Women in the Military

Women in the Military, Army nurses, WAAC Cooks, Hospital, Navy nurses, Negro Waves

We have gathered a collection of some of the best and most moving photos taken of African-American soldiers during the Second World War. They are from the National Archives in Washington D.C.
Please browse at your leisure. Meditate on the sacrifices given by these men and women in wartime.

This page is dedicated to women African Americans in the military

U.S. Army nurses, newly arrived, line the rail of their vessel as it pulls into port of Greenock, Scotland, in European Theater of Operations. They wait to disembark as the gangplank is lowered to the dock. August 15, 1944. Meyer. 111-SC-192605-S. Surgical ward treatment at the 268th Station Hospital, Base A, Milne Bay, New Guinea. Left to right: Sgt. Lawrence McKreever, patient; 2nd Lt. Prudence Burns, ward nurse; 2nd Lt. Elcena Townscent, chief surgical nurse; and an unidentified nurse. June 22, 1944. Pfc. Michael Pitcairn. 111-SC-287482.
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Pfc. Johnnie Mae Welton, Negro WAC, laboratory technician trainee, conducts an experiment in the serology laboratory sf the Fort Jackson Station Hospital, Fort Jackson, SC. March 20, 1944. Jensen. 111-SC-341534. WAACs at work in Temp. Bldg. 'M', 26th Street, Washington, DC, WAAC Headquarters. Left to right: Lts. Harriet West and Irma Cayton, going over their recruiting schedule report. 1942.Wilfred Morgan. 111-SC-144958.
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Auxiliaries Ruth Wade and Lucille Mayo (left to right) further demonstrate their ability to service trucks as taught them during the processing period at Fort Des Moines and put into practice at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. December 8, 1942. Oster. 111-SC-162466. WAAC cooks prepare dinner for the first time in new kitchen at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. December 5, 1942. Oster. 111-SC-162454.
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Capt. Della H. Raney, Army Nurse Corps, who now heads the nursing staff at the station hospital at Camp Beale, CA, has the distinction of being the first Negro nurse to report to duty in the present war April 11, 1945. 208-PU-161K-1. The first Negro WACs to arrive [on] the continent of Europe were 800 girls of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Bn, who had also been the first to arrive in England. After the battalion had set up its facilities at Rouen, France, it held an 'open house', which was attended by hundreds of Negro soldiers. Pvt. Ruth L. James, of the battalion area is on duty at the gate. May 26, 1945. Pfc. Stedman. 111-SC-237072.
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Somewhere in England, Maj. Charity E. Adams, and Capt. Abbie N. Campbell, inspect the first contingent of Negro members of the Women's Army Corps assigned to overseas service. 6888th Central Postal Directory Bn. February 15, 1945. Holt. 111-SC-200791. Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion take part in a parade ceremony in honor of Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake. May 27, 1945. Pfc. Stedman. 111-SC-426441.
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The 'Top-Kick' looks them over at Camp Shanks, New York, Transportation Corps staging area of the New York Port of Embarkation. Tech. Sgt. Tommye Berry, Acting 1st Sgt. of the Negro WAC group April 16, 1945. 208-PU-10D-7. Lt. Florie E. Gant tends a patient at a prisoner-of war hospital somewhere in England. October 7, 1944. 112-SGA-Nurses-44-1676.
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A company of Negro WAACs was reviewed by the Hon. Lester A. Walton, U.S. Minister to Liberia, recently on a visit to an American camp near Monrovia [Liberia]. The WAACs are shown as they lined up for review. N.d. 208-NP-6KKK-5. Willa Beatrice Brown, a 31-year-old Negro American, serves her country by training pilots for the U.S. Army Air Forces. She is the first Negro woman to receive a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. N.d. 208-FS-793-1.
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Two Negro SPARS pause on the ladder of the dry-land ship 'U.S.S. Neversail' during their 'boot' training at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, NY. They are recent enlistees and have the ratings of apprentice seamen. In front is SPAR Olivia Hooker and behind her is SPAR Aileen Anita Cooks. N.d. 208-NP-10K-1. Inspecting a Grumman Wildcat engine on display at the U.S. Naval Training School (WR) Bronx, NY, where she is a 'boot' is WAVE Apprentice Seaman Frances Bates. 1945. 80-G-183373.
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Hospital Apprentices second class Ruth C. Isaacs, Katherine Horton and Inez Patterson (left to right) are the first Negro WAVES to enter the Hospital Corps School at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. March 2, 1945. 80-G-126506. Cmdr. Thomas A. Gaylord, USN (Ret'd), administers oath to five new Navy nurses commissioned in New York Phyllis Mae Dailey, the Navy's first African-American nurse, is second from the right. March 8, 1945. 80-G-48365.
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Lt.(jg.) Harriet Ida Pickens and Ens. Frances Wills, first Negro Waves to be commissioned. They were members of the final graduating class at Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School (WR) Northampton, MA. December 21, 1944. Cropped view. 80-G-297441.  
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