The tiny piece posted on the right tells the story of U.S. Army Colonel Letcher O. Grice, Deputy Director of the Quartermaster Corps Production Service - he was a very busy man in 1942, as the Army's ranks slowly swelled to as many as 12,000,000 strong, posted in every climate imaginable. Among his many tasks was the assembling a suitable uniform for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps:
"He picked everything from purses to panties for Uncle Sam's powder-puff army, the WAACs... as Deputy Director of the Quartermaster Corps Production Service, Colonel Grice selects everything our army wears and carries - except weapons."
Author Jill Halcomb Smith had more to say on this subject in her 2004 book, Dressed for Duty: America's Women in Uniform, 1898-1973 - Volume 2 - her thoughts can be read below:
"At first, and to the relief of everyone, it was announced that the Army would not design the WAAC uniform. That assignment was given to Dorthy Shaver (1893 - 1959), who was vice-president of Lord & Taylor of Manhattan. Colonel Hobby (who headed the Corps) assisted with the creation of the WAAC uniform. However, the design of the uniform eventually became the responsibility of men in the Quartermaster Corps, who tried to design a WAAC uniform based upon men's standard sizes, such as 42 long, 42 short etc..., whereas women's sizes were entirely different. The result was a stiff and masculine-looking uniform. Finally, a Woman's clothing Section was created within the the Research and Development Branch, Military Planning Division, which was located in New York, instead of Philadelphia. Ira Markwett, Captain R.H. Barmon and Maxine Spengler were appointed to this new department."
(It should be known that the WAAC cap was designed by Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby.)
Click here to read about the WAVE's uniform...
- two books from Amazon: