The little known story of these female reservists and the role they played in WWII, packed with photos.
When US Marine Commandant Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb announced the formation of what became the US Marine Corps’ Women’s Reserve, legend has it, the portrait of one of his predecessors fell off the wall and crashed to the floor—in disbelief. The women were called “Lady Leathernecks,” among other nicknames—some less than flattering.
This branch of the US Marines had been authorized by the US Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 30, 1942. The law allowed for the acceptance of women into the reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level—effective for the duration of the war plus six months. The purpose of the law was to release officers and men for combat and to replace them with women in shore stations. The result was that between 1943 and 1945 the women of America enlisted in the thousands to “Free a Marine to Fight.”
This book, the first of its kind, explores in detail the role of female Marines, or WRs as they were known at the time. It also presents a detailed study of the uniforms of the WRs supported by numerous photographs.
This book has been written with the full support of the US Marine Corps Histories Division, the Women Marine Association, and surviving WR veterans.