, and 
Brigadier General Keller E. Rockey, USMC, Director of the Division of Plans 
and Policies at Headquarters.  Commented Major Streeter: The candidates 
presented an excellent battalion review conducted entirely by themselves 
without any men officers on the field. They made a very good impression in all 
ways and left Mount Holyoke with good feeling between themselves and the Navy 
and the college."<57>

     Possibly the satisfactory experience at Mount Holyoke was due partly to 
another factor.  Its president was an ex-Marine!  As the Marine Corps later 
wrote in a letter of appreciation to Dr. Roswell G. Hamm: "Your continual 
willingness to assist in the formation of policies and to contribute to the 
comfort of the Marine Corps personnel at Mount Holyoke were largely 
responsible for the high morale and fine esprit de corps of our officer 
candidates.  Your experience as a former Marine made you keenly aware of the 
vital importance of the work to be done by the Women's Reserve."<58>

     Tuesday, 29 June, was also the day that members of the fourth class were 
promoted to rank of cadet.  On Thursday, approximately 70 members of the 
training class and the staff departed in a troop movement to Camp Lejeune, 
arriving two days later.  Training was resumed on 5 July and the class 
graduated on 7 August.  The fifth class reported directly to Camp Lejeune on 
15 July as did all candidates' classes thereafter.<59>  Meanwhile, at Hunter 
College, the current class of enlisted women completed its training in early 
July.  The tenth class reported directly to Camp Lejeune on 12 July and 
graduated on 15 August.  Thereafter, a class of approximately 550 women 
entered every two weeks and graduated about five and a half weeks later, in 
accordance with previously established schedules.  Three classes were in 
training simultaneously.<60>

     The new location and consolidation of training was welcomed by all, 
students and administrative staff alike.  It enabled a far more thorough 
Marine Corps indoctrination than had been possible before and permitted later 
classes of enlisted women to receive detailed instructions in various 
administrative procedures needed on their day-to-day jobs.


     A highlight of all Women Marines' training, initiated after the move to 
New River, were the field demonstrations in which the women witnessed actual 
use of mortars, bazookas, flamethrowers, amphibian tractors, landing craft, 
hand-to-hand combat, camouflage, even war dogs.  Picked teams of male Marines 
presented these special demonstrations in half-day sessions.  "By showing the 
women what the men faced whom they had released for combat, their pride in the 
Corps was increased and they saw clearly their own part in it," the Director 
of the Women's Reserve later observed.<62>  Since no other women's military 
service had such real-life battle demonstrations, it was understandable that 
their members were somewhat envious of this aspect of the WR's training!<63>

     Actually, the first tentative step toward what was later to become the 
field demonstrations had occurred informally less than a month after training 
began.  A personal letter received by recently promoted Brigadier General 
Waller from Major Hurst, Commanding Officer of the Marine Training Detachment 
at the Midshipmen's School in South Hadley had stated, in part:

     "In drawing these up [training schedules ordered by Marine Corps 
Headquarters] I found myself wishing more and more that we could include some 
weapons instructions, at least pistol, for our women....I have found that the 
women come into the Marine Corps expecting to learn to shoot and I, of course, 
would like to see them become the first women's reserve in the country to take 
up the specialty of their men if Headquarters considers the idea at all 
feasible.  I wouldn't have had the nerve to suggest it if Mrs. Franklin D. 
Roosevelt hadn't asked me on her visit last week how soon they were going to 
learn to shoot.  She expressed surprise at learning that the women of the U. 
S. were not learning as much about weapons as the women of other 

     Weapons demonstrations took another big step forward in a memorandum 
drafted 12 June 1943 by Major Streeter discussing the proposed, curricula for 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve Schools to open the following month in New 
River.  She noted that the indoctrination of both training classes of women 
contained lectures on combat equipment, landing operations, tactics, parachute 
troops, and amphibian tractors.  If it is possible to arrange transportation 
and schedules that would not interrupt the training of the men in these lines 
of work, I believe it would be a definite inspiration to the Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve to see them actually in training," she wrote.<65>  The 
Director's suggestion was approved, and the modification in the women's 
training was considered to be highly advantageous by all concerned.


                                 Troop Trains

     Lessons in Marine Corps style efficiency and order were learned even 
before new recruits arrived at Camp Lejeune.  They were brought to New River 
on all-Marine trains---all-Women-Marine trains.  Numbering approximately 500 
girls, the mass troop movement was directed by a woman lieutenant, with two 
enlisted women as assistants.  Commented one recruit: "We started right out 
learning military procedure and discipline at the railroad station.  The WRs 
lined us up, bag and baggage, and marched us aboard the train."<66>

     Once at Camp Lejeune, boots observed the strict rules governing male 
recruits at the Parris Island and San Diego boot camps. Every minute of the 
day was accounted for, and no liberty was granted during the six-week 
indoctrination.<67>  Training got underway the minute the women arrived.  
Speedy assignment to billets in the neat red brick barracks in Area One, set 
aside for the exclusive use of the women's schools, was followed by 
orientation classes; issue of uniforms; close order drill, beginning the day 
after arrival; and classification tests and interviews to assess a woman's 
abilities, education, training, and business experience.  Strict discipline 
and tight schedules worked their invariable magic.  Before long it seemed a 
perfectly normal routine to get up at 0545, fall in formation at 0630, eat at 
0645, attend classes from 0800 to 1130, march to lunch, and spend until 1600 
daily in classes or drill.

     Despite constant emphasis on discipline, proper military phraseology and 
customs, even the best-intentioned WR sometimes made mistakes, often ingenuous 
ones with a decidedly feminine twist.  There's the story of the Woman Marine 
who became flustered upon passing an officer on the street and got her 
instructions mixed.  Instead of saluting and saying, "By your leave, sir," she 
saluted and said "Leave me by, sir."<68>

     In another instance, a woman student platoon leader tried in vain to give 
her marching troops the order of execution on the correct foot.  With her 
platoon marching along, she decided to compose herself for a minute to make 
double sure.  Suddenly, dead ahead of the column, a tree loomed up.  Her 
command rang out strong and clear:  "Around the tree....MARCH!"<69>

                             "Hometown" Platoons

     A month after the organization of the Women's Reserve, an officer in the 
Southern Recruiting District had queried Headquarters: "...we are making plans 
for the formation of a platoon of Women Marines to be sworn in jointly and 
sent to training as a group.  This has been done successfully with male 
Marines in the past.  If there is any objection to this, please wire 


     Not only was there no objection from Headquarters, but the idea was 
picked up by other recruiting officials and cities.  Although Atlanta appears 
to have been the city where the idea was originally conceived for the hometown 
platoons, it was the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the Marine Corps back 
in the days of the Revolution, that produced the first WR platoon to be sent 
to camp as an entity.  This occurred in early September 1943 and rated a 
telegram of congratulations and "Welcome Aboard" from Major Streeter.<71>

     The 168th observance of the Marine Corps birthday on 10 November was the 
occasion for the swearing in en masse of both the first Pittsburgh platoon as 
well as the Potomac Platoon of Women Marines of Washington, D. C.  The latter 
ceremony took place at the Library of Congress, prior to departure of the unit 
for boot training at Camp Lejeune.  Much local enthusiasm was created, and, as 
a library official later wrote to a Marine officer: "In all my years of 
association with the Library of Congress I have never seen the steps of the 
main building put to more appropriate use than the swearing in of the First 
Potomac Platoon of Women Marines."<72>

     The recruiting of other "all neighbor" women's platoons was scheduled 
which included: Albany, Buffalo (two), Northern New England, Pittsburgh (two), 
Miami, Alabama, Fayette County, Pa., Johnstown, Pa., St. Paul, Green Bay, 
Westmoreland County, Pa., Seattle, Houston, Southern New England, Central New 
York, and Dallas.  Members of the platoons were ordered to duty at one time, 
went through their preliminary training as a unit, but upon completion of 
their training were assigned to duty individually.<73>

                           Training at Camp Lejeune

     The training program of all Women Marines was drawn up with the prime 
objective of converting civilians into responsible military personnel in the 
shortest time possible.  As with generations of male Marines before them, 
close-order drill proved to be the most effective single training factor.<74> 
Through these basic military movements, the Women Marines learned not only the 
value of teamwork, military precision and snap, instantaneous response to 
command, and discipline and order, but also pride in outfit, pride in self, 
and the intangibles of that traditional Marine esprit.

     Upon completion of basic training, those women considered to have 
sufficient skills to be of immediate value to the Marine Corps received their 
orders and went on active duty at once.  Other women, both officer and 
enlisted, were assigned to specialist schools and still others were trained on 
the job


as apprentices.  Depending on their civilian background and skill, some took 
over in supervisory positions.  In any event, the aim was to get the women 
assigned to suitable duty as rapidly as possible in accordance with the 
current needs of the service.

     Lieutenant Colonel Lucian C. Whitaker, USMCR, and, later Colonel John M. 
Arthur, USMC, were the commanding Officers of the Camp Lejeune Women's Reserve 
Schools which included the Recruit Depot, Candidates' Class, and Specialist 
Schools Detachment. The platoons in training at New River averaged from 28 to 
30 women, and a company, approximately 165.<75>

     Of the 22,1999 women ordered to Recruit Depot (i.e., Hunter College and 
Camp Lejeune), only 602 failed to complete the course for physical reasons or 
inaptitude, an attrition rate of 2.7 percent.  These individuals were 
discharged either on grounds of unsuitability or by medical survey.<76>

                             Specialist Training

     From the very beginning, advanced training was available.  More than 100 
members of the first class graduated 25 April from Hunter attended Navy and 
Marine specialist schools.  The early Navy courses were: Aviation Machinist 
Mate at the Naval Training School, Memphis, Tennessee; Link Training 
Instructor at the Naval Air Station, Atlanta, Georgia; and Aviation 
Storekeeper at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  Early Marine 
specialty schools included cooks and bakers, motor transport, quartermaster, 
and non-commissioned officers.  Members of the officer classes at Mount 
Holyoke were also selected for further training, including instruction at the 
Navy's communications school in South Hadley, Massachusetts.<77>

     Before the war was over, some 30 specialist schools were open to the 
Women Marines in fields as diverse as mechanics and personnel administration.  
Nearly 9,000 women received such advanced training.  The courses varied in 
length from 4 to 22 weeks and were open to women who had finished "boot 
training" and who sought and qualified for higher ratings in the specialized 
fields.<78>  As women proved their versatility on the job, the original 
half-dozen or so specialist schools quickly expanded to capitalize on their 
abilities.  At the University of Wisconsin, for instance, one WR studying 
radio communications actually picked up an SOS from a ship sinking somewhere 
at sea.<79>

     In addition to the early schools, other Marine Corps and Navy training 
courses open to the women during the two and a half years of the war included: 
first sergeant, paymaster, signal, parachute rigger, aerographer, clerical, 
control tower


operator, aerial gunnery instructor, celestial navigation, motion picture 
operators technician, aircraft instruments, radio operator, radio material, 
radio material teletypewriter, post exchange, uniform shop, aviation 
storekeeping, automotive mechanic, carburetor and ignition, aviation supply, 
and photography.  Many of these classes, such as those at the First Sergeant's 
School in Philadelphia, contained old-time veteran Marines.  Thus members of 
the new Women's Reserve benefited both by personal association with these 
highly competent (and sometimes highly critical) "Old Salts" and from 
classroom discussions of their job experiences.  Top-ranking students were 
often awarded a higher rating than the majority of the class upon completion 
of specialty training.<80>

                           Promotion from the Ranks

     The first seven officer candidates' classes were made up of women who 
enlisted in Class VI(a) directly from civilian life.<81>  The applications of 
these women were forwarded to Headquarters from the procurement district where 
they had originally enlisted.  In Washington, a four-member board reviewed all 
applications for officer training and selected the best qualified, who were 
subsequently ordered to duty.

     Because there were many outstanding enlisted women who, officials 
believed, should also have the opportunity for commissioned rank, this plan 
was modified in July 1943.  The Commandant felt that from then on there would 
be sufficient Class V (b) Reservists who "as a result of education, past 
experience and training can supply the demand and perform the duties as 
officers.  The plan of selecting commissioned personnel, in the main, from the 
ranks will build up a high standard of morale, efficiency, and esprit de 
corps."  Thus, beginning with the eighth class, in October 1943, the 
candidates' class was composed of both civilian and enlisted women, with the 
majority in the latter group.  To be eligible, a Marine had to be recommended 
by her commanding officer.  A board of seven members, including the Women's 
Reserve Director, as well as both regular and reserve male officers, was 
convened regularly to review and pass judgment on applications from enlisted 
personnel.<82>  This new plan, it should be pointed out, did not completely 
close the door to civilian candidates.  Women with specialized abilities 
needed by the Marine Corps or those considered to have generally outstanding 
leadership qualities were still accepted, but on a far more limited basis.  
The first class of ex-enlisted Marines was graduated on 15 December 1943, and 
thereafter the majority of new women officers had served in an enlisted 
capacity before being commissioned.<83>


     After the transfer to New River, all officer candidates were appointed to 
the rank of private first class and remained as such during the entire course, 
a move that brought the women's training more into line with that of male 
Marines, since this system was being used in the men's OCS program at 
Quantico.  The cadet category had served its purpose and was dropped once the 
Marines were training strictly on their own.  Meritorious enlisted women who 
held the ranks of corporal or sergeant temporarily reverted to PFC, and all 
candidates wore PFC chevrons and OC pins on their uniform lapels and caps. 
Although the outward appearance of equal rank prevailed, the higher-rated WRs 
were still eligible to draw the pay of their actual rank.  In the event an 
enlisted woman did not complete the course, she resumed her regular rating.  
If she so desired, she was eligible after six months to reapply for a new 
candidates' class "without prejudice against her" because of her earlier 
failure.<84>  At the completion of training, successful candidates were 
commissioned in the "appropriate" rank.  The custom developed of awarding 
first lieutenant commissions to a small proportion of top candidates and 
second lieutenant rank to the rest.  In several cases, unusually 
well-qualified candidates were awarded the rank of captain immediately upon 
completion of candidates' class.  But this was no "snap" course; attrition 
averaged over 30 percent.<85>

                            Reserve Officer Class

     When officer ranks were opened to enlisted personnel in late 1943, it 
became apparent that even an outstanding NCO did not always make an immediate 
good personal adjustment to officer status.  Then, too, it seemed advisable 
that these ex-enlisted women should become somewhat more accustomed to their 
gold bars while still at school and before going out to their first officer 

     Accordingly, the first reserve officer class was established after 
commissioning of the eighth officer candidates' class, in December.  
Thereafter, the reserve office class was composed of successful graduates of 
officers' class as well as graduates of the earlier classes who had been on 
active duty and for whom it served as a refresher course.  Principal emphasis 
was on typical personnel problems.  Discussions included realistic problems in 
administration, recreation, messing, rehabilitation, and the psychology of 
behavior patterns that a woman officer might have to deal with on the job.  
The officer training program was thus lengthened to a full three months, with 
eight weeks of fundamental indoctrination plus the four-week training offered 
by the reserve officer class.<86>


                               IV.  The Uniform

     Design of the uniform for members of the Woman's Reserve had high 
priority, and the basic ensemble of the uniform was designed prior to actual 
formation of the Women's Reserve.  In mid-December 1942, a memorandum from the 
Commandant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy officially requested that 
Mrs. Anne Adams Lentz, then an employee of the War Department, be assigned to 
duty at Headquarters "for a period of approximately 30 days."<87>  Mrs. Lentz 
had been employed by the school uniform section of a large New York department 
store and for eight months had helped the WAACs in the design of their 
uniform.  She came on duty immediately, early in January, and, following 
consultation with the Depot Quartermaster in Philadelphia, was detailed to New 
York City to oversee the construction of model uniforms for the Women's 
Reserve by the Women's Garment Manufacturers of New York.<88>  The original 
concept for design of the uniform was clearly spelled out.  The men wanted the 
women to be dressed in the traditional Marine forest green and to look as much 
as possible like Marines.  Later that month, her original 30-day duty about to 
expire, Mrs. Lentz decided to stay on.  She was sworn in as a WR captain on 18 
January 1943, the oath of office being administered by her husband, Brigadier 
General John M. Lentz, who was attached to Army Ground Forces Headquarters in 
Washington, D. C.<89>

     After Captain Lentz conferred with clothing designers in New York and 
Marine Corps Headquarters, as well as the supply division in Philadelphia, a 
general type of uniform was adopted based on tradition, theory, and drawings.  
Samples were made up of various uniform designs, these were shown to the 
Commandant and others at Headquarters, and both the winter and summer styles 
here adopted.<90>

     Once the details of design and construction were officially approved, the 
uniforms were manufactured for the Marine Corps and sold by civilian suppliers 
under the same general setup as prevailed with the WAVES.  Although newspaper 
clippings showed the new uniform the week after public announcement, and a few 
key women officers who were constantly in the public eye were issued uniforms 
almost at once, the inexorable law of supply and demand made it impossible to 
provide uniforms in quantity until April.  Nearly all the early USMCWR 
officers went on active duty or training, to all outward appearance civilians.

     Public interest in the uniform, as well as the name and all other matters 
concerning the Women's Reserve, was keen.  Perhaps mindful of the blue and red 
of the Marine dress uniform, one woman sent in to Marine Corps Headquarters a 
picture of a blue and red suit ensemble appearing in the current issue of a 
high-styled fashion magazine, recommending its adoption and commenting


that the hat would "probably have to be modified" for the Marine Corps' 
purposes.<91>  Another unsolicited offer of help came from an ex-Marine of 
World War I who volunteered his old dress blue cape and wrote: "I am wondering 
if the uniform of the new Women's Reserve of the Marine Corps will include the 
blue cape....I happen to have found two of these among my effects a few days 
ago....I will be glad to donate them to the new organization if you can use 
them."<92>  Customarily, Marine Corps Headquarters sent individual replies to 
such letters, thanking the writers for their interest in the Marine Corps and 
offer of help, but advising that forest green uniform had already been decided 
upon for the women's use.

