WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
(INITIALLY CALLED WOMEN'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS)
|visits since 16 June 2002|
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a Bill on 15 May 1942 creating the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). This allowed the Army to enroll 150,000 officers and enlisted women on non-combatant service. In the American summer of 1943 it was redesignated as the Women's Army Corps (WAC).
The first wave of WAC's from USA arrived in Sydney around the middle of 1944. Approximately 5,500 WAC's eventually served in the Southwest Pacific Area.
To enlist as an Air WAC a woman had to be a citizen of the USA and be aged between 20 - 45 years. I know of at least one exception to these rules. An Australian called Beryl Stevenson was enlisted into the WAC's. Beryl was initially secretary to General George Brett, Commander, Allied Air Forces, SWPA, and then later secretary for General George C. Kenney, the Commanding General of the 5th Air Force. In 1943, Beryl Stevenson was commissioned into the American Women's Army Corps, Army of the United States. This allowed her to work with the American air force in the combat areas of New Guinea. She went on to achieve the rank of Major in the WACs.
The May 1944 Brisbane Military Phone book shows the following entry:-
HEADQUARTERS - U.S.A.F.F.E (T&G Building)
WOMENS' ARMY CORPS:
Lt. Col. Brown, M.A. Room No. 46 AMP Building
Capt. Kelly, C.L. Room No. 46, AMP Building
Capt. Stryker, J.S. Room No. 49, AMP Building
Capt. Bartholomew, L.F. Room No. 49, AMP Building
Lt. Letellier, J.K. Room No. 49, AMP Building
Lt. Mankien, V.A. Room No. 49, AMP Building
Lt. Griffith, V.P. Room No. 49, AMP Building
Can anyone help me with more information ?
© Peter Dunn 2003
This page first produced 16 June 2002
This page last updated 04 December 2004