1st W.A.C. Separate Battalion

1st WAC Separate Bn. Reenacted was formed by several World War II reenactors from Ohio in 2012. Our unit focus is portraying members of the 1st WAC Separate Battalion and Forward Echelon, Communications Zone during WWII. We use authentic clothing, equipment, drill, and mannerisms to create the most accurate historical impression. Many of our members have been reenacting WWII for many years as well as other time periods. We are part of the Ohio Historical Infantry Organization INC (O.H.I.O. INC)

HISTORY OF THE WAC

During WWII, more than 100,000 women served in the Women’s Army Corps, the first women outside of the Army Nurse Corps to serve in the US Army.

Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, Massachusetts, introduced a bill to create an auxiliary corps of women for the army in May of 1941. Little interest was shown for the bill until the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Following the US entrance into WWII, Congress approved the creation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and signed Public Law 554 on May 14, 1942. Ft. Des Moines, Iowa was selected at the location of the First WAAC Training Center and on July 20, 1942 the first 1440 officer candidates arrived for a six week training course. Within the year, four additional training centers were created.

On July 1, 1943, the 78th Congress enacted Public Law 110, which established the Women's Army Corps as a component part of the Army. Conversion from WAAC to WAC was completed in September of 1943.

Also in July 1943, the First WAC Separate Battalion assigned to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) arrived in London, led by Capt. Mary Hallaren. Prior to D-Day, Wacs were assigned to ETOUSA headquarters, the Air Forces, and services including SOS, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Transportation, Medical, Chemical Warfare, and Engineers. Soon after D-Day, WAC detachments began training for field living on the Continent. As Allied forces liberated Normandy, the first Wacs landed on D plus 38. These 49 Enlisted Wacs and five WAC officers of Forward Echelon, Communications Zone headquarters, were stationed outside of Valogne. By the Spring of 1945, Wacs were filling every conceivable assignment. V-E Day brought celebrations across the ETO. On May 14, 1945, Wacs and women of the Allied services observed the third anniversary of the Women's Army Corps and approximately 2000 Wacs paraded in Paris. Similar observances were held by Wacs in Belgium, Germany and England.
By sharing in the hardships and working alongside their male counterparts, the WAC proved itself as essential to the war effort. At the end of the war, Gen. Eisenhower cabled Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, to say:
“During the time I have had Wacs under my command, they have met every test and task assigned them. I have seen them work in Africa, Italy, England, here in France -- at Army installations throughout the European Theater. Their contribution in efficiency, skill, spirit, and determination is immeasurable. In three years the Women's Army Corps has built for itself an impressive record of conduct and of service, and given the womanhood of America every right to be proud of their accomplishments.”

Issued Uniform Items

Each soldier of the United States Army was issued uniform items by the Quartermaster Corps. Unfortunately, as a reenactor you are responsible for providing your own uniform and equipment. All underlined items are what we consider to be the “Basic Kit”that you will need within your first season. Any bold item should be added to your kit in a timely manner within the first 3 years of joining. Any items with an asterisk, we have in the “loaner closet.” Additionally, procuring period appropriate undergarments will provide that 1940s silhouette and further improve your impression.

Anklets, Women’s*
Bag, WAC, Utility
Cap, Garrison, Cotton, Khaki, WAC*
Cap, Garrison, Wool, WAC*
Cap, WAC, Summer
Cap, WAC, Winter
Coat, WAC, Utility
Gloves, Leather, Dress, Women’s*
Gloves, Wool, OD., Women’s*
Hat, Fatigue, HBT (If applicable to impression)
Insignia, Cap, EM
Insignia, Collar, US., EM
Insignia, WAC
Jacket, WAC, Summer*
Jacket, WAC, Winter
Jacket, Field, Wool, Women’s (Ike)
Leggings, Canvas Women’s*
M-1 steel helmet*
Necktie, Women’s
Off-Duty Dress (for Dances)
Overcoat, WAC, Member
Scarf, Women’s
Shirt, Cotton, Women’s*
Shirt, Wool, Women’s*
Shirt, Fatigue, HBT (If applicable to impression)
Shoes, Field, Women’s
Shoes, Service, Women's, Low*
Skirt, WAC, Summer*
Skirt, WAC, Winter*
Stocking, Cotton, Beige, Women’s
Stocking, Rayon, Women’s
Sweater, Women’s*
Trouser, Fatigue, HBT (If applicable to impression)
Trouser, Field, Wool, Women’s
Trousers, Women's, Outer Cover
WAC Field Jacket (M43 Jacket)
Necklace, Identification Tag
Suit, WAC, Exercise

We are always looking for new members so enlist now.

Contact Molly Cooper

1stwacseparatebn@gmail.com