     Essentially the regulation Marine uniform was adopted.  Its feminine 
counterpart was identical in color with that of the men, but of a slightly 
lighter-weight serge or covert fabric, although enthusiasts at the time not 
infrequently proclaimed that the girls' uniforms were "cut from the identical 
forest green cloth as the men's."<93>

     In accordance with provisions of the law which had authorized the Women's 
Reserve, a uniform allowance and gratuity of $250 was made for officers and 
$200 for enlisted.  It was expected that uniforms would be purchased, fitted, 
and paid for during the period of indoctrination.  From her uniform allowance, 
a Woman Marine purchased two winter uniforms, hats shoes, summer outfits, a 
handbag, a wool-lined raincoat (at $41 the most expensive item in her 
wardrobe), and various other articles.<94>

                                Official Issue

     The winter uniform consisted of a forest-green, tailored suit with a 
semifitted, unbelted, three-button jacket with roll collar and notched lapels, 
worn with a plain matching six-gored skirt that extended approximately to the 
bottom of the knee cap.  The jacket had four pockets, and the traditional 
Marine pointed-overlay cuff detail finished the sleeve.  Dull-finished bronze 
Marine ornaments were worn on the collar, and jacket buttons were of the same 
design and finish.  A khaki shirt and tie, cordovan oxfords or pumps, seamed 
beige hose, dark-brown gloves, and a dark-brown shoulder bag were worn.  The 
visored, bell-crowned cap had a large dull-bronze finished Marine Corps 
ornament in front and was trimmed with a scarlet cap cord.  This cord was a 
striking difference of the women's uniform and replaced the brown chin strap 
of the men's dress cap.  A matching scarlet wool muffler was worn with the 
trenchcoat or overcoat.  Officers wore their rank insignia on the shoulder 
straps of the jacket and on the shirt collar.  They also had the option of 
white shirts and dark green


ties for dress wear.  Enlisted personnel wore their chevrons in the manner of 
male Marines.  In most other respects, the uniforms worn by officers and 
enlisted women were quite similar.<95>

     Rather than the traditional military khaki with close-fitting collar and 
necktie worn by male Marines as well as the women in World War I, the summer 
work uniform designed for the women in World War II was a tailored two-piece 
dress, initially of green and white striped plisse crepe, and shortly 
thereafter of similarly striped seersucker.  On the principle that "coolness 
makes for efficiency," it had an open V-neck, short sleeves, and four patch 
pockets.  Captain Lentz was the one who first suggested breaking with the 
tradition of summer khaki and the use of seersucker uniforms because of the 
ease with which they could be laundered, since it was recognized that at many 
places members of the Women's Reserve would be entirely dependent on 
themselves for the proper laundering and smart appearance of their 
uniforms.<96>  The single-breasted jacket of this dress had five large white 
buttons down the front; small white buttons closed the pointed flaps of the 
four pockets.  Commissioned rank was indicated by metal insignia-on the 
shoulder straps and noncommissioned rank by green chevrons.  Officers at first 
wore their insignia right on the straps, but it was soon realized that on the 
striped material the insignia was not easily seen.  Therefore, a slightly 
stiffened solid green shoulder board in the shape of the strap was devised.  
Dull-finished bronze Marine Corps ornaments were worn on the collar.  At 
first, the summer headgear was a round cap with a snap brim, but this was soon 
replaced by a cap of the same style as that of the winter uniform, but of a 
light spruce-green cotton twill.  This cap had a white cap cord and the same 
large globe-and-anchor ornament.  Later, a light-green, garrison-style cap 
with white piping was authorized.  The same dark-brown oxfords or pumps used 
with the winter service were worn.  For summer wear the handbag had a matching 
spruce-green cover, easily removable to launder.  Gloves were white.  All 
items of the summer uniform were designed so they would be washable and easy 
to keep in good repair.<97>

     Summer dress uniform was a two-piece sparkling white cotton, in the same 
styling as the seersucker uniform, but worn with gold buttons and insignia, 
white pumps and gloves, and the same green-visored cap and matching cover for 
the handbag.<98>

     Uniform regulations were issued and modified as required.<99>  The proper 
lipstick hue was prescribed as a clear red, or close to the trade shade known 
as "Montezuma Red" which matched the winter cap cord and muffler and was 
"neatly and thinly applied."<100>  Girdles were a must, no matter how trim or 


the figure.  Slips were to be worn and were not to show below the skirt.  Hair 
might touch but not cover the collar.  Fingernail polish was an option, but if 
worn had to match the lipstick.  And, unlike their more casual civilian 
sisters, hats and gloves were required at all times when outdoors.<101>

     In addition to regular summer and winter uniforms, certain specialized 
types of uniforms were issued such as bibbed overalls for work clothes.  An 
attempt was made to keep all uniforms attractively-styled but simple, so as to 
keep within the monetary uniform allowance and make them easy to keep cleaned, 
pressed, and sharp looking.<102>

                             Those Dress Whites!

     Summer dress uniforms easily won hands-down honors from both Marines and 
non-Marines as the most attractive and feminine uniform of any women's 
service.  They were an immediate hit. When the Third War Loan Drive got 
underway on 9 September 1943, Women Marines attired in the dress whites nearly 
stole the show in Philadelphia.  "The snappy-looking members of the MCWR--a 
score of them--were parts of the official escort for the dozen or more 
Hollywood stars," wrote one observer.  "All the stars highly complimented the 
uniforms of the Women's Reserve...Dick Powell said he thought they were the 
nicest he had seen."  Perhaps the best accolade of all came from the policeman 
who commented simply: "I hear from all sides that the Women Marines outshone 
the stars."<103>

                Special Uniform Class and Uniform Distribution

     From September through December 1943, 13 women officers were attached to 
Headquarters for intensive training in the various phases of tailoring, 
alternations, clothing construction, and fitting.  Upon completion of a 
six-week course, they were assigned to uniform shops being operated by Post 
Exchanges at major Marine Corps posts throughout the country.  Two phases of 
training were covered in the course: materials, design, construction, 
specifications, and uniform regulations; and administration and successful 
operation of a uniform shop, including the set-up of a Post Exchange stock 
control system.  Unlike some of their sister services, the Women Marines' 
clothing was not government issue.  Regulation clothing and all items of 
uniform were purchased by the Post Exchange, and in turn bought by the women, 
using the allowance given them by the government.  At the Post Exchange 
Uniform Shop, Women Marines especially trained for the job fitted the 


     Originally, in 1943, Marine Corps Women's Reserve uniforms had been 
manufactured by various firms and sold to retail outlets.  These stores then 
sold the uniforms to the individual women, a system of supply and distribution 
which had been used by the WAVES and adopted by the Women Marines.  However, 
since it seemed to have a number of inherent difficulties, including chronic 
shortage of popular sizes, a change was made on 16 February 1944, when 
responsibility for distribution of the women's clothing was placed in the 
Quartermaster Department which supplied the Post Exchange shops throughout the 
country for the remainder of the war.<104>

                        Uniform Board and Regulations

     On 11 June 1943, a Uniform Unit was established as part of the Women's 
Reserve Section at Marine Corps Headquarters.  Its purpose was to provide for 
the complete uniforming of the individual at the time of assignment to active 
duty.  A Uniform Board which suggested articles of clothing and made 
recommendations to the Commandant was established on 17 June.  A complete list 
of uniform regulations, including explanatory sketches, was issued in July 
1943, after having been approved by the Uniform Board, the Commandant, and the 
Secretary of the Navy.  These regulations were later modified and reissued in 
April 1945.<105>

     On 16 June 1944, the Uniform Unit of the Women's Reserve Section was 
transferred to the Supply Division, Quartermaster Department.  A number of 
steps were taken to make the entire system of supply and distribution of 
uniforms more expeditious. In October, this division took over the writing and 
approval of all specifications for Women's Reserve clothing.  This job had 
previously been done by the Philadelphia Depot of Supplies which had based 
many of its supply projections on its past experience of working with men's 
clothing, a system which not too surprisingly proved inadequate, as certain 
characteristics of women's clothing were entirely unrelated to men's.<106> 
Although the Woman Marine uniform itself was well-accepted and a definite 
success, many of the administrative procedures concerning its design, 
specifications, accurate sizing, inspection, and distribution remained a 
changing but constant problem.  As the Director herself once commented: 
"...the supply of MCWR clothing was one of the few problems to which a 
satisfactory solution had not been found at the time that demobilization 


                         V. Jobs and Job Assignments

     All Marine Corps training for the women, whether basic or specialist, was 
tough and thorough.  The objective was to indoctrinate a Woman Marine so 
completely in her field or specialty that she could handle any contingency 
that might develop in the day-to-day job situation.  Skill and precision were 
mandatory, whether in transcribing shorthand notes or packing parachutes.  As 
with the battlefield Marines, the women learned that mistakes could cost 

     Women Marines in World War II had many advantages over their predecessors 
in World War I.  One of the biggest of these was in job assignments and 
increased job responsibility.  The women Marines of 1918 (or, as they were 
called in the parlance of the day, "Marinettes") <108> numbered 305 and had 
primarily clerical duties--stenography, typing, bookkeeping, and messenger 

     By contrast a much wider range of jobs were available to USMCR women in 
the Second World War.  This included such diverse tasks as being a radio 
operator, photographer, parachute rigger, motor transport driver, aerial 
gunnery instructor, cook and baker, quartermaster, Link trainer instructor, 
control tower operator, motion picture technician, automotive mechanic, 
teletype operator, cryptographer, laundry manager, and post exchange manager.  
In addition, as the women's units were set up in posts throughout the country, 
there were hundreds of "line" or company work assignments created which 
compare roughly to personnel management jobs in civilian life, as well as the 
inevitable stenographic and related desk jobs.

     Early recruiting literature in 1943 had referred to "more than 30 
different job assignments."<110>  Actually, this turned out to be an extremely 
modest estimate.  Once on the job, the women proved themselves so versatile 
that they were soon performing assignments previously considered strictly in 
the masculine domain.  They also took on, informally, other duties such as 
swimming pool lifeguard on some posts and stations.<111>  The total number of 
different job classifications turned out to be more than 200.  (See Appendix A 
for complete list.)

                              Job Classification

     A job classification system was established in March 1943 so that each 
man Marine could be easily placed in the task she was suited to handle 
following completion of her indoctrination course.  At both the U. S. Naval 
Training School in the Bronx and the U. S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School 
in Northhampton, women Reservists were questioned as to professional 
experience, education, hobbies, and linguistic ability.  Tests determined 
their special aptitudes.<112>


     The classification system, paralleling that used for the men, was under 
the direction of Captain Cornelia Williams, at Marine Corps Headquarters.  She 
held a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and had 
wide experience as a college instructor and administrator in student personnel 
work.<113>  The Women's Reserve Section of the Detail Branch was responsible 
for the classification and detail of all Women Reservists.  The section's 
classification work involved selection of tests, designing a qualification 
card, supervising the selection and training of classification personnel, and 
analyzing jobs and giving them appropriate specification serial numbers. The 
Women's Reserve Section projected and planned the distribution of all Women 
Marines in accordance with the current needs of the service and requested the 
necessary orders to send them to the appropriate schools or duty stations.  
This required analysis of billets, an analysis of available personnel, and the 
matching of the two as well as possible.<114>

     After the transfer of recruit training to Camp Lejeune in early July, 
each new Marine was tested and interviewed during her first week of training.  
Assignment to jobs and eligibility for the specialists schools was determined 
by the classification section at the Women's Reserve Schools.  Eventually, 
classification specialists were assigned to all posts and stations to assist 
in the assignment of women who reported for duty and to reclassify them when 
necessary.  Reassignment sometimes became necessary because the personnel were 
misassigned in the first place or because the needs of the service had 

     More than half of all Women Marines were assigned to office jobs where 
they utilized their civilian experience.  A statistical breakdown of the 
17,672 women on duty at the end of the war shows they had primary military job 
specialties in the following categories:

Clerical and sales                        11,020          (or 62.4 percent>
General duty                               1,648          (    9.3 percent>
Mechanical                                 1,371          (    7.7 percent>
Professional and managerial                1,342          (    7.6 percent>
Semi-skilled jobs                          1,305          (    7.4 percent>
Agriculture and service                      587          (    3.3 percent>
Student                                       35          (    0.2 percent>
Unskilled                                     14          (    0.08 percent>

     An analysis of military assignment in relation to civilian background 
shows that:

     (1)  The total number of Women Marines assigned to clerical duties was 
about the same as the percentage so employed in civilian life.


     (2)  Proportionately fewer women were utilized in "professional" 
categories in the Marine Corps than came from professional jobs in civilian 
life.  Most of the discrepancies can be accounted for by the relatively large 
number of civilian school teachers who enlisted in the Women's Reserve, in 
contrast to the number of instructional jobs available.

     (3)  Proportionately more women were used in the Marine Corps in 
mechanical jobs than came from these types of jobs as civilians--especially in 

     (4)  More women were used in the service category than came from this 
category as civilians.  Here again the discrepancy resulted from the fact that 
all commissary jobs in the Marine Corps were classified as personal 


     Promotion is always a difficult problem, and enlisted promotion in the 
Women's Reserve was no exception.  Several different plans were tried, found 
not entirely satisfactory, and were amended.  Eleven Letters of Instruction 
were issued on the subject in two and a half years.  The final system used for 
line personnel which seemed to work best provided that 75 percent of the 
combined strength of privates and privates first class could rank as privates 
first class.  A quota of promotions to the fourth and fifth pay grades was 
allotted monthly to each post, and these promotions were made by the post 
commander after tests were given and successful candidates determined.  
Promotions to the first three pay grades were recommended by commanding 
officers and effected by Marine Corps Headquarters as vacancies existed.  In 
the specialty schools top-ranking students were often graduated a full rating 
ahead of the rest of the class.<118>

     With officers, seniority was the chief determining factor in the 
beginning.  Later, it was decided that promotion should be made by selection, 
and for specific billets, so it would be possible to have the rank where it 
was most needed.  The principle of bloc promotion from second to first 
lieutenant was adopted and all Women's Reserve officers who served 
satisfactorily in commissioned rank for at least 18 months were finally 
assured one promotion.

     "Spot" promotions were authorized in cases where a woman with specialized 
skills was needed to fill a billet which by table of organization called for a 
higher-ranking Marine.  Such promotions became official only when the woman 
later came up for regular promotion with contemporaries from her same training 
class or like seniority, and was selected for promotion to the next higher 



     In May of 1943, as the first Hunter and Mount Holyoke classes were 
graduated, Women Marines began reporting in all units to camps and bases, as 
well as to Headquarters in Washington, where there were approximately 250 
enlisted women and 15 officers by mid-May.

     A little later, as the Marine raiders headlined the front pages with 
their landing on New Georgia and the capture of Viru Harbor, the first two 
Women Marines assigned to motor transport completed their specialist courses 
at Camp Lejeune and climbed into military trucks.

     July--as the new WR Schools complex began in full schedule at Camp 
Lejeune--found the Women Marines there moving full force into Paymaster and 
Quartermaster schools, well-aware that 9,000 miles away the Central Solomons 
were being blasted by Marine fliers and that more men would be needed for the 
island-hopping conquest of the enemy.

     August found the Women Marines at Lakehurst, New Jersey, learning to fold 
the silken safety of parachutes--and for them, the vital importance of the 
rigger's work was underlined by the landing of Marine Corsairs on Munda 
Airfield, a promise of air-battles to come.

    September found three battalions of Women Marines training simultaneously 
at Camp Lejeune's Recruit Depot.  As the first Marine planes landed in 
September on the newly-constructed airfield at Barakoma, Vella Lavella Island, 
in the Solomons, 25 women skilled in the handling of the Link trainer began 
instructing future Marine pilots at the air station at Edenton, North 

     By the following month, the first Women Marines had reported for duty on 
the West Coast--at Camp Pendleton and the air stations at Santa Barbara and El 
Centro, California.  At Cherry Point, where the women were already 
established, the entire bus system was taken over by them.  With the buses, 
they inherited the responsibility of dispatching, maintenance, and repairs.  
And at New River's "Tent City," combat Marines were surprised one morning when 
a group of Women Marines electricians reported to wire an area of Dallas 

     In November at San Diego and Parris Island, male teletype operators, 
cashiers, stenographers, and file clerks left in large numbers for the front 
lines as the women reported for duty.  At the Marine Corps Air Station at El 
Toro, California, the first 97 women paved the way for the thousands who 
eventually reported there to work in offices, handle mail, drive


jeeps, repair aircraft engines, and instruct combat crewmen in aerial gunnery.  
At the same time, at Quantico, Virginia, the first four women radio operators 
reported for duty.<122>

     Reported the Quantico Sentry in November 1943:  "The women Marines have 
landed.  Quantico--the beehive of training in World War I, on Wednesday 
received the first of the WR detachment.  Over 11,000 green-clad Women Marines 
(approximately 8,500 already on active duty) are training and working at 125 
different types of jobs at 52 other Marine posts and stations."<123>

     Other Women Marines, in training at the University of Wisconsin, at Miami 
University in Oxford, Ohio and at Omaha, Nebraska were learning the 
International Morse Code and the maintenance and operation of sending and 
receiving equipment, in preparation for the eventual take over of 
station-to-station communication at posts throughout the country.<124>

     Shortly thereafter, in December 1943, the significance of air power was 
re-emphasized to the women in forest green by the first Marine fighter sweep 
on Rabaul.  With approximately one-third of their total strength destined for 
some phase of aviation, Women Marines later that month moved into the fields 
of celestial navigation, studying mathematics and theory at Hollywood, Florida 
and the operation and maintenance of the miniature bomber at Quonset, Rhode 
Island.  At the same time, control tower operators, trained at the Atlanta, 
Georgia specialty school, were assigned to Marine flying fields, releasing 
more men for the air units in the Pacific.<125>

     Thus, by the end of their first year in service--13 February 1944--the 
Women Marines were nearing their planned enlistment strength and were a 
close-working unit on each camp, base, or air station.  In quartermaster 
departments, they were taking over not only the paperwork, but the actual 
loading duty in stock-rooms.  In other activities, they were aerial 
photographers and darkroom technicians, welders and painters, telephone 
operators, and aircraft and instrument mechanics.<126>

     Watching the combat men ship out for battle zones, the Women Marines 
worked steadily at their jobs and assumed new ones.  June and July of 1944 
marked the battles for Saipan, Tinian, and Guam---and the casualty lists 
passed through the hands of the Women Marines stationed at Marine Corps 
Headquarters.  Billeted at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, they were 
part of the over 2,000 on duty at Headquarters as stenographers, typists, 
clerks, and messengers.  Working in procurement, aviation, mail and files, 
plans and policies, and other offices, they handled the clerical details of 
muster rolls, decorations, statistics, payrolls, identifications, and other 
activities attendant upon the tremendous task of administration.<127>


     In September, the landings on Peleliu once more brought home to the women 
the need for constant replacements and supplies in the Pacific.  Cherry Point 
graduated its first class of women skilled in PBJ (Mitchell bomber) repair, 
and women radio operators began standing watch at the field's lighthouse 
tower.  At the same time, WR aviation machinists were graduating from the 
Naval Air Technical Training School in Norman, Oklahoma, and reporting for 
crew work at airfields.  In the supply depots in San Francisco and 
Philadelphia, women packed and repaired radio parts, sorted clothing, and 
drove trucks.<128>

     Beginning in December and though the first half of 1945, the 
participation of the Women Marines in the great push to victory was made even 
more complete when the passage of modified regulations permitted them to serve 
overseas.  Nearly a thousand Women Marines served in Hawaii, at the Pearl 
Harbor Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station in Ewa.  Here they did much as 
they had done in the States--moved into offices, workshops, and other 
installations, freeing combat men for front-line duty or return Stateside for 
well-earned furloughs.  With the ending of hostilities and surrender of Japan, 
nearly 20,000 Women Marines in jobs both in Hawaii and the States knew that 
their contribution had indeed been a vital one.<129>

                               Job in Aviation

     Before the war ended, nearly one-third of the Women Marines had served in 
aviation at Marine air commands and bases.  Under the special arrangement that 
the Division of Aviation had within the Marine Corps whereby it trained, 
assigned, and supervised its own personnel, this same policy was extended to 
women.  Upon completion of recruit training, they took classification tests 
and were divided into two main groups: those assigned to aviation and those to 
non-aviation, or general duty.  In most cases the Division of Aviation then 
made its own arrangements about specialty training.<130>

     All personnel working in aviation--whether in the "glamour" technical 
assignments such as Link trainer instructors and control tower operators or in 
the purely administrative functions such as stenographers and stock 
clerks--were classified as holding aviation jobs.  Since so many aviation jobs 
were being filled by women, it became essential to have at least one key 
officer responsible for the varied liaison and training duties.  A memorandum 
in early 1943 cited the modest requirements needed by this woman: she should 
have, preferably, both aviation and general business experience plus the 
executive ability to work with the Division of Aviation in connection with 
liaison, organization, procurement, and training.  Also, since Marine


aviation traditionally is so closely linked with naval aviation, an 
understanding of Navy Department organization, as well as that of the Marine 
Corps, was also considered desirable.  A main requirement was described simply 
as the ability to "handle problems and get things done."<131>  Two women were 
selected for special duties in the Division of Aviation and approved for 
appointment to the rank of captain, following completion of officers' 
training.  They were Marion B. Dryden and Katherine D. Lynch, both members of 
the fifth officers' class, who were commissioned on 20 September 1943.<132>

     Indication of how the women replaced the men in air ground jobs can be 
seen from the record at Cherry Point.  By August 1944 all the training in Link 
instruction was handled by the Women Marines.  They took almost complete 
charge of the photography department and film library.  Ninety percent of the 
parachute packing, inspecting, and repairing was done by the women, and 80 
percent of the landing-field control tower operations were being "manned" by 

     With assignment of large numbers of women to duty at Marine air stations, 
a number of detachments were activated as Aviation Women's Reserve Squadrons.  
The function of these units was to supply various technical and administrative 
personnel needed by the male Marine operational training unit of the next 
higher echelon.  Aviation Women's Reserve Squadrons in operation at the end of 
the war included: Number 1 at Mojave; Number 2 at Santa Barbara; Number 3 at 
El Centro; Numbers 4 and 5 at Miramar; Numbers 6-10 at El Toro; Number 11 at 
Parris-Island; Number 14 at Ewa, Hawaii; Numbers 15-20 at Cherry Point; and 
Number 21 at Quantico.<134>

                          "Appropriateness" of Jobs

     A four-fold classification of the "appropriateness" of jobs in respect to 
innate female capabilities to perform the work in contrast to the men they 
released was made, based on World War II evidence.  These are the following 
classifications and the conclusions which were reached.<135>

     Class I:  Jobs in which women are better, more efficient than men.  
Example:  All clerical jobs, especially those involving typing or requiring 
fairly routine tasks but coupled with a high degree of accuracy in the work; 
administrative jobs connected with organization and administration of the 
Women's Reserve; and instructional jobs of all types.

