(This page covers resources on women, the Women's Army Corps, and lesbians & gays in the war. For the history of the war, the resistance, and the aftermath of the war, see previous page. For the Holocaust, refugees, repatriation, and other resources, see next page.)
Women in the War
Books by women who were involved in the war are many. I particularly relied on The Face of War by Martha Gellhorn and Darlinghissima: Letters to a Friend by Janet Flanner and Natalia Danesi Murray to give me eyewitness accounts of the war. Also worth reading is Women War Correspondents of World War II by Lilya Wagner. An introductory site concerning women reporters and photographers can be found at Women at the Front. Women war correspondents (and African American reporters) are mentioned in Reporting the War: The Journalistic Coverage of World War II by Frederick S. Voss. I will deal with women of the WAC specifically in the section following, but for general histories of women in various war services, including military service, you should read American Women in a World at War, edited by Judy Barrett Litoff, They Also Served: American Women in World War II by Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt, a book for young adults, Those Incredible Women of World War II by Karen Zeinert, and Out of the Kitchen: Women in the Armed Forces and on the Home Front, edited by Richard Wissolik et al. American women's experiences in military service other than the WAC can be found in A Woman's War Too: U.S. Women in the Military in World War II edited by Paula Nassen Poulos, We're in This War, Too: World War II Letters from American Women in Uniform edited by Judy Barrett Litoff, For God, Country and the Thrill of It: Women Airforce Pilots in World War II by Anne Noggle, Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (Wasps) of World War II by Molly Merryman, All the Brave Promises: Memories of Aircraft Woman 2nd Class 2146391 by Mary Lee Settle, Winning My Wings: A Woman Airforce Service Pilot in World War II by Marion Stegeman Hodgson, Women in the Army Air Force, Women Marines: The World War II Era by Peter A. Soderbergh, Dear Joan: The Epic Story of One of the Original Women Commissioned in the United States Navy by Marion R. Bench, No Time for Fear: Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II by Diane Burke Fessler, Bedpan Commando: The Story of a Combat Nurse during World War II by June Wandrey, Lingering Fever: A World War II Nurse's Memoir by Lavonne Telshaw Camp, What a Way to Spend a War: Navy Nurse POWs in the Philippines by Dorothy Still Danner, and Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of OSS, America's First Strategic Intelligence Service by Elizabeth P. McIntosh. Resources covering African American women serving their country are listed in this Library of Congress site. A good, solid, opinionated summary of the various branches of women's military service can be found at Capt. Barb's pages. For women in other countries, read: A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II by Anne Noggle and Christine A. White, Props on Her Sleeve: The Wartime Letters of a Canadian Airwoman by Carolyn Gossage and Mary Hawkins-Bush, and Women in Pursuit: A Collection & Recollection of Women Pursuit-Pilots of the ATS by Kay Gott, and Canadian Women at War. For an entirely different angle on women in war, try this thought-provoking book: Women Against the Good War: Conscientious Objection and Gender on the American Home Front, 1941-1947, by Rachel Waltner Goossen. Women who chose to fight the invasion of their countries and the enslavement of their peoples are chronicled in Women in the Resistance by Margaret L. Rossiter, Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses edited by Vera Laska, Sisters in the Resistance: How Women Fought to Free France, 1940-1945 by Margaret Collins Weitz, Code Name Christiane Clouet: A Woman in the French Resistance by Claire Chevrillon, Women and the Italian Resistance: 1943-1945 by Jane Slaughter, Girl from Kashin: Soviet Women in Resistance in World War II edited by K. J. Cottam. This web page on the women of the S.O.E. gives some good basic information of women in the special services.
Women's Army Corps
The best history of the WAC is the official army history: The Women's Army Corps, in the United States Army in World War II, Special Studies Series produced by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1954, and written by Mattie E. Treadwell. She is thorough and acerbic, pulling no punches and telling it all except what she could not tell: the reality of lesbian enlistment. A good site that is also silent on the subject of lesbians is Judith Bellafaire's illustrated short web publication. Other books to read are Creating GI Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women's Army Corps during World War II by Leisa D. Meyer, One Woman's War: Letters Home from the Women's Army Corps, 1944-46 by Anne Bosanko Green and D'Ann Campbell, Lady GI: A Woman's War in the South Pacific, A Memoir by Irene Brion, and A Wac's Story by Nancy Dammann. African American women's experiences can be found in When the Nation Was in Need: Blacks in the Women's Army Corps during World War II by Martha S. Putney, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC by Charity Adams Earley and To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American Wacs Stationed Overseas during World War II by Brenda L. Moore.
Gays and Lesbians in World War II
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers by Lillian Faderman has a good section on lesbian lives during the war and lesbians in the military. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two by Allan Bërubë contains interviews with male and female veterans of WW II. This book was the basis of a documentary, which is discussed, with much interesting detail, in this article. Stars Without Garters: the Memoirs of Two Gay GIs in WW II by C. Tyler Carpenter and Edward H. Yeatts gives a very moving portrayal of day to day life for gay men in war. Johnnie Phelps, who claimed to have outed herself to General Eisenhower, has now conclusively been shown to have invented much of her war record, including the incidences that have made her famous. See this response to a film that took Phelps' statements as gospel. As this response says, there is no need to perpetuate myths; the truth is too important to be muddied.My Country, My Right to Serve: Experiences of Gay Men and Women in the Military, World War II to the Present by Mary Ann Humphrey takes the story up to today.
For resources on war, see previous page. For the Holocaust, refugees, repatriation and other reading, see next page.