"Calling WAAC" Vintage WWII Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Recruitment Poster, by Downe and Ramus, 1943

Presented is an original WWII Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Recruitment Poster, illustrated by the artists Albro F. Downe and Michael Ramus. The poster was printed by the Recruiting Publicity Bureau of the United States Army and issued on February 15, 1943. This poster depicts a woman radiogram operator taking a message from a soldier in the field. Large black script reads “Calling WAAC…” at top, followed by the radiogram message “To All Qualified Women- Everywhere, All States, USA- Meet Total War With Your Total Effort ... Join the WAAC." In yellow block letters at the bottom, the poster urges women to “Apply at Any U.S. Army Recruiting and Induction Station."

The Women’s Army Corps was created out of necessity during World War II and enabled thousands of women to serve their country in noncombat positions. Fighting in multiple theaters of war put a strain on the armed services, who severely lacked manpower. Urgent wartime demands necessitated the use of all able, willing citizens, regardless of gender. Luckily, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts foresaw that women might be needed in the army, and in May of 1941 she introduced a bill that would establish a women’s corps in the U.S. Army.  On May 15, 1942, a law was passed that established the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). The law gave its members an official status and a salary, but few of the benefits granted to male soldiers. In July 1943, after thousands of women had enlisted, the U.S. Army dropped the “auxiliary” designation, and from that time on members of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) received full U.S. Army benefits.

While many pushed back against the admittance of women into the armed services, there were also just as many who saw the benefit and necessity. So recognizable was the opportunity that Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall himself told the War Department in November 1941, “I want a women’s corps right away, and I don’t want any excuses!” In his WWII memoirs Crusade in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked, “The simple headquarters of a Grant or Lee were gone forever.  An Army of filing clerks, stenographers, office managers, telephone operators, and chauffeurs had become essential, and it was scarcely less than criminal to recruit these from needed manpower when great numbers of highly qualified women were available.”

With the exception of nurses, women had never served before within the ranks of the U.S. Army. With the establishment of the Women’s Army Corps, more than 150,000 women did so.  In recruiting women, the Army assured them that they would be doing exciting work and that their service “in making available technically trained men for combat service will be of great value in winning the war.” This patriotic message helped to combat some of the stigma women faced for joining. 


Good condition overall. Centerfold crease, some rippling along margins, small split at centerfold left side, all form past storage and use. Color is still very vibrant, without fading or discoloration. The code "P55-RPB-2.15.43-25M" is printed at bottom right margin, just above the Recruiting Publicity Bureau, United States Army logo. The artists’ names are printed in small yellow font at bottom left in the image. Poster Dimensions: 38"H x 25 1/4"W (sheet size). Poster sold unframed, as-is. 

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