     Class II: Jobs in which women are as good as men, and replaced men on a 
one-to-one basis.  Examples:  some clerical jobs in which men are especially 
good, such as accounting;


some relatively unskilled service or clerical jobs, such as messengers or Post 
Exchange clerks; some of the mechanical and skilled jobs, such as watch 
repairman, fire control instrument repairman, tailor, sewing machine 
operator--especially those jobs requiring a high degree of finger dexterity.

     Class III:  Jobs in which women are not as good as men, but can be used 
effectively when need is great, such as wartime.  Example: most of the jobs in 
motor transport--men are better as motor mechanics and even as drivers when 
the equipment is heavy and the job demands loading and unloading as well as 
driving, as it often does; most of the "mechanical" and "skilled" jobs; 
supervisory and administrative jobs, such as first-sergeant (except in WR 
units) where maximum proficiency depends on years of experience in the Marine 
Corps, and also some supervisory jobs where part of the personnel being 
supervised is male; strenuous and physically tiring jobs, such as mess duty 
where experience showed that more women had to be assigned to cover the same 
amount of work because they could not endure the long hours and physical 
strain without relief as well as men.

     Class IV:  Jobs in which women cannot or should not be used at all.  
Example:  jobs demanding excessive physical strength, such as driving 
extremely heavy equipment, stock handling in warehouses, heavy lifting in mess 
halls; jobs totally inappropriate, such as battle duty or jobs requiring that 
personnel be engaged at particularly unfavorable hours, jobs protected by 
special civil service regulations for civilians, such as librarians.

                         The Philosophy of Hard Work

     The fundamental purpose of the Women's Reserve in World War II was to 
train Women Marines to replace men in essential duties at Marine bases, 
without loss of military efficiency.  The Marine Corps had no place for 
self-appointed glamour girls.  Enlistees were told bluntly they must be ready 
to learn many new things and to put up with a lot of hard work.  Typical of 
this straight-forward, realistic approach was a statement made by the Director 
less than six months after the Women Marines had been aboard.  In an official 
memorandum she noted that women of the Marine Corps were now stationed all 
over the United States, serving in all kinds of jobs, and true to traditions 
of the Corps, "cheerfully assume whatever duty may be assigned to them, even 
though it may be a job they do not particularly like.  Our people as a whole 
do just as the other members of the Marine Corps and take satisfaction in a 
hard job well done."<136>

     Admittedly some of the men had second thoughts about the real usefulness 
of the women until they saw them in action and observed "dungareed WRs tear 
down a Corsair engine, or slide


out, greased and grimed, from under a six-by-six truck, or handle a fouled-up 
traffic pattern from a control tower with the same ease as they did a 

     Not unexpectedly, morale was highest among those women who could see that 
they had actually "freed a man to fight" or that their efforts were a direct 
help to fighting Marines.  Morale was correspondingly low where the women were 
not kept sufficiently busy or where their jobs bore no visible relation to the 
war effort--such as beauty operators.  The greatest single morale factor among 
members of the Women's Reserve was job satisfaction.<138>

     And at the end, men who weren't too enthusiastic about admitting women to 
"their" Marine Corps were not at all enthusiastic about seeing them go.  As 
one captain ruefully remarked: "You can't pick good clerks out of thin air.  
The women have done remarkably well."<139>

                       VI.  Administration and Policies

     The original Plans and Policies study which had recommended the formation 
of a Women's Reserve also suggested that it be placed for administrative 
purposes in the Division of Reserve of the Adjutant and Inspector's 
Department.  This was a logical decision since the Division of Reserve was 
responsible for the procurement of all Marine Corps reserve personnel.  A 
newly created unit, called the Women's Reserve Section, was attached to the 
Division of Reserve to handle matters dealing with administration of the 
Women's Reserve, e.g., training, uniforming, and regulations.  Suitable 
personnel were placed in the Women's Reserve Section to handle the new 
activity.  In addition, a senior woman officer was assigned to major 
activities at Marine Corps Headquarters which handled matters affecting 
women--such as Personnel, Administrative Division, Public Information, Plans 
and Policies, and Supply.<140>

     It was believed that women could be most useful to the Marine Corps if 
they were regarded for purposes of organization much like "extra" Marines.  
Thus, all administrative action relating to them was taken through the 
regularly established divisions which were already performing such functions 
for the men, and the Women's Reserve was never organized as a separate 
administrative unit.<141>

     Initially, the Director, MCWR, was charged with the "...procurement, 
instruction, training, discipline, organization, administration and 
mobilization of the Women's Reserve for the duration of the war and six months 
thereafter."<142>  From 13 February to 29 October 1943, she was attached to 
the Women's Reserve Section for "purposes of instruction" as she learned


her way around military procedures.  On the latter date she was transferred as 
a Special Assistant to the Director of Personnel, with her chief duty being 
that of advising him on policy matters concerning the Women's Reserve.  
Although the Director had considerable influence in developing policies and 
procedures for the new Women's Reserve, actually she never took any 
independent action regarding the administrative handling of the Reserve. She 
made the recommendations to the Director of Personnel who, in turn, was 
authorized to take appropriate action.<143>

     Since the guiding philosophy was to treat the Women Marines, for 
administrative purposes, much like additional Marines, it was logical that 
those regulations governing the men which were appropriate and practical for 
the women would also be adopted.  Some administrative procedures and policies 
were also adopted from the WAVES.  This, too, was natural, since in the 
beginning recruiting and training of the Women Marines had been conducted in 
conjunction with that of the WAVES.  Then, too, the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve benefited from the valuable experience of the other women's services 
which was freely shared.  The Canadian Women's Army Corps was also most 
helpful.  In fact, an officer of the regular Marine Corps, Lieutenant Colonel 
John B. Hill, had paid an official visit to the CWAC and the other Canadian 
women's services in January 1943, before the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was 
formed, to learn first-hand about the curricula, personnel policies, and other 
organizational details that might be helpful to the new American service.<144>

                       Cooperation with the Women's Services

     Despite the fact that the women's services were competitive, in the sense 
they were all eager to enlist well-qualified candidates, a high degree of 
cooperation and good will existed between the directors themselves.  The women 
leaders of the three other services, and their highest ranks, were: Colonel 
Oveta Culp Hobby, WAAC and WAC; Captain Mildred H. McAfee, WAVES; and Captain 
Dorothy C. Stratton, SPARS.

     A typical matter on which the four women's service leaders worked 
together was drawing up a unified program of the recruiting, as well as 
enlistment, of women from the war industries, civil service, or agriculture.  
After the four directors had worked out an agreement which resolved their own 
differences of viewpoint or emphasis, the recommendation was then submitted to 
the Joint Army-Navy Personnel Board for final approval.  The board, in turn, 
issued the all-service policy which was then followed by the four women's 

     As a general policy, the enlistment of applicants already employed in any 
of the war industries was discouraged.  The case was referred to the local 
office of the United States Employment Service which had to authorize a 
release.  In instances of civil service workers who sought enlistment in the 
Marine Reserve, the policy adopted was that the woman had first to


secure a written release from the agency.  An employee who was released 
"without prejudice" on the part of her employer could apply to the Women's 
Reserve under the same conditions as a non-Civil Service employee.  On the 
other hand, an employee whose resignation had been accepted "with prejudice" 
and whose employer was reluctant to have her go, was ineligible for membership 
in the armed services until 90 days had expired from the date of acceptance of 
her resignation.  Civil service employees who resigned to enlist in the 
Marines were not returned to duty at their former place of employment, even if 
they happened to be classified with a military job description identical to 
their previous civilian occupation.<146>

     Typical of the good feeling that existed among the women's services was 
the Marine Corps' three-day Open House at Camp Lejeune held from 13-15 October 
1943, after transfer there of all the women's training activities.  Planned as 
a method of information exchange between the women's services, the three-day 
event included inspection of training facilities and methods as well as 
observation of the performance of Women Marines on the job.  Representatives 
of the WACs, WAVES, and SPARS all attended as well as many high-ranking male 
officers of the corresponding services.<147>

                     Policy about Assignment and Housing

     From the beginning, the Marine Corps decided that Women Marines would be 
assigned "only to posts where their services have been requested."<148>  The 
matter of proper housing facilities, in connection with assignment to duty, 
was a major consideration.  The early November 1942 Plans and Policies survey, 
which had sought estimates on the number of women needed by different posts 
had also requested information regarding the quarters available for their use.  
Women were not to be assigned to posts lacking proper housing unless they can 
be quartered with the WAVES or other satisfactory arrangements can be 

     It was also a policy that no less than two women would be assigned to a 
station or sub-station, a move designed to "prevent loneliness and obviate 
possible unfavorable comment."<150>  No enlisted women were to be assigned to 
a post unless a woman officer was present or in the near vicinity.  As a 
matter of practicality, it became the general rule not to assign a Woman 
Marine officer to units of fewer than 25 women.  The obvious exception, of 
course, was in assignment to procurement offices in large cities.  The 
officer-to-enlisted ratio was projected at 5.7 percent.<151>

     Upon completion of their training, women were assigned to duty on posts 
and stations where they were under the authority of the commanding officer of 
their unit, who in turn reported to the commanding officer of the post.  In 
respect to their


quarters, mess facilities, and general administration the Women Marines were 
usually a relatively autonomous unit.  Women Marines living on the regular 
posts had their own barracks area which they maintained themselves.  In cases 
where MCWR personnel were stationed in cities, the question arose whether to 
obtain barracks for them or put them on subsistence, a monetary allowance to 
compensate for food and living costs.  Where only a few were on duty, such as 
the procurement stations, the women were naturally put on subsistence.  In 
Washington, D. C., where as many as 2,400 Women Marines were on duty, 
Henderson Hall was build and operated as an independent post.  The health, 
feeding, military attitude, and discipline of the Women Reservists were all 
improved when barracks were available for them.  This was due to the fact that 
when living together as a military unit, the women felt more like Marines than 
they did when they lived scattered throughout a duty area, and they also 
enjoyed more of a sense of comradeship with one another.<152>

     In many cases, the work of the women was supervised by male officers, but 
every-day matters of discipline and command questions were left to the Women's 
Reserve officer.  Despite the unique theoretical concept of dual supervision, 
in practice it usually worked well.  In the few instances of serious 
disciplinary problems, male commanding officers usually sought the advice of 
the senior Women's Reserve officer on their posts before handling the 

                     Assistants for the Women's Reserve

     In the fall of 1943, the buildup of the Women's Reserve witnessed the 
assignment of thousands of women to far-flung posts throughout the country.  
It became imperative to have some type of regular reporting system so that 
Marine Corps Headquarters would know immediately of all pertinent matters 
beyond those which were vital enough to be committed to official 
correspondence, those learned first-hand by the Director's field visits, or 
those heard informally through the military's oldest information media, the 

     Accordingly, the senior woman officer at stations where Women Marines 
were serving was designated as an "Assistant for the Women's Reserve."<154> 
She was responsible for keeping in close touch with the Director and advising 
her on all matters of welfare, health, jobs, training, housing, recreation, 
and discipline.  The Assistant for Women's Reserve activities was likewise 
responsible for keeping the post commanding officer informed on anything that 
pertained to the women under his jurisdiction.  The procedure of a monthly 
written report was instituted.  This was sent every month by the post 
Assistant for the Women's Reserve to Marine Corps Headquarters with a copy to 
the post commanding officer.  It contained information on all aspects of the 
women's jobs and well-being as well as "full remarks concerning items of 
special interest at the station."<155>  These monthly reports supplemented 


visits of the Director, who made it a practice to spend a quarter of her time 
away from her Washington desk to see for herself how the various units of the 
Women's Reserve were operating throughout the country.<156>

                        Policy about Women's Authority

     The authority of the women officers was exercised "over women of the 
Reserve only" and was "limited to the administration of the Women's 
Reserve."<157>  In everyday practice it had been determined that the 
"relationship of women officers or noncommissioned officers to enlisted men in 
the administration of their work is similar to that of a civilian teacher in a 
military school.  While the woman officer may give instructions in connection 
with the work, matters of discipline should be referred to the man's 
commanding officer."<158>

     Although the phrase "matters of discipline" was also interpreted 
informally as "matters of job performance," the proper scope of the authority 
of women officers when they were assigned to duties involving supervision over 
male personnel continued to cause some uncertainty.  Some months later the 
Commandant felt it necessary to issue further clarification.

     "It appears that the services of officers and non-commissioned officers 
of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve are not being utilized to the fullest 
extent due to some doubt as to the scope of their authority," he observed in 
March 1944.  This matter has been considered by the Navy Department he 
continued, and "it is concluded that it is entirely proper for a woman officer 
to be assigned to duty subordinate to a commanding officer and her directions 
and orders in the proper performance of such duty are the acts of the officer 
in command, even though such orders are directed to male personnel."<159> 
Thus, within discretion of individual male commanding officers, the door was 
opened for Women Marine officers to be detailed to duties such as adjutant, 
assistant adjutant, personnel officer, or mess officer "where the directions 
and orders necessary in the performance of such duties" were "considered as 
emanating from the commanding officer."<160>

                         Changing Policy on Marriage

     Originally, when recruiting opened--in February 1943, a Woman Marine 
could be either single or married, so long as her children were not under 18 
and she was not married to a Marine.  This regulation had been issued by the 
Secretary of Navy and applied equally to prospective WAVES, SPARS, and 
Marines, none of whom could be enlisted or appointed if their husbands were in 
the same service.  Furthermore, a member of the Naval Reserve "could not while 
in service marry an officer or enlisted man in the same service."<161>


     Early in March 1943, however, the Secretary of the Navy approved a 
modification of these existing rules which allowed a member of the Naval 
Reserve to marry after she entered the service.  Single women merely had to 
execute an agreement not to marry "during the period of their indoctrination 
or training."<162>  Naturally the question arose as to what was meant 
precisely by the qualifying phraseology.  Here the Marine Corps developed a 
rather generous attitude, decreeing that a woman's basic training (either boot 
or candidates' school) constituted her "period of indoctrination or training" 
rather than her entire period of training which often included an additional 
month or so at a specialist school.  The distinction was made because 
indoctrination lasted for only six weeks during which the women were "learning 
the principles of military life" and the fact that obligations assumed 
thereafter by the women "must be secondary to their obligation to the Marine 
Corps."<163>  On the other hand, specialist schools often lasted as long as 
four months and it was felt that "at the rate that men in the military service 
are now being sent overseas, this delay would often mean that the couple could 
not get married at all."<164>

     The policy about marriage was modified again in late 1943 when wives of 
Marines "below the rank of second lieutenant" were allowed to enlist.  
Originally, the Marine Corps had not concurred with the WAVES in the 
preliminary discussion that led to this decision, and thus added the following 
warning when the change was effected:  Each wife shall be made to understand 
that the probability of being stationed with her husband is very slight, and 
that consideration cannot be given to personal desires in the matter."<165>  
On balance, the record shows the Marine Corps tried to steer a reasonable, 
realistic course between outright forbidding of service marriages, which might 
simply aggravate other problems, and being too lenient about widespread 
marriage which might, in turn, easily work out not to be in the best interests 
of the service itself.

                            Discipline and Morale

     For the most part, discipline was administered according to the rules 
already established for the men of the Marine Corps.  Women, however, could 
not be put in brigs or prisons, but were confined to quarters.  A Women's 
Reserve officer in the discipline division reviewed all disciplinary cases and 
consulted the Director for further recommendations.  Within the first year and 
a half, nearly 90 percent of the women were organized into battalions and 
squadrons, under command of their own women officers.  At this time, the 
commanding officers were given the authority to convene deck and summary 
courts martial.  Women officers were assigned to courts which tried members of 
the Women's Reserve.  Punishment included confinement to quarters, loss of 
pay, reduction in rank, extra police duties,


and, in extreme cases, dishonorable or bad conduct discharge. Pregnancy was 
considered a medical rather than disciplinary case.<166>

     Much thought and effort were given to trying to maintain morale at a high 
level so that disciplinary action would not be necessary.  Recreation and 
educational services were considered very important in this respect.  The 
necessity of discipline and high standards in every aspect of behavior and 
work was stressed from the time a recruit set foot in camp. The Women's 
Reserve subscribed to the philosophy that a "slack ship" is not a happy ship, 
let alone an efficient one, and directed its personnel and regulations 
accordingly.  It was found entirely possible to maintain high standards in an 
organization of women and still be humane and understanding in dealing with 

     Officers were thoroughly indoctrinated with the principle that they must 
be readily available to their enlisted women for "informal personal counsel 
and advice on matters other than military."<168>  Many officers set aside a 
regular time, often from 1630 to 1700 daily, or at least several times weekly, 
so that any woman could get private counsel.  This tended to keep morale high 
and reduce problems of adjustment to military life which otherwise might 
result in disciplinary troubles.  The importance of keeping personnel 
well-informed was also stressed.  The guiding philosophy expressed by Colonel 
Streeter was that "the most able commanders, be they men or women, are those 
who take the best care of their people and who keep them out of trouble by 
anticipating the problems that may confront them."<169>

                         VII.  People in the Program

     For decades the Marine Corps has prided itself on the colorful and 
unusual personalities it seems to attract to its ranks.  This situation held 
true for the women in World War II, many of whom seemed to have a special 
sense of derring-do and esprit.

     The slogan "Once a Marine, always a Marine" was true for two women who 
had served as Marines during World War I and again reentered.  One of these 
was Mrs. Martrese Thek Ferguson, a member of the first candidates' class to 
train at Mount Holyoke College in May 1943.  Not only was Mrs. Ferguson a 
member of the class, but she led it, graduating in the number one spot and 
being commissioned a first lieutenant.  She could boast too, not only of 
Victory and Good Conduct medals from World War I but of two service sons, one 
of whom was a Marine.  She later rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and 
was commanding officer in charge of more than 2,000 women at Henderson 


     Another woman who wore the Marine green uniform in both wars was Mrs. 
Lillian O'Malley Daly.  One of the eight women who came to the Corps directly 
from civilian life in January and February 1943, she was immediately assigned 
to Camp Pendleton, California, where she served as the West Coast liaison 
officer.  Captain Daly was stationed there at the time Major Streeter and her 
public relations assistant, First Lieutenant E. Louise Stewart, made their 
first nationwide recruiting trip in February and March 1943.  It was at Camp 
Pendleton and nearby Camp Elliott that these three new women officers tried 
their skill at the rifle range, jumped from the parachute tower, flew with 
paratroopers making their first jump, and rode in tanks.<171>

     Another officer who shared a similar background was Major Helen G. 
O'Neill, who was also one of the first Women Marines in World War II.  She had 
been a Chief Yeoman in the Navy during World, War I.  She had the distinction 
of being a 25-year civilian employee of the Navy Department.  Prior to her 
commissioning in the Women's Reserve she had served as secretary to four 
Assistant Secretaries of the Navy.  She had organized the National Yeoman F, a 
group of ex-servicewomen of the U. S. Naval Reserve from World War I and had 
served as one of its top officers.  Major O'Neill was also a linguist who had 
studied French, Spanish, and Latin, and was later to concentrate on 

     Captain Frances W. Pepper was another member of the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve with an unusual background.  Graduating as top-ranking member of the 
third candidates' class in June 1943, she was appointed as a captain, the 
first woman to receive this rank from any class of aspiring officers.  Her 
service to the Marine Corps dated from 1923, when she joined the Adjutant and 
Inspector Department of Headquarters.  Her work there dealt with appointments, 
retirement, discharge, and promotion of all commissioned and warrant officers 
on active duty in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.  Captain Pepper 
held a Bachelor of Law degree, was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 
1931, and later did post-graduate work in the field of international law.  
During World War 1, she served with the Young Women's Christian Association at 
General Pershing's Headquarters in France.<173>

     As a civilian in World War I, Major Helen N. Crean won a Croix de Guerre' 
for heroism under fire.  She organized a canteen for the Fifth Regiment of 
Marines at Naix-au-Forge and the Verdun sector and, working though the 
hospitals, secured information on the wounded and missing.  Later she served 
at the Red Cross dressing station at Glorieux, France, when it was badly 
bombed and machine gunned--and her fearlessness won her the French medal.  In 
World War II, she was commanding officer of the Women's Reserve unit at the 
Marine Corps Air Station, Santa Barbara, California, and later at the air 
station in Ewa, Hawaii.<174>


     A woman reservist with an international background was Charlotte Day 
Gower, named director of training for the Women's Reserve.  Formerly Dean of 
Women at Lingnan University, in Hong Kong, China, she had been there when the 
Japanese assault began in that city and had organized first aid stations and 
helped in rescue work.  A prisoner in a Japanese internment camp for five 
months, Major Gower had taught Chinese to fellow inmates and was later 
repatriated in an exchange of prisoners.

