Second World War: Patriotism and the WAAC

One girl's account of enlisting in the WAAC, or Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, out of a sense of patriotism.

| Good Old Days

I could hardly believe it! A few hours before, I was anticipating adventure, romance and patriotism - on my way by train to the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. It was January 2, 1943; my destination was Fort Des Moines. 

I was sitting on an upper GI bunk listening to a woman officer giving us an Army orientation. We were to call the women officers "ma'am," the male officers "sir." We were required to stay in the Army for the duration plus, unless we had an incurable illness, immoral or undisciplined behavior, or we got ourselves pregnant.

A "yellow" or disgraceful discharge, would be given for all charges except the incurable illness. The officer also mentioned a WAAC guardhouse.

We were to leave the "stables" only on command. We were housed in a former horse stable used by cavalry soldiers who had fought in other wars.

I found myself becoming terrified. How could I memorize all these things about the Army? Instead of feeling the former joy, I felt I was in prison; that" duration plus" sounded like being incarcerated for life!

About 2 a.m., one woman sat up in bed. "To hell with a yellow discharge - I'll get pregnant!" she said.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds