Women in the war
Approximately 350,000 American women joined the military during World War II. They worked as nurses, drove trucks, repaired airplanes, and performed clerical work. Some were killed in combat or captured as prisoners of war.
American women in World War II became involved in many tasks they rarely had before; as the war involved global conflict on an unprecedented scale, the absolute urgency of mobilizing the entire population made the expansion of the role of women inevitable. Their services were recruited through a variety of methods, including posters and other print advertising, as well as popular songs. Among the most iconic images were those depicting "Rosie the Riveter", a woman factory laborer performing what was previously considered man's work.
With this added skill base channelled to paid employment opportunities, the presence of women in the American workforce continued to expand from what had occurred during World War I. Many sought and secured jobs in the war industry, building ships, aircraft, vehicles, and munitions or other weaponry. Others drove trucks or provided other logistical support for soldiers. Still others worked on farms. Women also enlisted in significantly greater numbers in the military and as nurses serving on the front lines.
During World War II, approximately 400,000 U.S. women served with the armed forces. As many as 543 died in war-related incidents, including 16 from enemy fire - even though U.S. political and military leaders had decided not to use women in combat because they feared public opinion.