     Trapped in a similar set of circumstances was Staff Sergeant Mary 
Virginia Herst, of Argonia, Kansas.  She was a home economics teacher in 
Bangkok, Thailand when the Japanese attacked and spent nine months in a prison 
camp before being repatriated.  She was later attached to the Marine Corps Air 
Station, El Toro, California.

     The Pacific Theather of Operations was also more than a headline to 
Marine Private First Class Peggy Urzendowski.  Having spent most of her life 
in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, she was on Corregidor during two 
fierce bombing raids before being evacuated on a troop ship enroute to New 
Zealand.  From there she was sent to Australia, then Hawaii, and finally the 
United States--where she quickly enlisted in the Women's Reserve add was 
assigned to duty at the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California.<175>

                           The Women's Reserve Band

     If the Women's Reserve listed some unusual personalities in its midst, an 
unusual and famed institution that came into being during the war years was 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve Band.  Organized at Camp Lejeune with an 
initial allowance of 43 women, it was formed with the high-spirited goal of 
becoming "the most outstanding female band of the country."<176>

     To secure the best possible musical talent, the Marine Corps wrote 
letters to more than a dozen prominent and well-established music schools and 
colleges, acquainting them with the band and asking them to recommend possible 
candidates.  As a result many women applied for the band before enlistment and 
joined the service with the express purpose of becoming a member of the band.  
Women already enrolled in the Reserve also had an opportunity to try out for 
the band and, if sufficiently talented, to be accepted.  All prospects were 
screened and severely auditioned before being selected as members.  The band 
was organized in November 1943 by Captain William F. H. Santelmann, and was 
trained by musicians of the U. S. Marine Band.  Its director was Master 
Sergeant Charlotte Plummer, who prior to her enlistment had been director of 
music in the Portland, Oregon public school system and a member of the city's 
municipal band.<177>


     The band's home base was Camp Lejeune, where it played at the weekly 
Saturday morning MCWR Recruit Depot reviews.  It also performed on every 
Marine Base on the east coast and toured many cities, playing before such 
distinguished personalities as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Admiral 
Chester W. Nimitz.  At the request of the U. S. Treasury Department the band 
took part in two war bond and victory loan drives.  Its theme song "March of 
the Women Marines" was written especially for the band by Master Sergeant 
Louis Saverino and Technical Sergeant Emil Grasser.  Probably the red-letter 
day for the band itself was in October 1945 when, on tour in Washington to 
take part in the Nimitz Day parade, it serenaded the Commandant, General 
Alexander A. Vandegrift, outside his office in the Navy Annex.<178>

                            Quantico's Drill Team

     One military accomplishment long connected with the Marine Corps in the 
public's mind has been excellence of drill and military bearing.  While all 
Women Marines took pride in their ability to maintain this reputation, one 
group particularly distinguished itself.  This was the trick drill platoon of 
the Women's Reserve Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Quantico which gave special 
performances for visiting dignitaries and appeared at many social and military 
functions.  Organized in April 1944, the trick drill team was complimented on 
a letter from Brigadier General Archie R. Howard.  In his commendation 
message, he noted particularly that the excellence of the team's work "has 
been attained by personal sacrifice of many liberty hours, in as much as all 
time devoted to instruction has been entirely voluntary and in addition to 
regular assignments."<179>

                           Personalities in the WRs

     Many Women Marines created news from the time of their enlistment.  For 
example, there was Marine Private Natica R. Macy who was living in Bermuda 
when she heard about formation of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve.  She 
immediately hopped an ancient Greek freighter bound for the States, wound up 
being the sole woman aboard the vessel and did a man-size load of chores for 
her passage--including painting woodwork, caulking decks, mending socks, and 
standing watch.  "It was the first available transportation," she explained 

     The first full-blooded Indian recruit was Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf of 
Heart Butte, Montana, who enlisted in July 1943. Despite her slight 114-pound 
frame, the 20-year old Indian girl had driven a two-ton truck, cut fence 
posts, erected bridges, and broken horses on her father's ranch.  Her comment 
on boot camp training: "Hard, but not too hard."<181>

     Two other Marine representatives of the Indian race were Privates Celia 
Mix, of Benton Harbor, Michigan and Viola Eastman, from Pipestone, Minnesota.  
Celia's brother, Corporal


John Mix, was a Marine who had made headlines by winning the Air Medal for 
heroism in saving the life of a fighter pilot who had crashed into the South 
Pacific Ocean.  Celia was on her way to setting a record of her own: she went 
all the way through boot camp without receiving one restriction or 

     The first Woman Marine from Puerto Rico was Private Norma Frances Aran, 
who had formerly been a civilian employee of the Army.  She reported her 
enlistment came as no surprise to her employer, commenting: "the Army had 
known for a long time that my heart was with the Navy." Another who deserted 
the Army to join the Marines was Virginia Carter, whose father, Master 
Sergeant William S Carter, stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, was a 
26-year veteran of Army service.  Virginia saw 2,000 persons march in a 
military parade held on the base in her honor, including WACs, an Italian 
unit, and three bands.<183>

     Another Woman Marine who created news was Captain Lily S. Hutcheon, one 
of the original 19 ex-WAVES, who in May 1944 became the first woman Judge 
Advocate in the history of the Marine Corps, assigned to duty at Camp Lejeune, 
North Carolina.  Before receiving her commission, she had been employed in the 
legal department of a San Francisco oil company.<184>

     There were a number of sisters who enlisted together in the Women's 
Reserve and several sets of identical twins.  The latter included Betty and 
Bonnie Jernigan, from Sparta, Tennessee, first set of twins to enlist in the 
MCWR; Madelene A. and Irene A. Spencer, who were on recruiting duty in 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Mary E. and Martha H. Taylor, who were 
stationed in the Dallas Procurement District.<185>

     Although a number of American parents routinely faced the departure of 
two members of their family when sisters left for recruit training, a novel 
situation occurred to one Philadelphia family early in 1944.  They "lost" two 
members to the Marines when Private Ruth H. Whiteman enlisted and took her 
Doberman Pinscher, Eram Von Lutenheimer, along to join the Marine Corps War 
Dog Detachment at Camp Lejeune.<186>

     And of course many women were in a sense Marine Corps women long before 
their enlistment, by virtue of having fathers, brothers, or uncles in the 
service.  Among these was Mary Cleland Fordney, a granddaughter of Major 
General Ben Hebard Fuller, 14th Commandant of the Marine Corps, and whose 
father, Colonel Chester L. Fordney, was Officer-in-Charge of the Central 
Procurement Division of the Marine Corps.  Another was Eugenia Dickson 
Lejeune, daughter of the late Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune, Commandant 
from 1920 to 1929.  She underwent basic training at Camp Lejeune, named in 
honor on her father.  She and Second Lieutenant Fordney were both members of 
the seventh officers' class, graduated


15 November 1943.  Also a member of this same class was Second Lieutenant 
Patty Berg, golf professional and queen of the fairways, who had enlisted in 
the Marine Corps at a women's services recruitment/golf tourney and whose 
birthday, 13 February, was the same as the anniversary date of the Women's 
Reserve.  She purposely left her clubs at home for the duration declaring she 
wanted to be "strictly a Marine," and was assigned to recruiting duties in the 
Eastern Procurement Division.<187>

     Another woman with Marine Corps interests at heart and at home was 
Private First Class Aline Bernice Shelton, of Phoenix, Arizona, the ninth 
member of her family to be a Marine.  She enlisted as soon as it was possible 
for her to do so: on her 20th birthday.  One of her brothers was a prisoner of 
war and several others had hazardous Pacific duty.  Helen Kemp Devereux, 
20-year-old niece of Lieutenant Colonel James P. Devereux, still a prisoner of 
the Japanese in 1945, also enlisted in the MCWR.  Petite 95-pound Helen also 
had three brothers, six other uncles, and one cousin, all of whom were 
Marines.  There was even a tradition of women Marines in Helen's family: one 
of Colonel Devereux's sisters had been a Marinette in World War I!<188>

     A Woman Marine who followed her mother's footsteps by joining the Marine 
Corps was Private First Class Grace E. Mather, believed to be the only WR able 
to claim the honor of being a second-generation Woman Marine.  Her mother was 
the former Corporal Helen M. Dunn, who had worked in the muster roll section 
at Washington during World War I.<189>

                      Other WR Interests and Activities

     In addition to regular duty assignments, varied wartime activities of the 
Women Reservists ran the gamut from participating in christening ceremonies of 
the "Lady Leatherneck," a Marine Corps transport plane--to blood donations, 
visiting the wounded at Arc and Navy hospitals, volunteering in extra civic
duties, public appearances, and war bond rallies.  As for buying bonds--that 
was routine.  Ninety-four percent of the women bought them every month.<190>

     A number of women with a studious bent also enrolled in correspondence 
courses given by the Marine Corps Institute, with Spanish being the most 
popular choice.  Other courses taken by the women included stenographic 
lessons, short-wave radio theory and mathematics, aviation, motion picture 
sound technicians's course, a current event analysis, "The Pacific World," and 
--with an eye toward their own destinies--cooking and sewing courses.  More 
than 10 percent of the women took advantage of Marine Corps Institute 

                      Decorations Awarded Women Marines

     The highest award made to a Woman Marine as a result of World War II 
service was the Legion of Merit, awarded the two


wartime Directors, Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter and Colonel Katherine A. 
Towle.  Two women, Majors Helen N. Crean and Marion Wing, received the Bronze 
Star Medal.  Letters of Commendation and Commendation Medals were presented to 
more than 30 enlisted women and officers of the Women's Reserve. As a result 
of World War II service, Women Marines were eligible to wear the Good Conduct 
Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and 
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.<192>

                             VIII.  Hawaii Duty

     Scuttlebutt was rampant during the summer and early fall of 1944 
concerning the possibility of Women Marines being sent overseas for the first 
time.  For more than a year Congress had debated the issue, which involved 
amending the Naval Reserve Act of 1938 to allow women members of the naval 
service to serve outside the continental limits of the United States.  
Although originally there had been serious objection voiced in the House,<193> 
suddenly it looked as if the Senate would take favorable action, spurred on by 
the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, on its companion bill.  As yet there had 
been no official word as to whether Women Marines would be needed in overseas 
billets, such as Pearl Harbor, to release additional men for combat duty in 
the final push to victory.  A number officers back from the Pacific, however, 
including Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, had "mentioned the matter 
informally."<194>  An estimated 5,000 naval servicewomen were needed 
immediately in Hawaii alone, Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal had told 

     On 13 September, the Senate passed the bill which was subsequently 
adopted by the House and signed into law by the President on 27 September 
1944.  This bill (Public Law 441, 78th Congress) modified the existing 
Department of Navy regulations and thus permitted "female Naval personnel to 
serve on a volunteer basis anywhere within the western Hemisphere, including 
Alaska and Hawaii."<196>

     Excitement ran high among members of the Women's Reserve when it was 
apparent that some of them would be going overseas.  As for the Women's 
Reserve Director, she knew that passage of the legislation would precipitate a 
host of new problems and procedures and, in fact, had already anticipated some 
of them.  Back in July she had submitted tentative policies for selection of 
personnel in the event overseas service of women was authorized and needed by 
the Marine Corps.<197>

     The Marine Corps contemplated sending one group of women to Pearl Harbor 
to form the Women's Reserve Battalion attached to the Marine Garrison Forces, 
and another smaller detachment to the Marine Air Station at Ewa.  To find out 
exactly what


the conditions were in Hawaii for this new duty, Colonel Streeter and Major 
Marion B. Dryden, the senior Women's Reserve personnel officer in the Division 
of Aviation, set out on a fact-finding mission on 13 October.  Flying to 
Hawaii, they inspected the area and talked with both Marine and Navy officers 
to learn the principal job categories of men to be released for combat, what 
quarters were available for the women or could be converted for their use, the 
existing chain of command, recreation opportunities, regulations and 
procedures followed by service personnel on the island, and related matters.  
Upon their return they recommended assignment of two detachments of Women 
Marines, as originally planned.  Although the two new units were to be 
administered separately by their own women commanding officers, ultimately 
both were to come under the final jurisdiction of the 14th Naval 

                     Selection of Women for Overseas Duty

     Every woman who volunteered for Hawaiian duty was carefully screened.  
Selection was based partly on length of service in the Marine Corps, but 
primarily on the job classification of the men to be relieved.  The principal 
job categories included clerical, communications, quartermaster, telephone 
operators, mechanical, motor transport, and radio operators.  In the group 
chosen were a number of women whose brothers had been killed in action, had 
become prisoners of war, or who still had relatives on the fighting 

     A sense of responsibility, maturity, adaptability, and emotional 
stability were the chief personal characteristics considered necessary in the 

     In addition, other necessary qualifications were at least six months' 
service on active duty, excluding training time; good health, conduct, and 
work records; and freedom from any form of dependency which would require 
their presence at home.  This was particularly important since overseas duty 
was for a two-year period, and leave or furlough to return to the States has 
to be authorized only under extreme emergency.<200>

     Because of the wording in the enabling legislation, it was necessary that 
a woman naval reservist specifically volunteer for the overseas duty; she 
could not be ordered to it.  In processing applications, careful consideration 
was given to a woman's motivations for volunteering.  Any notions of 
excitement or so-called glamour attached to the duty were sharply dispelled by 
the Marine Corps.  A memorandum to Colonel Streeter from Brigadier General 
Waller, now Commanding General, Marine Garrison Forces in Hawaii, focused 
attention on the facts: "All WRs should be informed this duty here is not 
glamorous--just hard work," he advised "They will be under more restrictions 
than at home and their working and living conditions


may not be as good....They will be closer to the war, they will see ships 
damaged in combat and they will see and meet many men who have recently been 
in combat...."<201>

     One recommendation which had come from the Canadian Women's Army Corps 
and which became implicit in Marine Corps' thinking was that a volunteer 
should have demonstrated she can "maintain good adjustment when her work is 
dull or monotonous or when she has to work under pressure or conditions of 
strain."<202>  This, too, was an important consideration.  All operations in 
Hawaii worked a seven-day week, and although regular schedules of half-day or 
one full day a week liberty were arranged, in times of crisis an installation 
not infrequently worked around the clock until a particular priority job was 

                                Advance Party

     On 2 December, an advance party of four officers flew to Hawaii to make 
preliminary arrangements for the organization and reception of the battalion 
of approximately 100 housekeeping personnel which would follow shortly, as 
well as the eventual full complement of nearly 1,000 Women Marines.  Members 
of this initial group were Major Marion Wing, who was one of the original 19 
ex-WAVES and who was assigned as Commanding Officer at Pearl Harbor; First 
Lieutenant Dorothy C. McGinnis, Adjutant at Pearl Harbor; First Lieutenant 
Ruby V. Bishop, Battalion Quartermaster; and Second Lieutenant Pearl M. 
Martin, Recreation Officer.<203>

     They were followed by the advance party for the aviation unit, consisting 
of Captain Helen N. Crean, Commanding Officer at Ewa; First Lieutenant 
Caroline J. Ransom, Post Exchange Officer; Second Lieutenant Constance M. 
Berkolz, Pearl Harbor Mess Officer; and Second Lieutenant Bertha K. Ballard, 
Mess Officer at Ewa.<204>

                      Staging Area and Arrival in Hawaii

In January 1945, the first volunteers for overseas duty were transferred to a 
staging area which had been established at the Marine Corps Based San Diego, 
California.  Here they were given a short but intensive physical conditioning 
course including qualification swimming, drill, and calisthenics. The women 
also learned to ascend and descend, with a full 10-pound pack on their packs, 
the cargo net of a ship mock-up and how to jump properly into the water from 
shipboard, in event they should be aboard a transport that met with enemy 
attack en route to its destination.<205>

     They were also given physical examinations, inoculations, a brief review 
in certain phases of Marine Corps administration and organization, inspection 
of uniforms and gear, lectures


about the people of Hawaii, Allied insignia, safeguarding of military 
information, procedures on shipboard, and a final screening.<206>

     On 25 January, the first contingent of 160 enlisted and five WR officers 
sailed from San Francisco aboard the S. S. Matsonia.<207>  Dressed in winter 
greens and trench coats and carrying blanket rolls, the women marched up the 
gangplank and aboard ship in column and proceeded to assigned quarters. Two 
days out at sea they changed to summer service uniforms, which would be the 
uniform of the day for the length of their Hawaii duty.  En route, the women 
staged their own entertainment show and performed the long-familiar ritual of 
policing their own area.<208>

     The Matsonia arrived in Honolulu on the morning of 28 January.  Captain 
Marna V. Brady, Officer-in-Charge of the voyage, who was assigned as Battalion 
Executive Officer, led the first enlisted women to disembark, was greeted with 
the customary Hawaiian lei and kiss.<209>

     To one Woman Marine the overseas assignment was a trip home!  She was 
Corporal Alice M. Philpotts, who came to the States from her home in Honolulu, 
only a few miles southeast of Pearl Harbor, to enlist in the Marines and who 
had been at Pearl Harbor on the date of the attack.<210>

     For the rest of the women, however, Hawaii was as much a novelty as they 
were to the islands.  From the crowds assembled at dockside there were cheers 
by residents, civilian war workers, and servicemen; tons of colorful floral 
leis; the flash bulbs of photographers; and amazed expressions of male Marines 
who had never seen a Woman Marine before.  The Pearl Harbor Marine Barracks 
band alternated between the soft tune of the traditional Aloha Oe, and the 
martial strains of the Marine Hymn and official March of the Women Marines.  
The women were quickly dispatched to their new homes: the majority to the 
Moanalua Ridge area, where the Women's Reserve Battalion occupied a former 
Seabee area adjacent to the Marine Corps Sixth Base Depot and Camp Catlin; the 
air group to the nearby Marine Air Station, at Ewa, on the island of 

     On the streets people stopped to smile and wave at the women.  When they 
filed into the mess hall for their first meal, a little dog growled at the 
unusual sight of green-uniformed women but quickly subsided when a messman 
exclaimed:  "Knock it off, Taffy.  After all, they're Marines, too!"<212>

     In Hawaii, as in the States, the Women Marines replaced men not only in 
office jobs but in-specialized work as well.  They stood night watches in 
communications and other duty assignments, and generally worked the same hours 
as the men.


