"Be A Marine. Free A Marine To Fight" Vintage WWII Marines Recruitment Poster, 1942

This vintage recruitment poster was issued shortly after the United States entered WWII and urges women to join the United States Marine Corps. The poster is printed with the recruitment slogan “Be A Marine, Free A Marine To Fight”and depicts a woman marine with resolute and determined gaze, holding a clipboard and standing next to an airplane. The poster was distributed by the Office of War Information for the U.S. Marine Corps and was printed in Philadelphia by the McCandlish Litho Corporation.

The United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 30, 1942. Its purpose was to release men for combat and to replace them with women in U.S. shore stations, for the duration of the war plus an extra six months.

The slogan "Free a Marine to Fight" proved to be a strong drawing card for the Reserve, stronger than any fashioned by the WAC, WAVES, or SPARS. Many brave young women were eager to serve in the military during World War II, often in spite of family wishes, negative public sentiment, and gendered prejudice.

Marine Corp Women’s Reserve members served at shore and air stations across the continental United States and the incorporated territory of Hawaii. They served in professional and clerical roles, skilled trades and services, as well as sales. The peak strength of the Reserve was about 19,000 members. With the end of World War II in sight, the corps began to demobilize the members. By December 1945, the Reserve was down to 12,300, and by August 1946 it had about 300 members.


Very good condition and color. Minor crease to upper left and right corners.  Printed at bottom: “Distributed by OWI for U.S. Marine Corps. McCandlish Litho Corporation, Phila PA. Cont. NOM-42757 335000.” Poster dimensions: 20" H x 14 1/4" W.

Poster has been archivally framed in a custom-built black and gold wooden frame with UV Plexiglas and acid-free backing. Framed Dimensions: 21 3/4”H x 16”W x 2”D. 

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