African American women served in many military career and held every position, ranging from nurses to spies to postal clerks. During World War II, she led the campaign to integrate black nurses in the Army Nurse Corps, meeting with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to explain the folly of the president’s plan to draft white nurses while black nurses were either unemployed or allowed to treat only POWs and black soldiers. World War II changed American society irrevocably and redefined the status and opportunities of the professional nurse. Frances Wills, the first African-American Waves to be commissioned. As the war escalated, public pressure increased to enlist black women. The Army Nurse Corps, established in 1901, remained white until 1941, except for 18 African-American nurses who served for nine months at the end of World War I, according to Army Nurse … Long before World War II, black nurses had been struggling to serve their country. To commemorate National Nurses Week in May, Ancestry.com just launched a collection of more than 300,000 records of women who were in the Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II.. December 21, 1944. In October 1940, a small quota of African-American nurses were admitted to the ANC. Black women also enlisted in the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps) which soon converted to the WAC (Women’s Army Corps), the Navy … October 7, 1944. Allowing black nurses to care for whites was considered a violation of social norms. Right - Lt. Florie E. Gant tends a young patient at a prisoner-of-war hospital somewhere in England. African American Women World War II ... More than 500 black Army nurses served stateside and overseas during the war. This lesson employs political posters and cartoons from the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. Women who lived in a racially segregated and discriminatory country were willing and eager to join the Allied fight against tyranny and oppression in Europe. One ward was entirely given over to the prisoners of war and guarded by the Military Police. Finally, shortly after the Armistice, 18 black Red Cross nurses were offered Army Nurse Corps assignments. Many soldiers of color served their country with distinction during World War II. The Navy’s WAVES did not enlist African Americans until 1944 and the Coast Guard SPARS followed suit. World War II African American Nurses. March 13, 2020 When the United States declared war on the Empire of Japan in December 1941, and then Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, the only American women in uniform were members of the Army Nurse Corps and Navy Nurse Corps. During World War II, African American nurses served in all theaters of the war including Africa, Burma, Australia, and England. At the conclusion of World War II, approximately 600 African American nurses had served. The pictures were selected from the holdings of the Still Picture Branch (NNSP) of the National Archives and Records Administration. The purpose is to determine how the government’s message changed throughout the three separate conflicts and the effect this had on women. "But during World War II, African-American women were accepted into the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (later the WAC) as soon as it was founded. However, in 1941, after facing pressure from black civil rights organizations and the black press, the Army Nurse Corps allowed the admission of 56 black nurses. Male nurses were not allowed in the ANC during World War II, just as female physicians were not admitted to the Medical Corps. The First World War saw great courage and sacrifice on the part of many nurses, such as Britain’s Edith Cavell. There are countless pieces devoted to commemorating the accomplishments of nurses and the integral part they played in national defense during wartime. Staupers also worked hard to improve the status of African-American nurses. The hypocrisy was obvious. The Navy Nurse Corps did not integrate until 1945. During World War I, about 90 African-American nurses were certified by the Red Cross and then recruited for duty with the military. Basic training was segregated, as well as living and dining (33). Despite the participation of African American women in all aspects of home-front activity during World War II, advertisements, recruitment posters, and newsreels portrayed largely white women as army nurses, defense plant workers, concerned mothers, and steadfast wives. African American Nurses Abroad: Even though an extreme shortage of nurses in World War II forced the federal government to seriously consider drafting white nurses, defense officials remained reluctant to recruit black nurses throughout the war. Moore notes that until the war, African-American women had been excluded from military service, except for a few who had served in the Army nurses corps during World War I. March 8, 1945. Early Operations in the Pacific The Army Nurse Corps listed fewer than 1,000 nurses on its rolls on 7 December 1941, the day of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.