     At Pearl Harbor, the women ran the entire motor transport section, which 
served approximately 15,900 persons a month including liberty busses, work 
detail trucks, and jeeps--all with a perfect safety record.  A total of 33 
vehicles were operated by the section, working a 24-hour-a-day schedule.<213>

     Women Marines assigned to the air station found that duty was much like 
aviation jobs anywhere.  They had little trouble orienting themselves, as 
general surroundings and living conditions were not much different from those 
of mainland air stations.  In fact, more than one-third of all the women had 
previously been stationed at Cherry Point.<214>

     New detachments from the States of approximately 200 enlisted women and 
10 officers arrived every other week.  By the time the fourth group had 
arrived, the WR Battalion was a smoothly-running outfit.  The appearance of 
the quarters area had measurably changed for the good.  Shrubs, small trees, 
and blooming plants appeared to have sprung up almost overnight.  Detailed by 
their Brigade Headquarters, the Seabees had done the construction and 
renovation work on the administration building, barracks, mess-hall, and 
laundry.  The women pitched in on landscaping the area and helping the 
Seabees.  As one Marine good-naturedly grumbled at the time: "The Army has its 
WACS; the Navy, its WAVES; the Coast Guard, its SPARS; and the Seabees, OUR 

     From the day of arrival, the women were in such social demand that 
requests to entertain them had to be screened through an enlisted women's 
council which decided, on behalf of all the WRs, just what unit of the 
infantry, artillery, cavalry, Sea-bees, engineers, tanks, etc., could be 
granted acceptances.  On several occasions, weekend air hops were arranged so 
that the women could visit the Marine detachments on the islands of Hawaii and 

     And of course, the inevitable happened.  In May 1945, a Marine combat 
correspondent wrote a little history of his own when he married a Woman 
Marine.  The principals in this first all-Marine overseas wedding were 
Sergeant Dorothy Jeanne Crane, a photographer on duty with the Marine Garrison 
Forces, and Staff Sergeant Robert T. Davis.  Although the bride wore 
traditional white bridal gown and finger-tip veil, the tropical touch was 
apparent in the white orchid tiara and pikaki leis in her bouquet.  Most of 
the guests were men and women Marines. One of the few civilians present was 
Representative Margaret Chase Smith, only woman member of the House Naval 
Affairs Committee, who had helped draft legislation for the overseas bill and 
who was then in Hawaii on an investigative tour.<217>

     Approximately 1,000 women saw duty with the Marine Garrison Forces at 
Pearl Harbor and at the Marine Corps Air Station at


Ewa, and nearly all agreed that overseas duty made them feel they were taking 
a more active part in winning of the war. Announcement of V-J Day in September 
1945 brought their expected two-year duty stint to an abrupt halt.  The first 
group of women left Hawaii early in December 1945, in time to make words of 
the then-popular lyric "I'll be Home for Christmas" really ring true.  The 
rest returned Stateside the following month.  And despite the sudden cessation 
of hostilities and the victorious war news, many Women Marines still couldn't 
help being disappointed at having such "wonderful duty" cut short.<218>

                             IX.  Demobilization

     With the ending of hostilities on 14 August 1945 and V-J Day on 2 
September, all recruiting for the Women's Reserve was halted although women in 
training classes continued until completion and were assigned to duty.  
Actually, since the Marine Corps had reached its original goal of 
approximately 18,000 enlisted and 1,000 officers in the summer of 1944 
recruiting had been deliberately slowed down and the comparatively small 
number of women who had entered the MCWR toward the end of the war had been 
largely replacements for normal attrition.<219>

     Demobilization plans moved ahead rapidly and efficiently, under an 
"Adjusted Service Rating System" of points, similar to that for the men.  
Computation of these discharge credits was the same for the women as the men.  
However, since the Women Marines were able to earn credits only by length of 
service (not having been in combat or having dependent children) the number of 
credits required for discharge was originally set at 25, compared to 85 for 
the men.<220>

     The terminal date originally set for the Women's Reserve was 1 September 
1946.  All women were to be discharged by that time.  Or, as the Headquarters 
Marine Corps bulletin stated: "Officers and enlisted personnel of the Marine 
Corps Women's Reserve are now being rapidly separated from the service because 
of the fact that the entire Women's Reserve is to be demobilized by 1 
September 1946."<221>

     With the Marine Corps candor the women had learned to love and respect, 
the Commandant added:

     "It was with some hesitation the Marine Corps admitted women to its ranks 
in February 1943, but during the intervening years they have made a most 
valuable contribution to the Corps...

     "As the time comes to release them, I am reminded again of the important 
part they have played in support of our combat Marines while the actual 
fighting was in progress...


     "I wish to express to the members of the Women's Reserve the appreciation 
of the Marine Corps for the valuable contribution they have made for its 
success.  They have performed their duties in a manner that evokes the 
admiration and praise of their fellow Marines; and their conduct and 
appearance, both on and off duty, have been exemplary and a source of pride to 
us all."<222>

     A two-week "Rehabilitation School" for Women Reserve officers and 
noncommissioned officers was set up at Headquarters and at Camp Lejeune.  It 
provided information about rights and benefits under the Veterans 
Administration and G. I. Bill of Rights so they could properly advise the 
women under their direction who were being discharged to civilian life.  In 
many cases letters of recommendation were written to former and prospective 
employers.  For women desiring high school credit, letters were written to 
hometown high schools requesting credit on the basis of recruit training and 
experience in the Women's Reserve.  Colleges were also contacted for brochures 
and information regarding entrance requirements.  A poll taken by one group of 
women being discharged showed that the most popular plans for the future, in 
order, were: new employment, education, old employment, housewife, plans 
"indefinite," and civil service.<223>

                            Computation of Credits

     All credits for demobilization of the women were based on their length of 
service and computed from 1 September 1945, the control date.  The credits 
were progressively reduced until, on 1 July 1946, they became zero.  A woman 
having 25 credits in September 1945 was eligible for immediate discharge; by 
the following January, those with 18 credits could be discharged, and so 
forth.  The schedule of credit reductions and their effective dates, spelled 
out by Letter of Instruction 1110, were:<224>

                  Effective date                Credit
                  1 September 1945                25
                  1 November 1945                 20
                  1 January 1946                  18
                  1 February 1946                 17
                  1 March 1946                    16
                  1 April 1946                    13
                  1 May 1946                       8
                  1 June 1946                      4
                  1 July 1946                      0

Regardless of actual number of credits, immediate discharge upon request was 
authorized for all women 38 years of age or more (later changed to 35 years); 
or for a married woman if her servicemen husband had been discharged.  Married 
women with a year's active duty were also granted immediate release upon


request if their husbands were in the country, whether discharged or not, and 
regardless of branch of service.<225>

     Newspaper accounts in November 1945 quoted the Commandant as saying that 
the Marine Corps Women's Reserve would be reduced from 18,000 enlisted and 
1,000 officer strength to 2,638 and 200, respectively, by 30 June 1946 and 
that the organization "will completely vanish from the picture by September of 
next year."<226>

     The MCWR was reduced to two-thirds of its peak strength by 7 December 
1945.  On that date its original Director, Colonel Streeter 
(twice-promoted--to lieutenant colonel on 22 November 1943 and to colonel on 1 
February 1944), resigned to be home for her three sons, all returning from 
overseas duty.  She was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Katherine A. Towle, of 
Berkeley, California, who assumed the Directorship and its rank of colonel on 
the fourth anniversary of Pearl Harbor.<227>

     Another long-familiar institution that went about this time was the 
Women's Reserve Band.  This was officially disbanded at Camp Lejeune on 28 
November 1945 when 26 members were discharged under the credit provisions of 
Letter of Instruction 1110.  The remaining 21 members were reassigned in the 
Women's Reserve Battalion.  Low-point band members met at the Separation 
Company on the morning the majority of band members were being discharged and 
serenaded them.  A gold identification bracelet bearing the woman's full name 
and with the inscription "Thanks from Camp Lejeune" was presented to each 
member of the band.<228>

                          Strength at End of the War

     In August 1945, two and a half years after formation of the Marine Corps 
Women's Reserve, there were approximately 17,640 women and 820 officers on 
duty, or a total strength of 18,460.  There were 28 units headed by women 
commanding officers, plus 17 smaller units, and additional women assigned to 
specialist duties, such as recruiting.<229>

     Line units included Women's Reserve Battalions at Henderson Hall; 
Quantico; Camp Lejeune; Parris Island; San Diego; Camp Pendleton; and Pearl 
Harbor; the School Detachment at Camp Lejeune; and Women Marine companies at 
San Diego; Department of Pacific, San Francisco, the Navy Yard at Mare Island, 
California; and in Washington, D. C.<230>

     Aviation units included those at Cherry Point; Quantico; Parris Island; 
El Toro; Miramar; El Centro; Santa Barbara; Mojave; Ewa, Hawaii; and Eagle 
Mountain Lake, Texas.<231>


     The four quartermaster units to which Women Marines had been assigned 
were: Depot of Supplies in Philadelphia; South Annex, Norfolk; Camp Elliott, 
California; and Depot of Supplies, San Francisco.<232>

     Women were also stationed at the four procurement districts: Eastern, at 
Philadelphia; Southern, in Atlanta; Central, in Chicago; and Western, at San 

                       Monthly Quota for Demobilization

     The demobilization procedures for male personnel were paralleled for the 
women: officers were released to inactive duty and enlisted women were 
discharged.  Beginning in October 1945, control of the release of Women's 
Reserve personnel was in January 1946, the rate of discharge of enlisted women 
was set at a minimum of approximately 1,100 each month.  This figure was 
selected because it would enable a gradual but steady reduction so that final 
disbandment on 1 September 1946 could be accomplished smoothly, without any 
operational inefficiency.<234>

     When the number of Women Marines at any post or station became fewer than 
100, that particular Women's Reserve activity was disbanded or transferred 
administratively to an adjoining unit.  All small and scattered units were 
disbanded as quickly as possible, with the exception of a few "high priority" 
units such as district rehabilitative and recruiting centers.  Final 
disbandment dates were also set for each post and station.  When it came time 
for the post to be officially closed, personnel still on duty were discharged, 
if eligible, or transferred to another station.<235>

     Morale was high despite the inevitable "anticlimactic" feeling that comes 
with mopping-up operations.  A big determinant was the fact that discharge of 
those eligible moved along at a satisfactory rate.  And there were plenty of 
activities to keep a Woman Marine busy until her discharge papers came 
through.  At one base a small but enthusiastic group in a beginning French 
class completed the rest of its lessons after its instructor was 
discharged.<236> In December, Women Reserves at the Marine Corps Air Depot at 
Miramar entered the 11th Naval District contest for suggestions on the 
conversion of military clothing to civilian.<237>  At Henderson Hall a 
three-part lecture series, "You Are Prettier Than You Think" was given by Mrs. 
Hanna Sherman, formerly associated with a leading New York cosmetic firm.  
Lectures dealt with readjustment to civilian life--including makeup and 
restyled hair, suggested plans for a new wardrobe, and job-hunting tips to 
ex-Marines turned business girls.  At the same base, a large number of women 
officers volunteered for a day's mess duty during the holidays as a Christmas 
present to the enlisted women.<238>  And at the


big training base, Camp Lejeune, a collection of songs sung by Women 
Reservists during their service in the Marine Corps was compiled and 
distributed to each girl on the day of her discharge.<239>  A statement made 
in January 1946 by one Woman Marine officer was typical: "Standards of work 
and attitude among the Women Reservists have continued to be high.  There is 
still the desire to serve faithfully and well."<240>

                              Separation Centers

     When the demobilization process began, commanding officers were 
authorized to discharge the women at their duty stations.  To further expedite 
matters, however, four separation centers were set up in October to process 
discharges of the women.  These were: Henderson Hall and Camp Lejeune on the 
East coast; and the Marine Corps Base at San Diego and Marine Corps Air 
Station, El Toro on the West coast.  A unique arrangement existed at San 
Diego.  By special permission from Headquarters, the Women's Reserves 
separation activities there became part of the male First Separation Company.  
Women's Reserve rehabilitation personnel were available to the women and a 
Woman Reserve officer served as Adjutant and Officer-in-Charge of the women 
attached to the company.  The arrangement worked well, and the women 
themselves like being discharged with the men, as it gave them the feeling 
they were very much a part of the Marine Corps even until the end.<241>

     Besides the four major separation centers, small units and the 
detachments at San Francisco and Parris Island were authorized to discharge 
their own personnel.  Women returning from Hawaii were transferred to the 
separation center nearest their homes: those from the East or Middle Eastern 
section of the country to Henderson Hall or Camp Lejeune; and persons from the 
West or Southwest to either San Diego or El Toro.<242>

                       Last Days of the Wartime Reserve

     By 2 June 1946, the Women's Reserve activities had been disbanded at 
these major stations: Camp Lejeune (Women's Reserve Battalion); Parris Island; 
and the Depot of Supplies, Philadelphia.  By 1 July, WR units had been 
de-activated at Quantico; Camp Lejeune (Women's Reserve Separation Center); 
Camp Pendleton; and Marine Corps Air Depot, Miramar.<243>

     The only Women's Reserve units remaining until the 1 September terminal 
date were those at Henderson Hall and Cherry Point on the East Coast; and El 
Toro and Department of the Pacific, San Francisco on the West.  Women 
Reservists remaining on duty between 1 July and 1 September were, with a few 
exceptions, volunteers.  The strength of the organization had been reduced to 
approximately 1,000 women by 1 July, and this number was gradually decreased 
in the final two-month period.  During these last months, the majority of 


Marines still in uniform were stationed at Henderson Hall, on duty at Marine 
Corps Headquarters.<244>

     Upon termination of the Office of the Director of the Women's Reserve, on 
14 June 1946, and prior to her return to civilian life, Colonel Towle, the 
second Director observed:

     "General morale during demobilization has been gratifyingly high.  Part 
of this has been due to the definite stand the Marine Corps itself has taken 
from the beginning on the Marine Corps Women's Reserve demobilization, 
particularly in setting and maintaining 1 September 1946 as the terminal date 
of the wartime Women's Reserve.  It has been a goal to work toward, and Marine 
Corps women have never had the uncertainty and confusion concerning 
demobilization which have occurred in some of the other women's services 
because of the shifting of dates and changes in policy..."<245>

                                 X.  Overview

     Since time immemorial military discipline and regimentation have been 
routine and accepted for men.  This type of training for women, on a large 
scale, was a totally new concept in World War II.  This immediately raises 
several questions.

     First:  What civilian background or personality syndrome seemed to be the 
best determining factor in developing military aptitude in a woman?

     Second:  Since women are generally considered the arch individualists of 
the race, how did they react to military discipline and a situation in which 
much of their life was planned and provided for, with less opportunity for 

     Third:  Did military experience in the MCWR have any lasting benefit on 
the individual woman, besides giving her a feeling of actual participation in 
winning the war?

     Civilian Background--Actually, no one particular civilian occupation 
seemed to prepare a woman for the unique responsibilities of military life.  
Similarly, no special personality trait seemed to guarantee success.  In 
general, it can be said that qualities which helped a woman become a good 
Marine included: a well-balanced personality; skill and efficiency in her 
work; adaptability to new ways; energy; emotional stability; sense of 
responsibility; and promptness in getting things done and carrying out 

     Although the quality of leadership is difficult to define, it was found 
that the best officers were those with strong personalities, who were able to 
command respect and to motivate others effectively.  Other important qualities 
were responsibility,


fairness, good judgment, understanding and respect for others, professional 
competence, good personal appearance, self-confidence, and emotional 

     Reaction to the Military Life--As was true with all the women's services, 
there was naturally a small percentage of misfits who would be unhappy in any 
group situation, civilian or military.  Most of the women, however, adjusted 
quickly and well to military life and its inherent discipline.  Surprised 
drill instructors often found that the women seemed to snap into the esprit 
and precision of close-order drill, for example, even faster than the men.  
Furthermore, in a survey taken in the first months of the Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve, it was found that a number of members complained there was "not 
enough drill, not enough regimentation, too much like civilian life.  Would 
enjoy more militarism...."<248>  Such changes in the direction of a more 
military atmosphere were effected in July 1943, when all basic training for 
the women was centralized at Camp Lejeune, where it remained throughout the 
rest of the war.

     Personal Benefit--Probably no woman has ever worn the Marine uniform 
without gaining something new of permanent value to herself from the 
traditional Marine Corps insistence on order, organization of work, strict 
responsibility down to the last detail, getting things done right in a minimum 
of time, self-discipline, pride, self-confidence, and flexibility.  By sheer 
necessity in the MCWR, most women learned new habits of first things first, 
overcome indecision, take immediate action, and tackle unfamiliar (if not 
downright distasteful) chores and get them out of the way.  Then, too, there 
was valuable personal training in doing those things which a woman at the 
onset might have felt she didn't have real confidence she could do--such as 
supervising the work of others.<249>

     Like all good Marines, the women learned to improvise, to adjust quickly 
and make the best of the situation--whether it was emergency-transportation to 
a new duty station in miserable cattle trucks or entertaining the Director 
graciously in their own barracks because of lack of conventional recreation 
facilities.<250>  As Colonel Streeter herself once noted in a discussion about 
the effect of women being in the service: "Our members do not lose any of 
their womanly qualities, but their health is improved and their point of view 
changed by the military discipline they undergo.  It is not an easy life, and 
I am constantly surprised at their loyalty and endurance...."<251>

                             Education Background

     Women Marines represented a variety of background and training.  An 
analysis of their educational background showed that out of 21,050 women 
surveyed, a total of 13,824, or


approximately 88 percent, had completed high school.  Since one of the 
requirements for enlistment was two years of high school, this percentage was 
not surprising.  An additional 4,619 had attended college.<252> (See Appendix 

                       Regional Pattern of Enlistments

     A geographical study of the residence of Women Marines revealed that 80 
percent came from 18 states, while the other 30 states supplied only 20 
percent.  The states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, 
Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio supplied 12,769 Women Marines, or more than half 
the total number.  The fact that six of these states which supplied the most 
women were also among the seven most-heavily populated states during the war 
years shows a definite relationship in most cases between a state's population 
figure and the number of women who joined.  There are, however, several 
interesting notes on the representation from the various states.  For example: 
although the state of Texas ranked sixth in population, it was fourteenth in 
the number of women who enlisted in the Marine Corps.  California during the 
war years ranked fifth in population, but first in the number of Women Marines 
enrolled.  And Massachusetts, which ranked fourth in the number of women 
enlisted, was eighth in total population.<253> (See Appendix C)

     Regionally, the highest proportion of Women Marines came from the Middle 
Atlantic states, the Central states, the Far West, and the Great Lakes states, 
in that order.<254> From the beginning, it was more difficult to interest 
women from the Southern states in enlisting.  Recruiting officials in this 
section had to work particularly hard to fill their monthly enlistment quotas.  
As Director Streeter once wrote to an officer in New Orleans: "We at 
Headquarters realize the difficulties faced by Procurement offices in the deep 
South and appreciate the efforts which you are making to overcome sales 
resistance in that area.  Service in women's military organizations is a newer 
idea in the deep South than in other parts of the country and more at variance 
with their customs and traditions.  However, I hope they may in time come to 
see its importance...."<255>

     In addition to maintaining a steady flow of enlistments to meet the needs 
of both the enlisted and officer training programs, it was also necessary to 
meet recruiting quotas designed to provide the Marine Corps with women 
representing a balanced cross-section of the country.<256>

                Composition of Reserve by Age and Test Scores

     Primarily, the Women's Reserve was composed of women in their early 20s.  
(See Appendix D)  At the end of the war more than 60 percent of the officers 
were in the 20-24 age


group.  When recruiting opened in February 1943, an age range between 20 and 
50 was allowed for officer candidates.  This, at least theoretically, made it 
possible to achieve a fairly balanced ratio between young officers and the 
more professionally experienced, older ones.  However, later that fall when 
the officer classes were composed primarily of enlisted women and, in general, 
closed to persons from civilian life (with the exception of a small number of 
highly-qualified candidates), the age distribution shifted toward the younger 
side and remained there.  This did not cause any great problems, although a 
better balance would have been considered desirable.  There was also the 
feeling that, particularly in the case of officers assigned to troop duty, 
sometimes relatively young lieutenants carried a heavy load of responsibility 
for their age that far outweighed commensurate duties in civilian life.<257>

     The median age of all Women Marines was 24.05 years.<258>

     In any organization such as the Women's Reserve it is desirable to have a 
range of abilities represented by its members, since there are a number of 
fairly routine jobs which have to be done.<259>  Even in a wartime situation, 
if there are too many over-qualified people in comparison to the work that has 
to be done, it is sometimes difficult to escape the problem of 
"under-assigning" personnel and this may result in dissatisfaction and lowered 
morale.  On the other hand, the enrollment of high-quality personnel in an 
organization usually contributes considerably to its ease of administration 
and general lack of serious disciplinary problems.  It was found that the 
frequency of minor disciplinary problems and maladjustments which occurred to 
women in the lower General Classification Test groups (i.e., under 75 and in 
the 75-88 GCT range) was "out of all proportion to their actual numbers."<260> 
In the Women's Reserve, the vast majority of personnel ranked 89 or higher in 
the standard aptitude test which measures basic intelligence and innate 
learning ability. (See Appendix E)

                      Recruiting Results and Media Used

     Recruiting figures showed that a total of 23,145 women were enlisted 
during the war, and that only 965 ever held commissions.  The Women's Reserve 
achieved its recruiting goal of approximately 18,000 enlisted and 1,000 
officers several weeks earlier than its target date of July 1944.  Thus, 
during the months of July and August 1944 there were virtually no Women 
Marines accepted, to avoid the potential problem of supply in excess of number 
of billets available.  In September 1944, recruiting was reopened to provide 
replacements for Women Reservists volunteering for duty overseas.<261>

