Today in Feminist History: American Women Are Essential to the War Effort (July 5, 1943)

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Today in Feminist History is our daily recap of the major milestones and minor advancements that shaped women’s history in the U.S.—from suffrage to Shirley Chisholm and beyond. These posts were written by, and are presented in homage to, our late staff historian and archivist, David Dismore.


July 5, 1943: The crucial role of women in America’s war effort was illustrated today in developments regarding their work in the air, in war plants, and potentially at sea.

Jacqueline Cochran in a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.

Jacqueline Cochran has been named to the newly-created post of Director of Women Pilots in the Army Air Forces, and given an office in the Pentagon. This is a clear indication that women will be doing even more than at present, and, as the War Department put it, is a “recognition of the achievement and growing importance of women pilots in the war…

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