Women in the Military - World War Ii

1248 Words5 Pages
WOMEN IN THE MILITARY: WORLD WAR II Bonny Lou Boltz History 102: U.S. History After 1877 Professor Tara Simpson September 15, 2012 Before World War II, the role of wife and mother was the prevailing view of women and many occupations were reserved for men. Military minds stonewalled women organizations and anyone who suggested that women should be in the military. The opinion throughout history was that women and war didn’t mix because women were valued as child-bearers and society did not believe women were strong enough to carry heavy weapons in battle or smart enough to understand tactical war strategies. It wasn’t until the last two years of World War I that women were allowed to join the military and not until the 1940’s that they were allowed to become permanent members of the armed forces. 1 Deborah Sampson served for over a year in General Washington’s army in 1782 disguised as a man but is later discharged when her gender was discovered after being wounded. Two women served as nurses aboard the USS United States during the War of 1812, and during the American Civil War, women served as administrators of hospitals as well as nurses and cooks in both Union and Confederate battlefield hospitals. During the Mexican War, Elizabeth Newcom enlists in the Missouri Volunteer Infantry as Bill Newcom and marches 600 miles to winter camp in Colorado before being discovered and discharged. 2 In a letter published in the New York Harold Tribune in 1941, a woman wrote, “If I were only a man, there would be a place for me.” 3 Many women shared the same feeling but because of law and tradition, they held back. Doors began to open for these women as the war escalated ____________________________________ 1. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, “Time Line: Women in the U.S. Military,” Retrieved 12 September, 2012 from

More about Women in the Military - World War Ii

Open Document