     The most successful media used to aid recruiting were, in order: radio, 
newspaper publicity, posters and outdoor


advertising, and movies.<262>  From the onset it was recognized that a good 
public information program was essential to win continuing public support and 
to attract the high caliber of personnel desired for the Women's Reserve.  The 
Division of Public Information of Marine Corps Headquarters released 
information to all media about practically every aspect of the program.  All 
official MCWR publicity was kept on a high plane carefully avoiding the 
come-on of glamour, foreign assignments, or the like.  The women were told 
their jobs were not glamorous but hard work, just as the individual Marine's 
job in the Pacific was not glamorous.<263>

     Not unexpectedly the most successful type of appeal was patriotism.  
After V-E Day, 7 May 1945, it became harder to get good-quality Women Reserve 
candidates, since the patriotic influence was no longer as strong.  A survey 
was conducted by the psychiatrist at the Camp Lejeune Recruit Depot when it 
was operating at full strength in the winter of 1944.  He did not select a 
particular group, but simply asked questions of the first 1,000 recruits who 
were taking their physical examinations at that time.  They were told: "We 
know that the desire to serve your country was your primary reason for 
enlisting in the MCWR.  What would you consider your secondary reason?" The 
answers were as follows:<264>

                               Positive reasons

     1.  Because they had men in the service.                 350

     2.  Because there were no men in their families who 
         could serve.                                          60

     3.  For revenge:  their men had been killed.              40

     4.  For adventure.                                       150

     5.  To benefit themselves.                               150

                               Negative reasons

     1.  To "get away from something" such as a
         distasteful job, family difficulties, etc.           250

                                           TOTAL            1,000

     Other surveys conducted indicated that the majority of women were proud 
to belong to the Marine Corps.  They joined because they wanted to do a job 
and get the war over.  They picked the Marine Corps because to them it stood 
for the highest in tradition, ability, and accomplishment.<265>


                         Overall Distribution by Rank

     The original request to the Secretary of the Navy for authority to 
organize a Marine Corps Women's Reserve asked for a distribution in the ranks 
of officers to conform o that for enlisted Women Reservists the same as that 
authorized for enlisted men of the Marine Corps.  This was approved as 

            Officers                               Enlisted

Major           1                              1st Pay Grade  3.686%
Captain        35                              2nd Pay Grade  5.73
1st Lt         35% of total author-            3rd Pay Grade  7.714
                   ized commissioned           4th Pay Grade 12.605
2nd Lt         Balance                         5th Pay Grade 23.956
                                               6th Pay Grade 37.221
                                               7th Pay Grade  9.087

     This initial distribution in rank of officers was modified on 25 November 
and the following distribution was authorized:

     Colonel                         1
     Lieutenant Colonel              2
     Major                          30
     Captain                       100
     1st Lieutenant                240
     2nd Lieutenant            Balance

     This also proved inadequate and was later modified.  Final distribution 
in rank was established in January 1945 following approval by the Secretary of 
the Navy of a request by the Commandant for a plan that better met the needs 
of the service.  This new distribution provided for:

     Colonel                         1
     Lieutenant Colonel              4
     Major                          36
     Captain                       200
     1st Lieutenant                400
     2nd Lieutenant            Balance

                   "VIP" Statements about Wartime Reserve

     How effectively Women Reservists lived up to their wartime recruiting 
slogan "Free a Man to Fight" was expressed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 
in the following message sent to them of the first anniversary of the Women's 
Reserve, 13 February 1944:

     "The nation is as proud of you as your fellow Marines--for Marine women 
are upholding the brilliant traditions of the Corps with a spirit of loyalty 
and diligence worthy of the


highest admiration of all Americans.  you have quickly and efficiently taken 
over scores of different kinds of duties that not long ago were considered 
strictly masculine assignments; and in doing so, you have freed a large number 
of well-trained, battle-ready men of the Corps for action...."<267>

     Declared General Thomas Holcomb, the early wartime Commandant:  "There's 
hardly any work at our Marine stations that women can't do as well as men.  
They do some work far better than men...What is more, they're real Marines.  
They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post.  They 
inherit the traditions of the Marines.  They are Marines."<268>

     Because of the recruiting slogan adopted by the Marine Corps when it 
began enlisting women, the question of how many men were so freed was 
naturally a subject of interest.  The peak strength of the Women Reservists, 
slightly less than 19,000, approximates a Marine Corps division.  Therefore, a 
remark always treasured by the women was the statement made by General 
Alexander A. Vandegrift, the second wartime Commandant, who said they could 
feel responsible for putting the 6th Marine Division in the field; for without 
the women filling jobs throughout the Marine Corps there would not have been 
sufficient men available to form that division.

     On another occasion he observed:  "With quiet assurance, and without 
fanfare, they have learned quickly all tasks assigned to them.  In doing so, 
they have proved themselves so versatile and so adept that thousands of men 
were released earlier than had been hoped, to take part in the great Pacific 
drive which will continue on its relentless way....I have been equally 
impressed with the manner in which they have taken the traditions of the Corps 
to heart.  They have developed and esprit worthy of the admiration of the most 
thorough-going veteran in our ranks...."<269>

     On the women's Reserve second anniversary, 13 February 1945, General 
Vandergrift declared:

     "Just two years ago, the United States Marine corps called on the women 
of this country to help it meet the severest test in Marine Corps history....

     "You responded generously.  Thousands of you came forward of your own 
free will to join the Corps.

     "Today you number from approximately one-third to one-half of the post 
troops at representative Marine posts and stations; and, as might be expected 
from the type of work to be performed, your services have been particularly in 
demand at Headquarters, where you fill 87 per cent of the enlisted 
complement....Without you, we would be seriously handicapped."<270>


     A statement that could be considered in the "VIP" category, because it 
was doubtless representative of the thinking of so many Marines, was made by a 
young corporal wounded at Guadalcanal, who said:

     "Well, I'll tell you.  I was kinda sore about it [the Women Marines] at 
first.  Then it began to make sense--though only if the girls are gonna be 
tops, understand."

     His friend, a sergeant, broke in.  "Hell," he said, "they're gonna be 
Marines, aren't they?  They gotta be tops!"<271>



(1)    "Women in the War," 1944 Office of War Information folder (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Enlistment," Historical Branch, Headquarters, U. S.
       Marine Corps, hereafter HistBr, HQMC), pp. 6-7.  WAACs, 15May42; WAVES,
       30Jul42; SPARS, 23Nov42; Marines, 13Feb43.

(2)    IBID., p. 9.

(3)    Typed excerpt Chap XXXI "Women in the Navy," from Josephus Daniels,
       OUR NAVY AT WAR (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--World War I," HistBr,
       HQMC) pp. 328-329

(4)    IBID.

(5)    Col Ruth Cheney Streeter and LtCol Katherine A. Towle, "History of the
       Marine Corps Women's Reserve - A Critical Analysis of Its Development
       and Operation, 1943-1945" dtd 6Dec45 (HistBr, HQMC), p. 21, hereafter
       Streeter, "History."

(6)    Commandant of the Marine Corps (hereafter CMC) ltr to Secretary of the
       Navy (hereafter SecNav), dtd 12Oct42 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female
       Enrollment MCR #1," Central Correspondence Files, HQMC, hereafter CCF,

(7)    IBID., Judge Advocate General 1st End, dtd 26Oct42.

(8)    IBID., Commander-in-Chief U. S. Fleet 2d End, dtd 3Oct42.

(9)    IBID., SecNav approval, dtd 31Oct42 and the President's approval, dtd

(10)   CMC ltr to SecNav, dtd 14Nov42 (Folder 1535-55-100 Female Enrollment
       MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(11)   Col L. W. T. Waller, Jr., memo to CMC, dtd 12Jan43; CMC ltr to SecNav
       dtd 14Nov42, citing Public Law 689, 77th Congress (Folder 1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(12)   CMC ltr to Commanding Officers of every post and district, dtd 5Nov42
       (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(13)   Typed carbon draft "Brief of the History of Marine Corps Women's
       Reserve," Hereafter "Brief History" (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC), p. 3; Streeter, "History," p. 56.

Sources for the Introduction, p.1, follow Note (271)


(14)   Division of Reserve (hereafter DivRes) memo to Quartermaster (hereafter
       QM), dtd 5Jan43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #1", CCF,

(15)   CMC ltr to Dean V. C. Gildersleeve, dtd 17Nov42 (Folder "1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCf, HQMC).

(16)   CMC ltr to Dean V. C. Gildersleeve, dtd 3Dec42, (Folder "1534-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC); BGen L. W. T. Waller, Jr.
       typewritten draft (hereafter "Waller Draft"), of Chapter II, Streeter
       "History," p. 3, with ltr to Col R.C. Streeter, dtd 5Sep45, (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC); Major Carroll B. Rhoads
       ltr to Mr. Basil O'Connor, Dtd 12Dec42, (Folder "1535-55-10 Female
       Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC); USMC release, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC).

(17)   "Waller Draft", p. 2; CMC memo to AsstSecNav, dtd 17Dec42, (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(18)   Chief of Naval Personnel, CMC, and Commandant Coast Guard joint ltr to
       SecNav, dtd 20Nov42 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF,
       HQMC; Letter of Instruction (hereafter LI) 281 dtd 11Dec42 (HistBr,

(19)   Streeter, "History," pp. 22-23; Women Marines (hereafter WM) Director's
       Office telephone conversation with HistBr, Aug 63.

(20)   Col Waller memo to CMC, dtd 12Jan43 (Folder 1535-55-10 Female
       Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC) ; The name SPAR was taken from the Coast
       Guard motto, "Semper Paratus - Always Ready".

(21)   Washington, D. C. TIMES-HERALD, dtd 16Feb43 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--News Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(22)   Washington, D. C. STAR, dtd 15Feb43 (Subject File WOMEN MARINES-- 
       Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(23)   San Diego Marine Corps Base CHEVRON, dtd 5Aug44 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--News clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(24)   LI 281, dtd 11Dec42; "Brief History," p. 4.

(25)   IBID.

(26)   IBID.

(27)   Streeter, "History," pp. 23-24.


(28)   Officer-in-Charge (hereafter OIC), San Francisco, Calif. Procurement
       Office ltr to BGen L. W. T. Waller, Jr., dtd 26Feb43, (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(29)   Miss G. I. Filson ltr, n.d., to MajR.C. Streeter (Folder "1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC) Avonmore, Pa. girl ltr, to Mrs.
       F. D. Roosevelt, dtd 31Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR
       #2," CCF, HQMC).

(30)   Mr. J. Carter ltr to CMC, dtd 31Jan43, (Folder "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE
       Appointment #1," CCF, HQMC).

(31)   Col W. W. Rogers, M-3, memo to Director of Plans and Policies
       (hereafter Dir, DivP&P), dtd 6Mar43; Greater New York Federation of
       Churches to HQMC and other correspondence, dtd 15Feb43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(32)   Col L. W. T. Waller, Jr., ltr to Hon. L. Ludlow, dtd 8Feb43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 FEMALE Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(33)   CMC ltr SecNav, dtd 18Dec42, (Folder "1535-55-10 FEMALE Enrollment MCR
       #1," CCF, HQMC).

(34)   Procurement Directive No. 17, dtd 10Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female
       Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(35)   Navy Dept Release, dtd 17Mar43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Enlistment," HistBr, HQMC).

(36)   IBID.; "Itinerary Maj Streeter's trip of 17Feb-26Mar43," (Subject
       File "Women's Reserve--USMCR," HistBr, HQMC).

(37)   Maj C. B. Rhoads ltr to Mr. Thomas Streeter, dtd 8Mar43 (Folder
       "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC).

(38)   Navy Dept release, dtd 9Apr43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Enlistment," HistBr, HQMC).

(39)   IBID.; Release, dtd 15Apr43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History,"
       HistBr, HQMC).

(40)   OIC Chicago, Ill. Procurement Office ltr. to LtCol John R. Moe, dtd
       15Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(41)   Streeter, "History," p. 24; Speed ltr signed Waller & Lawton to
       Directors & OICs, dtd 18Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR
       #2," CCF, HQMC); CMC ltr to SecNav, dtd 24Jul1943 (Folder 1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC)


(42)   Release, dtd 6Nov43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Enlistment," HistBr,
       HQMC); Marine Corps release, "Anniversary Message to Marine Corps
       Women's Reserve" from Col R. C. Streeter (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Anniversaries," HistBr, HQMC).

(43)   Director R. C. Streeter memo to Acting Director of Personnel, dtd
       24May44 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol 1-P," CCF, HQMC)

(44)   Streeter, "History," pp. 26, 280; Navy Dept release, dtd 12Mar43
       (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(45)   IBID.

(46)    MajGen H. "Schmidt memo" to Chief of Naval Personnel (hereafter 
        "Schmidt memo"), dtd 23Feb43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR
        #2," CCF, HQMC).

(47)    CMC ltr to SecNav, dtd 6Ju143, refers to SecNav approval of "Cadet"
        rank on 26Dec43; Release, dtd 15Apr43 (Subject File "WOMEN
        MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC); LI 382, dtd 27Mar43; One member of
        the second class recalled that candidates wore arm bands rather than
        OC pins throughout training.  Information WM Director's Office, Feb64
        (Monograph and Comment File, HistBr, HQMC)

(48)   Streeter, "History," p. 280.

(49)   "Schmidt memo".

(50)   LI 382, dtd 27Mar43.

(51)   "Schmidt memo"; Streeter, "History," p. 25; Navy Dept release, dtd
       21Mar43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Recruit Training, "HistBr, HQMC);
       Col K. A. Towle, "Women Marines: The Feminine Side," MARINE CORPS
       GAZETTE, v. 34, no. 11 (Nov50), p. 111, hereafter Towle, "Women

(52)   "Schmidt memo"; Col L. W. T. Waller, Jr., memo to Col B. W. Gally, dtd
       6Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(53)   IBID.; "Brief History," p. 1; Navy Dept release, dtd 21Mar43 (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--Recruit Training," HistBr, HQMC); WM Director's
       Office telephone conversation with HistBr, Aug63.

(54)   Navy Dept release, dtd 21Mar43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Recruit
       training," HistBr, HQMC).

(55)   Streeter, "History," pp. 25, 117 (attrition figure computed from
       figures on p. 117).


(56)   HQMC memo, dtd 3Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2,"
       CCF, HQMC).

(57)   CMC memo to Chief of Naval Personnel, dtd 10Apr43 (Folder 1965-90-10-5
       FEMALE Appointments #1, CCF, HQMC), Towle,"Women Marines," p. 111;
       Director R. C. Streeter memo to Director, Personnel Dept, dtd 5Jul43
       (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments'#2, CCF, HQMC).

(58)   MajGen H. Schmidt ltr to Dr. R. G. Ham, dtd 23Jul43 (Folder "1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(59)   Maj C. B. Rhoads memo to Director, Personnel Dept, dtd 24Jun43 (Folder
       "1965-9--10-5 Female Appointments #2," CCF, HQMC).

(60)   CMC memo to Chief Naval Personnel, dtd 24May43 and HQMC correspondence,
       dtd 15May43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC).

(61)   "Waller Draft", p. 3.

(62)   Streeter "History," p. 123.

(63)   IBID.

(64)   Extract from personal ltr received by BGen L. W. T. Waller, Jr., from
       Maj E. H. Hurst, forwarded as part of an official memo from BGen Waller
       to BGen K. E. Rockey, dtd 3Apr43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment
       MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(65)   Director R. C. Streeter memo to Director, Personnel Dept, dtd 12Jun43
       (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments #2," CCF, HQMC).

(66)   Radio script, dtd 14Jan44, Ser #164024 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Enlistment," HistBr, HQMC, p. 3.

(67)   Marine Corps release, "Training Women Reserve at Camp Lejeune, New
       River, N. C.," n.d.; Release carbon draft pp. 8, 10 (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Recruit Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(68)   "Broadway Gazette" column of Leonard Lyons, guest-columnist Maj R. C.
       Streeter, n.d., n.p., (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History," HistBr,
       HQMC), hereafter "Broadway column;" Robert H. Myers, "Boot Camp for
       Women - Part I," LEATHERNECK, Vol. 26, no. 9 (Sep43), p. 44.


(69)   Guy Richards, "The Ladies Arrive--The Story of the Women's Reserve, (a
       monograph in possession of Col W. P. McCahill, USMCR, Washington, D. C.

(70)   1stLt J. A. Kelly, Atlanta, Ga. Procurement Office ltr to HQMC, dtd
       27Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(71)   HQMC memo, dtd 13Aug43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #4,"
       CCF, HQMC); Director R. C. Streeter telegram to Philadelphia, Pa.
       Platoon dtd 4Sep43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment CCF #3, HQMC)

(72)   Lt Virginia L. McCance, Procurement Office, Pittsburgh, Pa. ltr to
       HQMC, dtd 29Nov43 (Folder "2295-100 Women's Reserve," CCF, HQMC);
       Luther H. Evans, Chief Assistant Librarian, Library of Congress ltr, to
       Lt Frances M Seibert, Officer Procurement District, Washington, D. C.,
       dtd 18Nov43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC).

(73)   HQMC ltrs, dtd 9Oct43 and 18Oct43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment
       MCR #4," CCF, HQMC); HQMC memo, dtd 13Aug43, op. cit.; Correspondence,
       dtd 19Jan44 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P," CCF, HQMC).

(74)   "Brief History," p. 5; Streeter, "History," p. 118; "Waller Draft", 
       p. 3.

(75)   Marine Corps release, "Training Women Reserves at Camp Lejeune, New
       River, N. C.," op. cit.; HQMC memo, dtd 13Aug43, op.cit.; "Brief
       History," p. 5.

(76)   Streeter, "History," p. 126; "Brief History," p. 5.

(77)   Dir, DivRes ltr to Dir, Training Division, Bureau of Naval, Personnel,
       dtd 19Apr43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC).

(78)   Marine Corps Women's Reserve (hereafter MCWR) release, n.d., (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--Section Reports," HistBr, HQMC); Streeter,
       "History," pp. 129-130.

(79)   Radio script, dtd 14Jan44, op. cit., p. 4

(80)   MCWR release, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Section Reports,"
       HistBr, HQMC); LI 574, dtd 30Oct43.

(81)   "Brief History," pp. 7-8.

(82)   CMC ltr to OICs of four Procurement Districts, dtd 27Jul43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC); LI, dtd 6Jul43; LI,
       dtd 3May44; Streeter, "History," p. 256.


       HQMC correspondence, dtd 3Sep43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female
       Appointments #2," CCF, HQMC).

(83)   Marine Corps release, dtd 22Jul43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Officer
       Training," HistBr, HQMC); CMC ltr to CO, MCWR Schools, dtd 30Jul43
       (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments #2," CCF, HQMC); Draft Chap
       14, "MCWR Officer Training," pt 3 (Folder "2185-65-10 History of MCWR
       Supplementary, Vol. I," CCF, HQMC).

(84)   LI 482, dtd 6Jul43; LI 573, dtd 30Oct43; LI 739, dtd 3May44; CMC
       correspondence to SecNav, dtd 6Jul43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE
       Appointments #2," CCF HQMC).

(85)   Capt F. L. Churchville memo to Dir, DivRes, dtd 7May43 (Folder
       "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC); HQMC correspondence,
       dtd 24Jun43 and 3Sep43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments #2,"
       CCF, HQMC); Dir, P&P memo to CMC dtd 17Mar45 (Folder "1965-90-10-5
       Appointments Female-1," CCF, HQMC).

(86)   Director R. C. Streeter memo to Dir, Personnel Dept, dtd 18Dec44
       (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Appointments Female-1-," CCF, HQMC); Streeter,
       "History," pp. 284-287.

(87)   Streeter, "History," p. 64; CMC memo to AsstSecNav, dtd 17Dec42 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 FEMALE Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(88)   Navy Dept release, dtd 20Mar43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Uniforms,"
       HistBr, HQMC); Col L. W. T. Waller, Jr., memo to Mrs. A. A. Lentz, dtd
       31Dec42 (Folder "1535-55-10 FEMALE Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC).

(89)   NavyDept release, dtd 20Mar43, op. cit.

(90)   "Waller Draft," p. 3.

