(WOMENSENEWS)–1941. Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, R-Mass., introduced a bill in Congress to establish the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. As World War II raged across Europe and the Far East, Rogers was certain women would serve the impending U.S. war effort and wanted them to have the same benefits as men in the service.

When Congress passed the legislation in May 1942, women did not get those equal benefits, but they did volunteer in large numbers.

In all, 350,000 women served in the armed services during World War II, including 4,000 African Americans. The world “auxiliary” was dropped in 1943 and the corps was integrated into the U.S. Army in 1978.

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Women’s Army Corps in World War II: