Original U.S. WWII U.S. Army Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Recruitment Poster - This Is Our War… Join The WAAC

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine World War II recruitment poster published by the U.S. Army Recruiting Publicity Bureau with an unknown artist. The size of the poster is 38” x 25”. The poster shows a golden-orange background and a faint outline of Pallas Athene's head. Superimposed on this background is a large black & white photograph of the head and shoulders of a woman in a WAAC uniform.
The poster reads:

This is our war…
Join the WAAC

In the bottom left corner is a number where the date 1942 can be found, as well as the publishing location information:

This poster was originally folded, but has been mounted on thick poster board and now the colors are beautifully saturated and vivid. The overall condition is excellent, with minor wear on the corners and edges due to age and storage.
This poster is definitely a must have in any WWII propaganda or women’s forces collection! Now’s your chance to own an iconic piece of history!
Guns, tanks, and bombs were the principal weapons of World War II, but there were other, more subtle forms of warfare as well. Words, posters, and films waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American citizenry just as surely as military weapons engaged the enemy. Persuading the American public became a wartime industry, almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes. The Government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign with clearly articulated goals and strategies to galvanize public support, and it recruited some of the nation's foremost intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers to wage the war on that front.
In the face of acute wartime labor shortages, women were needed in the defense industries, the civilian service, and even the Armed Forces. Despite the continuing 20th century trend of women entering the workforce, publicity campaigns were aimed at those women who had never before held jobs. Poster and film images glorified and glamorized the roles of working women and suggested that a woman's femininity need not be sacrificed. Whether fulfilling their duty in the home, factory, office, or military, women were portrayed as attractive, confident, and resolved to do their part to win the war.

With war looming, U.S. Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts introduced a bill for the creation of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in May 1941. Having been a witness to the status of women in World War I, Rogers vowed that if American women served in support of the Army, they would do so with all the rights and benefits afforded to Soldiers.
Spurred on by the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Congress approved the creation of WAAC on May 14, 1942. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law on May 15, and on May 16, Oveta Culp Hobby was sworn in as the first director. WAAC was established "for the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of women of the nation."
Hobby immediately began organizing the WAAC recruiting drive and training centers. Fort Des Moines, Iowa, was selected as the site of the first WAAC Training Center. Over 35,000 women from all over the country applied for less than 1,000 anticipated positions.
The first women arrived at the first WAAC Training Center at Fort Des Moines on July 20, 1942. Among them were 125 enlisted women and 440 officer candidates (40 of whom were black), who had been selected to attend the WAAC Officer Candidate School, or OCS. Their arrival and subsequent training brought considerable public interest surrounding civil rights, as this corps presented the biggest opportunity to test integration in the Army. After OCS, black officers and white officers were segregated.
After training, the WAAC officer or enlisted person was assigned to a 150-woman table of organization company, which only had spaces for clerks, typists, drivers, cooks and unit cadre. Women primarily worked in four fields: baking, clerical, driving and medical. Within one year of the WAAC establishment, over 400 jobs were open to women.
WAAC adopted Pallas Athene, Greek goddess of victory and womanly virtue - wise in peace and in the arts of war - as its symbol.
Pallas Athene and the traditional "U.S." were worn as lapel insignia. Cap insignia was an eagle, adapted from the design of the Army eagle. The WAAC eagle, later familiarly known as "the Buzzard," was also imprinted on the plastic buttons of the uniform.
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