(91)   IBID., p. 2; Correspondence, dtd Feb43 with Harper's Bazaar clipping
       (Folder "1535-55-10-5 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(92)   Mr. E. A. Greene ltr to Director R. C. Streeter, dtd 6Feb43 (Folder
       "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC).

(93)   The Institute for Research, "A Career in the U. S. Marine Corps Women's
       Reserve," Chicago, 1943, hereafter "Career booklet" (Subject File 
       "WOMEN MARINES--Enlistment," HistBr, HQMC).


(94)   Adjutant & Inspector ltr to Dir, DivRes, dtd 21Nov42; Col L. W. T.
       Waller, Jr., memo to CMC, dtd 12Jan43 (Folder "1535-55-10 FEMALE
       Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC); HQMC advance information bulletin, dtd
       6Feb43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC); LI 424
       dtd 15May43; Dir, DivRes ltr to Research Section, dtd 5Dec42 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #1," CCF, HQMC); Myers, "Boot Camp
       for Women," op. cit., p. 44.

(95)   "Career booklet", p.7; Col R.H. Rankin, USMC, UNIFORMS OF THE SEA
       SERVICES--A PICTORIAL HISTORY (Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute,
       1962), pp. 252-253; USMC release, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC).

(96)   "Waller Draft", p. 3; Navy Dept release, dtd 20Mar43 (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Uniforms," HistBr, HQMC); LtCol Ruth H. Broe ltr to
       Head, HistBr G-3 Div, HQMC, dtd 15Nov63 (Monograph and Comment File,
       HistBr, HQMC).

(97)   Rankin, UNIFORMS, op. cit., pp. 252-253; Col Margaret M. Henderson
       ltr to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, dtd 14Nov63 (Monograph and
       Comment File, HistBr, HQMC).

(98)   Rankin, UNIFORMS, op. cit., p. 253

(99)   Uniform Regulations, 1943, USMCR, revised 27Jul43 and issued as LI 523,
       dtd 27Aug43; LI 737, dtd 1May44

(100)  LI 523, op. cit.

(101)  IBID.

(102)  "Waller Draft," p. 3; LI 602, dtd 27Nov42.

(103)  Typed draft of release, dtd 9Sep43, and Bob Jackson, Philadelphia, 
       Pa. Procurement Office memo to S/Sgt MacQueen, of RECRUITER (Subject
       File "Women's Reserve - USMCR," HistBr, HQMC).

(104)  "Brief History," p. 3; Streeter, "History," pp. 64-65; Typed carbon of
       release, "First Class of Uniform Officers," dtd 15Nov43 (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC); Release #40, "Women's
       Post Exchange at Camp Lejeune," n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Recruit Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(105)  "Brief History," p. 3; Streeter, "History," pp. 64, 66, 70.

(106)  Streeter, "History," p. 69.

(107)  IBID., pp. 73-74.


(108)  Capt F. R. Washington, Asst to Dir, DivRes ltr to Mr. F.M. Schlegel,
       dtd 2Mar43, (Folder "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC);
       "Broadway column".

(109)  Typed excerpt Chap XXXI, "Women in the Navy," from Josephus Daniels,
       OUR NAVY AT WAR, op. cit.

(110)  Towle, "Women Marines," p. 111; Lt. E. Louise Stewart, "What Are the
       Women Marines Doing?" MARINE CORPS GAZETTE, v. 27, no. 6 (Oct43)

(111)  HEADQUARTERS BULLETIN, dtd Oct43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News
       Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC); "Brief History," addendum pp. 1-5.

(112)  Navy Dept release, dtd 23Mar43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Section
       Reports," HistBr, HQMC).

(113)  IBID.

(114)  "Brief History," p. 5.

(115)  IBID., MCWR release, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Section
       Reports, HistBr, HQMC).

(116)  Streeter, "History," pp. 159, 162-164.

(117)  IBID., p. 161.

(118)  IBID., p. 204; "Brief History," p. 6; LI 574, dtd 30Oct43.

(119)  "Brief History," p. 9; LI 622, dtd 29Dec43; Director R. C. Streeter
       memo to CMC, dtd 22Dec43 (Folder: "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments
       #2," CCF, HQMC).

(120)  Waller ltr to Mr. Fields, dtd 11May43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE
       Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC); "Women Reserves Celebrate their Second
       Anniversary," CHEVRON, 10Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES-- 
       Anniversaries," HistBr, HQMC), hereafter CHEVRON article.

(121)  IBID., Stewart, "What Are Women Marines Doing?" op. cit., p. 30.

(122)  CHEVRON article.

(123)  QUANTICO SENTRY, dtd Nov43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News 
       Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(124)  CHEVRON article.

(125)  IBID.

(126)  IBID.


(127)  IBID.

(128)  IBID.

(129)  IBID.

       (Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1952), p. 128; Streeter, "History,"
       pp. 127-128.

(131)  IBID.; Division Aviation memo to Division Reserve, dtd 25Feb43
       (Folder "1965-90-10-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC).

(132)  HQMC memo, dtd Sep43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments #1,"
       CCF, HQMC).

(133)  Carbon draft of release, dtd 2Aug44 (Subject File, "WOMEN MARINES--
       Specialist Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(134)  Draft of LI 1093, dtd 4Aug45 (Folder "2295-100 Report on Women's
       Reserve," CCF, HQMC); Muster Rolls, Diary Unit, Files Section,
       Personnel Department, HQMC; AWRS - 12 and - 13 at Edenton were
       disbanded early in 1945.

(135)  Streeter, "History," pp. 165-168.

(136)  Director R. C. Streeter memo to All Officers, dtd 17Jul43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC).

(137)  John A. De Chant, DEVILBIRDS (New York: Harper & Bros., 1947), pp.

(138)  Streeter, "History," pp. 375-376.

(139)  Washington STAR, 13Sep45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings
       #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(140)  "Brief History," p. 2; Streeter, "History," pp. 21-22, 45.

(141)  Streeter, "History," p. 31.

(142)  LI 382, dtd 27Mar43.

(143)  LI 571 dtd 29Oct43; Streeter, "History," p. 32.

(144)  "Waller Draft", p. 4; Release, dtd 25Nov43, CMC to All Officers, MCWR
       (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Regulations, HistBr, HQMC); Streeter,
       "History," p. 9; LtCol John B. Hill report to Dir, DivRes, dtd 4Feb43
       (Folder "2295-100 Women's Reserve," CCF, HQMC).


(145)  Correspondence, dtd 18Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR
       #2," CCF, HQMC); Correspondence, dtd 21May43 and 31May43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3,: CCF, HQMC); Correspondence, dtd
       22Nov43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC);
       WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military
       History, Dept of the Army, 1954), pp. 483-484, 759.

(146)  Correspondence, dtd 31May43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR
       #3," CCF. HQMC).

(147)  Carbon of release, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Officer
       Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(148)  CMC ltr, dtd 20Jul43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment CR #3," CCF,

(149)  IBID.

(150)  Director R. C. Streeter memo to All Officers, dtd 17Jul43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment, MCR #3," CCF, HQMC).

(151)  CMC ltr, dtd 25Nov43, op. cit.; CMC ltr, dtd 20Jul43, op. cit.;
       BGen K. E. Rockey memo to DivRes, dtd 8Mar43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female
       Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(152)  Streeter, "History," pp. 384-385; Commanding Officer, 2d Headquarters
       Battalion memo, dtd 26Jul43, Subj: Gripe Sheet (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Section Reports," HistBr,HQMC), p. 10.

(153)  LI 725, dtd 25Apr44; Streeter, "History," pp. 363-364.

(154)  LI 571, dtd 29Oct43.

(155)  IBID.; LI 726, dtd 26Apr44.

(156)  Director R. C. Streeter ltr to James M. Nelson, Assoc Ed., THE
       AMERICAN MAGAZINE, dtd 28Sep43 (Folder 1535-55-10 Female Enrollment
       MCR #4," CCF, HQMC).

(157)  LI 382, dtd 27Mar43.

(158)  CMC ltr, dtd 25Nov43, op. cit.

(159)  LI 692, dtd 27Mar44 which refers to LI 382, dtd 27Mar43.

(160)  IBID.

(161)  LI 291, dtd 11Dec42.


(162)  SecNav approval of modification of marriage regulations, dtd 9Mar43
       (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #2," CCF, HQMC).

(163)  Director R. C. Streeter memo to Procurement Branch, dtd 10Aug43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC).

(164)  IBID.

(165)  Policy change statements, dtd 17Nov43 and 26Nov43 (Folder "1535-55-10
       Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC).

(166)  LI 382, dtd 27Mar43; LI 510, dtd 6Aug43; LI 499, dtd 29Jul43; LI 858,
       dtd 5Oct44; Streeter, "History," p. 14; "Brief History," pp. 6-7.

(167)  IBID.; Streeter, "History," pp. 43-44.

(168)  Director R. C. Streeter memo, dtd 17Jul43, op. cit. 

(169)  IBID.

(170)  "Broadway column;" Navy Dept release, dtd 10Feb44 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC); Capt F. L. Churchville memo
       to Dir, DivRes, dtd 7Apr43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments
       #1," CCF, HQMC); muster rolls, Diary Unit, Files Section, Personnel
       Department, HQMC.

(171)  1stLt E. Louise Stewart, "Shakedown Cruise," MARINE CORPS GAZETTE,
       vol. 27, no. 2 (May-June43), p. 37.

(172)  USMC release, dtd 15Apr43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History,"
       HistBr, HQMC); Navy Department release, dtd 4Feb44 (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(173)  Correspondence, dtd 24Jun43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female Appointments
       #2," CCF, HQMC); #34, n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press
       Releases," HistBr, HQMC).

(174)  USMC release, dtd 1Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES-Anniversaries,"
       HistBr, HQMC), pp. 2-3; Disabled American Veterans Semi-Monthly, dtd
       Jan44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(175)  "IBID.,pp. 1-2; Carbon of Navy Dept release, dtd Mar43 (Subject File
       "WOMEN MARINES--Press Releases, HistBr HQMC); Navy Dept release, dtd
       10Feb44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC)

(176)  BGen L. W. T. Waller, Jr., memo, dtd 13Jul43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female
       Vol. 1-P," CCF, HQMC).


(177)  BGen L. W. T. Waller, Jr., ltrs to various Directors, Musical Schools,
       dtd 31Jul43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P," CCF, HQMC); 
       Streeter, "History," pp. 376-377; Carbon of USMC release, New River, N.
       C., dtd 11Nov45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Specialist Training,"
       HistBr, HQMC).

(178)  Streeter, "History," p. 377; Towle, "Women Marines," p. 112.

(179)  San Diego CHEVRON, dtd 10Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Anniversaries," HistBr, HQMC).

(180)  Sgt Chas B. Kopp, USMC typed release, nd (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Press Releases," HistBr, HQMC).
(181)  Navy Dept release, dtd 2Aug43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press
       Releases," HistBr, HQMC); Carbon of Camp Lejeune, N. C. release, dtd
       Sep43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Recruit Training," HistBr, HQMC).

(182)  IBID.

(183)  Carbon of release, Camp Lejeune, N. C., dtd 6Dec43 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Press Releases," HistBr HQMC); Washington TIMES-HERALD, dtd
       23Nov44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings #1," HistBr,

(184)  USMC release, dtd 24May44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press
       Releases," HistBr, HQMC); Henderson ltr, op. cit.

(185)  Navy Dept release, dtd 6Aug43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press
       Releases," HistBr, HQMC); "Headquarters Bulletin, dtd Oct43 (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings #1," Histbr, HQMC); HQMC
       correspondence, dtd 3Jun43 (Folder 1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P," CCF,
       HQMC); Carbon release, dtd 12 Apr 44 (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Press Releases," HistBr, HQMC).

(186)  Washington STAR picture, dtd 6Feb44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News
       Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(187)  Carbon of USMC release, dtd 17Nov43 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Officer Training," HistBr, HQMC); Mrs. F. A. Bunte ltr to Director R. 
       C. Streeter, dtd 24Jul43 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P," CCF, 

(188)  USMC release, dtd 13Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Anniversaries,"
       HistBr, HQMC); Washington TIMES-HERALD articles, dtd 13Apr45 and
       28Aug45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News clippings #1," HistBr,

(189)  San Diego CHEVRON, dtd 10Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Anniversaries," HistBr, HQMC).


(190)  Typed draft, dtd 7Oct43(Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press Releases,"
       HistBr, HQMC); USMC release, dtd 1Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Anniversaries," HistBr, HQMC).

(191)  HQMC release, dtd 1Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Anniversaries," 
       HistBr, HQMC). "passim."

(192)  Head, Decorations and Medals Branch memo to HistBr, HQMC, dtd 5Sep63.

(193)  Director R. C. Streeter memo to Acting Director of Personnel, dtd
       13Sep44 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P," CCF, HQMC); HQMC Legal
       division telephone conversation with HistBr, Jul63; 11th Naval District
       Bulletin, Serial No. LA(a) 188(43) (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--
       Overseas Duty," HistBr, HQMC)

(194)  Telephone conversation, Jul63, op. cit.; Streeter memo, dtd 13Sep44,
       op. cit.

(195)  Washington TIMES-HERALD, 20Sep44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News
       Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(196)  Telephone conversation, Jul63, op. cit.

(197)  Streeter memo, dtd 13Sep44, op. cit., refers to July Hawaii 

(198)  Director R. C. Streeter memo, dtd 3Nov44, Subj: Report of Visit to
       Hawaii 13Oct-2Nov (Folder "2295-100 Report on Women's Reserve,
       1Jan44-31Dec47," CCF, HQMC); Streeter, "History," pp. 387-388.

(199)  CMC memo to WR Assistants, dtd 30Jan45 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol.
       1-P," CCF, HQMC); Release draft "Wahine Marine," A03E-1265-HPH, dtd
       22Jan53 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History,: HistBr, HQMC).

(200)  LI 884, dtd 13Nov44.

(201)  IBID.; BGen Waller memo to Director R. C. Streeter, dtd 30Oct43
       (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P" CCF, HQMC).

(202)  HQMC correspondence (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P" CCF, HQMC).

(203)  Streeter memo, dtd 3Nov44, op. cit.; USMC release "WM Officers on Duty
       in Hawaii,:n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Press Releases," HistBr,
       HQMC); Information WM Director's Office to HistBr, Jun63; LtCol D. A.
       Stafford memo to CMC re rank of officers, dtd 15Feb43 (Folder 
       "1965-90-10-5 FEMALE Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC).


(204)  Information WM Director's Office, Jun63; Release "Headquarters 
       Announces Qualifications for Women Marines Going Overseas," dtd Nov44
       (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Overseas, HistBr, HQMC)

(205)  Information WM Director's Office, Jun63; LtCol Mary Hale conversation
       with HistBr, Aug63.

(206)  HQMC correspondence, dtd 2Jan45 (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol. 1-P,"
       CCF, HQMC).

(207)  Marine Corps Women's Reserve Battalion paper, v.1, no. 1 (May45)
       (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Overseas," HistBr, HQMC); Wahine Marine"
       release, op. cit.

(208)  IBID.; Director R. C. Streeter memo (Folder "1535-55-10 Female Vol.
       1-P" CCF, HQMC); Information WM Director's Office, Jun63.

(209)  "Wahine Marines" release, op. cit.

(210)  Washington TIMES-HERALD, 18Dec44 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News
       Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC). (211) Reserve battalion paper, op. cit.

(212)  IBID.

(213)  Typed draft "Women Marines" #145-WR Motor Transport, dtd May45 (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--Press Release," HistBr, HQMC).

(214)  Sgt Jean Kautenberg, draft of release #148-WR, dtd 30May45 (subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--Press Releases," HistBr, HQMC).

(215)  Information WM Director's Office, Jun63; Reserve battalion paper, op.

(216)  "The Ladies Arrive," op. cit.

(217)  USMC release, n. d., with dateline "Oahu, T.H. (Delayed)" (Subject
       File "WOMEN MARINES--Press Releases," HistBr, HQMC); Streeter,
       "History," p. 9.

(218)  IBID., p. 390; Towle, "Women Marines," p. 112.

(219)  Release "The Marine Corps Women's Reserve," n. d. (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Reserve Section Reports" HistBr, HQMC).

(220)  Streeter, "History," p. 419; Draft "Marine Corps Women's Reserve," op.


(221)  HQMC Bulletin 1355-40 DDA-483 hdk, dtd 16Oct45 (Subject File: "WOMEN
       MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC).

(222)  IBID.

(223)  Streeter, "History," pp. 378-379; Aviation Women's Reserve Squadron
       (AWRS) 12 War Diary and History, Apr44-Dec44 (HistBr, HQMC), p. 27;
       Correspondence dtd 9Jan46 (Folder "2295-100 Report of Women Reserve
       (T)," CCF, HQMC).

(224)  Streeter, "History," pp. 420-421; LI 1110, dtd 1Aug45.

(225)  Streeter, "History," p. 424.

(226)  Washington POST, 2Nov45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings
       #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(227)  Biographies of the directors (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES," HistBr,

(228)  Lt Mary L. Parks monthly report to HQMC, dtd 4Jan45 (Folder "2295-100
       Report of Women Reserve (T)," CCF, HQMC).

(229)  Streeter, "History," p. 100.

(230)  Draft of LI, dtd 4Aug45 (Folder "2295-100 Report of Women's Reserve
       1Jan44-31Dec47," CCF, HQMC).

(231)  IBID.

(232)  IBID.

(233)  IBID.

(234)  Streeter, "History," pp. 420-421.

(235)  IBID.

(236)  AWRS 3 monthly report, dtd 6Dec45 (Folder "2295-100 Report of Women
       Reserve (T)," CCF, HQMC); Henderson Hall, Arlington, Va. monthly
       report, dtd 9Jan46 (Folder as above).

(237)  AWRS 4 monthly report, dtd 19Dec45 (Folder "2295-100 Report of Women
       Reserve (T)," CCF, HQMC).

(238)  Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia monthly report, op. cit.

(239)  Rehabilitation Section, Women's Reserve Separation Company, Camp
       Lejeune, N. C. monthly report, dtd 31Dec45 (Folder "2295-100 Report of
       Women Reserve (T)," CCF, HQMC)


(240)  Southeastern Recruiting Division, Atlanta, Ga. monthly report, dtd
       4Jan46 (Folder "2295-100 Report of Women Reserve (T)," CCF, HQMC).

(241)  LI 1110, dtd 21Aug45; Streeter, "History," p. 426.

(242)  IBID.

(243)  USMC release, dtd 30Jun45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Separation from
       Service," HistBr, HQMC); Director K. A. Towle report to Director,
       Personnel, dtd 14Jun46, Subj: date of termination of office of Director
       of Wartime Women's Reserve and her release from duty (Folder "2295-100
       Report on Women's Reserve 1Jan44-31Dec47," CCF, HQMC).

(244)  IBID.

(245)  IBID.

(246)  Streeter, "History," pp. 16, 270.

(247)  IBID.

(248)  Commanding Officer, 2d Headquarters Battalion memo, op. cit. p. 10.

(249)  CAREER BOOKLET p. 21; Picture Washington TIMES-HERALD, 14Jun43 
       (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC).

(250)  AWRS-12 WD & History, op. cit., pp. 10, 24.

(251)  Director R. C. Streeter ltr to Capt Bart Dutto, dtd 29Jul43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #3," CCF, HQMC).

(252)  Release "The Marine Corps Women's Reserve," n. d. (Subject File "WOMEN
       MARINES--Section Reports," HistBr, HQMC), pp. 4-5.

(253)  IBID.

(254)  IBID.; regional totals projected from Appendix III.

(255)  Director R. C. Streeter ltr to Capt Linus N. Hardy, dtd 5Aug43 (Folder
       "1535-55-10 Female Enrollment MCR #4," CCF, HQMC); OIC Procurement ltr
       to CMC, dtd 17Dec43. (Folder as above).

(256)  CMC ltr to Dean Gildersleeve, dtd 12Jan43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5 Female
       Appointments #1," CCF, HQMC); ltr to AssistDir, MarCorps Officer
       Procurement Office, San Francisco, Calif., dtd 18Mar43 (Folder as


(257)  Director R. C. Streeter memo to CMC, dtd 22Dec43 (Folder "1965-90-10-5
       Female Appointments #2," CCF, HQMC); Streeter ltr to Dean Gildersleeve,
       dtd 31Dec43 (Folder as above).

(258)  Release, "The Marine Corps Women's Reserve," op. cit.

(259)  Streeter, "History," pp. 252, 97-98.

(260)  IBID.

(261)  IBID.

(262)  "Brief History," p. 3; Streeter, "History," p. 80.

(263)  IBID.; Commanding Officer, 2d Headquarters Battalion memo, op.
       cit., p. 17.

(264)  Streeter, "History," pp. 94-95.

(265)  "Women's Reserve Survey," dtd 21Sep44 (Subject File "Women's
       Reserve--USMCR," HistBr, HQMC), p. 7.

(266)  Streeter, "History," pp. 57-58.

(267)  Towle, "Women Marines," p. 112.

(268)  "Women in the War," op. cit. p. 9.

(269)  IBID.; Carbon draft "Brief History of Marine Corps Women's Reserve in
       World War II," n.d. (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--History," HistBr,
       HQMC), p. 3.

(270)  USMC news clipping, "Women Marines Observe Second Anniversary," 
       dtd 13Feb45, n.p (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--Anniversaries," HistBr,

(271)  Stewart, "Shakedown Cruise," op. cit. p. 37.


                         Sources for the Introduction

(a)  Washington TIMES-HERALD, dtd 10Feb45 (Subject File "WOMEN MARINES--News
     Clippings #1," HistBr, HQMC

(b)  Janet Wolff, "Influences on Today's Women," WHAT WOMEN BUY (New York: 
     McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1958), p.8.

(c)  Typewritten carbon draft "Service Completed" (Subject File "WOMEN
     MARINES--History," HistBr, HQMC), p.1.

(d)  F. T. Stolley, "Humor in Uniform" Reader's Digest, Mar55, v. 66: 26.


Appendix A:   Jobs in which Women Marines Were Assigned During World War II

Accountant                                      Combat Correspondent
Addressing or Embossing                         Commissary Man
   Machine Operator                             Communication Chief
Administrative NCO                              Control Tower Operator
Armorer, Aircraft                               Cook
Artist                                          Court Reporter
Auditor                                         Crane Operator
Automobile Serviceman                           Dispatcher, Motor Vehicle
Automotive Carburetor &                         Draftsman, Electrical
   Ignition Mechanic                            Draftsman, General
Automotive Equipment Operator                   Draftsman, Mechanical
Automotive Mechanic                             Draftsman, Topographic
Aviation Salvage Crew Mechanic                  Drill Instructor
Aviation Supply Man                             Drum Major
Baker                                           Education Specialist
Band Leader                                     Electrician, Aircraft
Bandsman, Bass Drum                             Electrician, General
Bandsman, Clarinet                              Electric Motor Repairman
Bandsman, Cornet or Trumpet                     Electroplater
Bandsman, Euphonium or Baritone                 Engine Overhaul Mechanic,
Bandsman, Flute or Piccolo                         Aircraft (Designated
Bandsman, French Horn                              Engine)
Bandsman, Saxophone                             Engineer Stock Man
Bandsman, Oboe                                  Fabric Worker, Aircraft
Bandsman, Snare Drum                            Field Artillery Fire Control
Bandsman, Trombone                                 Man
Bandsman, Tuba                                  Field Lighting Truck Operator
Barracks NCO                                    Field Musician
Beauty Operator                                 File Clerk
Boiler Firemen                                  Filter Operator, Water Supply
Bookkeeper                                      Financial Typist, Clerk
Bookkeeping Machine Operator                    Finger Printer
Carburetor Mechanic, Aircraft                   Fire Control Instrument
   (Designated Type)                               Technician
Carpenter, Aircraft                             Fire Fighter
Carpenter, General                              First Sergeant
Cashier                                         Freight Transportation Clerk
Chaplain's Assistant                            Gas & Oil Man
Chauffeur                                       Guard
Chemical Laboratory Technician                  Gyro Mechanic, Aircraft
Chemical Warfare Specialist                     Heavy Artillery Fire Control
Chief Clerk                                        NCO
Chief Ordnance Man, Light Air                   Heavy Machine Gunner
    Fire Control                                Heat-Treater
Classification Specialist                       Hydraulic Mechanic, Aircraft
Clearance Desk Clerk                               (Designated Type)
Clerk, Administrative                           Inspector, Aircraft Parts &
Clerk, General                                     Accessories
Clerk Typist                                    Instructor (Designated
Code Clerk                                         Specialty)


Instrument Mechanic, Aircraft                   Photographic Laboratory
Investigator                                      Technician
Inventory Clerk                                 Photographic Service
Key Punch Operator                                Technician
Laundry Machine Operator                        Photographic Stock Man
Legal Clerk                                     Photolithographer
Library Clerk                                   Photostat Operator or Blue
Link Celestial Navigation                         Printer
Training Operator                               Plastic Glass Worker
Link Trainer Instructor                         Platoon Sergeant
Link Trainer Mechanic                           Plotter, Air Warning
Machine Operator                                Plumber
Machinist                                       Police NCO
Maintenance Man, General                        Postal Clerk
Materiel Clerk, Aviation                        Post Exchange Man
Meat Cutter                                     Process Cameraman
Mechanic, Aircraft (Designated                  Procurement Clerk
  Type)                                         Projectionist, 16mm
Mechanic, Gunner, Aviation                      Projectionist, 35mm
Message Center Chief                            Projector Operator-repairman
Message Center Man                              Proofreader
Messenger                                       Propeller Mechanic (Designated
Mess Sergeant                                     Type
Metal smith, Aviation                           Property NCO
Microfilm Technician                            Printer
Military Policemen                              Publication Man
Military Specialty Undetermined                 Quartermaster Supply Basic
Motor Transport                                 Quartermaster Supply Man
Multilith or Multigraph                         Radar Operator (Designated
  Operator                                        Equipment)
Navy Supply Man                                 Radar Repairman, Airborne
Occupational Technician                           Search Equipment
Office Machine Repairman                        Radar Technician (Designated
  (Designated Machine)                            Equipment)
Officer Candidate                               Radio Operator, Aerial
Operations Clerk, Aviation                      Radio Operator, High Speed
Orderly                                         Radio Operator, Low Speed
Ordnance Stockman                               Radio Repairman
Oxygen & Carbon Dioxide Man                     Radio Technician, VHF
Packer                                          Radio Telephone Operator
Painter, Aircraft                               Railway Clerk
Painter, General                                Recognition Instructor
Painter, Sign                                   Recruiter
Painter, Vehicle                                Recreation Assistant
Parachute Rigger                                Rigger, Aircraft
Parachute Shop Chief                            Sales Clerk
Parts Clerk, Automotive                         Sewing Machine Operator
Parts Clerk, Ordnance                           Sergeant Major
Passenger Transportation Clerk                  Sheet Metal Worker
Paymaster Clerk                                 Ship Loading Man
Personnel Clerk                                 Ship Clerk or Engineer Clerk,
Photographer, Aerial                              Aviation
Photographer, Still                             Signal Stock Man
Photographic Darkroom Man                       Small Arms Mechanic


Special Assignment                              Toolroom Keeper
Special Services Assistant                      Toxic Gas Handler
Statistical Clerk                               Tractor Driver
Stenographer                                    Traffic Rate Clerk
Steward                                         Training Aids Specialist
Stock Clerk                                     Translator (Designated
Stock Man, General                                Language)
Stock Record Clerk                              Truck Driver, Heavy
Storage Battery Electrician                     Truckmaster
Student                                         Turret Mechanic Aircraft
Supply Records Clerk                              (Designated Type)
Switchboard Installer, Telephone                Upholsterer
  & Telegraph Dial                              Veterinary Technician
Switchboard Operator, Common                    Warehouseman
  Battery                                       Watch Repairman
Synthetic Devices Mechanic                      Water Supply Man
Synthetic Gunnery Instructor                    Weather Forecaster
  (Designated Type)                             Weather Observer
Tabulation Machine Operator                     Welder, Acetylene
Tailor                                          Welder, Electric Arc
Telephone Switchboard Operator                  Woodworking Machine Operator
Teletype Mechanic                               Truck Driver, Light or
Teletype Operator                                 Chauffeur

        TOTAL:  225


           "Brief History," pp. 1-5 (Subject File "Women Marines--History,"
           HistBr, HQMC)


Appendix B:  Composition of Women's Reserve:  By Education

        Did not complete high school                  2,608

        High school graduate                         13,824

        1-4 years' college                            4,478

        Post-graduate work                              141

                                        Not coded     2,094

                                        TOTAL        23,145 *

        *   This figure refers to the number of Women Marines who were
            enlisted during World War II through July 1945.


        Streeter, "History," p. 103.


Appendix C:  Composition of Women's Reserve: By State of Residence

             California               2,696
             New York                 2,325
             Pennsylvania             1,972
             Massachusetts            1,675
             Illinois                 1,519
             Michigan                 1,312
             Ohio                     1,270
             Missouri                   929
             New Jersey                 795
             Minnesota                  745
             Wisconsin                  716
             Washington                 599
             Iowa                       534
             Texas                      521
             Indiana                    419
             Connecticut                387
             Oregon                     353
             District of Columbia       339

                             Other    4,041

                             TOTAL   23,145

        About 80 percent of the total enrollment of the Marine Corps Women's
        Reserve during the war came from 17 states and the District of
        Columbia.  Only 20 percent came from the remaining 31 states.


        Streeter, "History," p. 101.


Appendix D:  Composition of Women's Reserve:  By Age *

        From 20 to 24 years            14,300       61.8%

        From 25 to 20 years             5,848       25.2%

        From 30 to 37 years             2,610       11.3%

        Over 38                           387        1.7%
                                        ------      -----

                                       23,145      100.0%

        *  Records as of 31 July 1945

           The majority of Women Reservists enlisted before they were 25 years
           old, since a considerable number of those in the 25-27 year age
           group in July 1945 must have been under 25 years when they
           enlisted.  Because the maximum age for enlisted women was 36 years,
           practically all those over 38 at this date were officers.


           Streeter, "History," p. 102.


Appendix E:  Composition of Women's Reserve:  By General Classification 
             Test Scores

        Range of Test Scores                    Total

            Under 075                             181

            075-088                             1,045

            089-109                             8,883

            110-129                             9,657

            130-151                             1,220
                             Classified        20,986

                             Not tested            65
                             Not coded          2,094
                             TOTAL             23,145

        All but 1,226 of 20,986 women were rated 089 or higher.


        Streeter, "History," p. 104.


Appendix F:  Key Dates in the History of Women Marines

31 October 1942    --  Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox authorized Marine 
                       Corps to create a Women's Reserve and to accept women
                       applicants for commissions and enlistments.

 7 November 1942   --  Approval by Commandant, Lieutenant General Thomas
                       Holcomb, of formation of Marine Corps Women's Reserve.

29 January 1943    --  Commissioning of Major Ruth Cheney Streeter as 
                       Director, Marine Corps Women's Reserve.

13 February 1943   --  First day that enlistments officially open.
13 March 1943      --  First class of 71 officer candidates enters U. S. Naval
                       Midshipmen's School (WR) at Mount Holyoke, 
                       Massachusetts to begin training with the WAVES.

26 March 1943      --  First class of enlisted Women Reserves, numbering 722,
                       begins training at the J. S. Naval Training School (WR)
                       at Hunter College, the Bronx, New York, likewise
                       training with the WAVES.

25 April 1943      --  First class of enlisted women graduated and assigned to
                       active duty.  Subsequent classes of approximately 525
                       women entered every two weeks for courses that averaged
                       about four weeks in length.

 4 May 1943        --  First class of officer candidates graduated and report
                       to duty stations.  Classes averaged about 70 
                       candidates, began every month, and lasted about eight 

15 July 1943       --  Training for enlisted and candidates having been
                       transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina during past
                       week, instruction for both groups commences here this
                       date.  All basic training for Women Reserves, as well 
                       as much of the specialty training, is held here 
                       throughout the rest of the war.


20 October 1943    --  First candidates class (i.e., the eighth) composed of
                       meritorious enlisted women begins its training; OCC
                       thereafter comprised largely of former enlisted women.

13 February 1944   --  First Anniversary of Women's Reserve finds organization
                       having grown from four women to nearly 15,000 and well
                       within sight of its recruiting goal: a strength of
                       18,000 enlisted and 1,000 officers.  Original
                       prediction of "more than 30 kinds of jobs" grown to
                       more than 200 different assignments.

27 September 1944  --  Overseas Bill for women in the naval services signed by
                       the President; this allows women naval reservists to
                       serve as volunteers anywhere with Western Hemisphere,
                       including Hawaii and Alaska.

29 January 1945    --  First detachment of five MCWR officers and 160 enlisted
                       women arrives Hawaii or overseas assignment.  Later
                       groups of approximately 200 arrive every other week;
                       Hawaii complement eventually totaled approximately
                       1,000 women.

13 February 1945   --  Second Anniversary of Women Reserves celebrated with
                       dances, birthday cakes, special religious services, and
                       battalion reviews.  The women numbered from one-third
                       to one-half of the post troops at many Marine duty

 7 May 1945        --  V-E Day.  All recruiting for Women's Reserve limited to
                       replacements for normal attrition.

 2 September 1945  --  V-J Day.  All recruiting stopped, and plans made for
                       gradual demobilization of Women's Reserve.

13 February 1946   --  Some 1,700 Women Reserves marched smartly in review
                       before Commandant, General Alexander A. Vandegrift, in
                       ceremonies at Washington, D. C. marking the Third
                       Anniversary of the Women's Reserve.

 7 June 1946       --  Approval by the Commandant or Marine Corps Women's
                       Reserve Policy Board recommendation for retention of
                       small number of women on duty to serve as trained
                       nucleus for possible mobilization emergencies.


 1 September 1946  --  Original terminal date set for Women's Reserve.  All WR
                       units disbanded and most of women returned to civilian

12 June 1948       --  Passage of Women's Armed Services Integration Act
                       established Women Marines as a permanent part of
                       regular component of Marine Corps, as well as permanent
                       reserve status.

 4 November 1948   --  First group of three wartime WR officers sworn into the
                       regular Marine Corps.

10 November 1948   --  First group of eight World War II enlisted women
                       similarly worn into the regular Marine Corps by the


     Recapitulation of facts in this monograph.


Appendix G:  Biographies of Wartime Directors, Marine Corps Women's Reserve

                          MRS. RUTH CHENEY STREETER

     Colonel Ruth Cheney Streeter was the first Director of the United States 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve.  She earned the Legion of Merit for "outstanding 
services" during World War II and served from the time the Women's Reserve was 
activated on February 13, 1943, until December 7, 1945, when she resigned her 

     The colonel was awarded the Legion of Merit on February 4, 1946.  The 
accompanying citation states in part: "Exercising judgment, initiative and 
ability, Colonel Streeter rendered distinctive service in directing the 
planning and organization of the Women's Reserve of the Marine Corps and 
skillfully integrating women into the basic structure of the Corps, carefully 
selected, trained and properly assigned them as replacements for men in shore 

     Born October 2, 1895 at Brookline, Mass., Colonel Streeter attended 
schools abroad and graduated from Bryn Mawr College at Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 
1918.  During the depression years following 1930 she worked in public health 
and welfare, unemployment relief and old-age assistance in her home state of 
New Jersey.  She was one-time President of the Welfare Board in Morris County, 
N. J.  She also served as a member of the New Jersey State Relief Council, New 
Jersey Commission of InterState Cooperation, and New Jersey Board of 
Children's Guardians.

     Long interested in aviation, the colonel completed a course in 
aeronautics at New York University and served as adjutant of Group 221, Civil 
Air Patrol.  She learned to fly in 1940 and in 1941 became the only woman 
member of the Committee on Aviation of the New Jersey Defense Council.  The 
same year she also acted as chairman of the Citizens' Committee for Army and 
Navy, Inc., for Fort Dix, N. J.  She received her commercial pilot's license 
in April 1942.

     Colonel Streeter was the first woman to hold the rank of major in the 
Marine Corps.  She was appointed to that rank on January 29, 1943.  She was 
promoted to lieutenant colonel on November 22, 1943 and to the rank of colonel 
on February 1, 1944.


     When Colonel Streeter left the Marine Corps in December, 1945, General A. 
A. Vandegrift, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, wrote her a commendatory 
letter, which is quoted in part:

     "....It is with deep regret that I contemplate your leaving, and I cannot 
let the occasion pass without conveying to you some expression of my  
admiration and appreciation of your outstanding service as Director of the 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve from its inception in January 1943 until the 
present time.

     "Over that period, the Marine Corps Women's Reserve grew in size to a 
maximum strength of 831 officers and 17,714 enlisted.  It set a standard of 
excellence which, in my opinion, could not have been excelled and would be 
difficult to equal."

     Colonel Streeter is joint donor with her mother of the Cheney Award, 
given annually to some member of the United States Air Force for "acts of 
valor or extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice."  The award commemorates the 
memory of Lieutenant William H. Cheney, the colonel's brother, who was killed 
in an aviation accident in World War II.

     In addition to the Legion of Merit, Colonel Streeter's medals include the 
American Campaign medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

     The colonel's husband, Thomas W. Streeter, to whom she was married in 
1917, is a retired lawyer and banker.  They live in Morristown, N. J., and 
have four children: Frank S., Henry S., Thomas W., Jr., and Lilian.  Her three 
sons were all veterans of World War II.

                                   - USMC - 

Prepared by Division of Public Information,
Headquarters Marine Corps, June 1946


                       COLONEL KATHERINE A. TOWLE, USMC

     Colonel Katherine A. Towle took office as Director of Women Marines on 
November 4, 1948, after she became one of the first three women officers in 
the regular Marine Corps.

     General Clifton B. Cates, Commandant of the Marine Corps, administered 
the oath of office to Colonel Towle, who also served as Director of the U. S. 
Marine Corps Women's Reserve from December 7, 1945 to June 12, 1946.

     Colonel Towle was born in Towle, California April 30, 1898, the daughter 
of the last George Gould Towle and Katherine Meister Towle.

     She was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in May, 
1920 with an A. B. degree, later receiving the M. A. degree in political 
science from that school.  In addition she has studied at Columbia University 
in New York City.  From 1929 until 1932 she was headmistress of the Miss 
Ranson and Miss Bridges School for Girls at Piedmont, California.

     When called to active duty simultaneously with the receipt of her 
commission as captain in the U. S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve on February 
25, 1943, she was employed as Assistant to the Manager, University of 
California at Berkeley.  She was one of the first to be commissioned in that 
component of the Marine Corps, and holds another "first" title with her 
appointment as the Director or Women Marines under the terms of the Women's 
Armed Services Integration Act passed by the 80th Congress and signed by 
President Truman in June, 1948.

     In early March, 1943 she was ordered direct from civilian life to Marine 
Corps Headquarters in Washington, D. C.  Later that month she was ordered to 
the Marine Detachment Naval Training School (Women's Reserve), Hunter College, 
New York City, as the senior woman officer of the detachment.

     In May of the same year she was detached from Hunter College, ordered to 
temporary duty in Washington, and in early June was assigned to the special 
staff of the Commanding General, Camp Lejeune, New River, North Carolina as 
"Assistant for Women's Reserve," with the opening of the Women's Reserve 
Training Center there.

     While serving in that capacity in February, 1944, she was advanced to the 
rank of major.


     Her next duty assignment, beginning in September, 1944 was in Marine 
Corps Headquarters as Assistant Director of the U. S. Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve.  In March, 1945, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, 
and with the resignation of the Director of the Women's Reserve, she became 
the second Director on December 7, 1945.  Her advancement to the rank of 
colonel came simultaneously with her appointment by General A. A. Vandegrift, 
then Commandant of the Marine Corps.

     Colonel Towle was awarded a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon, in 
March, 1946, for "meritorious service during the entire period of the growth 
and development of the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve...."  Other 
decorations include the American Campaign Medal and the World War II victory 

     On June 12, 1946 Colonel Towle relinquished her position as Director of 
the Women's Reserve and returned to the University of California at Berkeley 
following her release from active service on August 18, 1946.  From that time 
until she reported to the Commanding General, Department of Pacific, San 
Francisco, for active duty on September 23, 1948, she was assistant dean of 
women at that university.

     The colonel reported for duty at Marine Corps Headquarters October 18, 

                                   - USMC -

Prepared by Division of Public Information,
Headquarters Marine Corps, February 1949


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