[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.
[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.
[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.
[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.
[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.

[Women][World War II][WACs] Scrapbook and Artifacts of One of the First WAAC Officer Candidates.

Item #1672

Various: mostly 1942-1946 and 1952-1953. Scrapbook (1942-1946) is string tied embossed paper over boards measuring 14½” x 12¼”. It contains 54 pages with ten items of correspondence, seven items of ephemera and approximately 72 news clippings adhesive mounted; final 15 pages are blank. 15 photographs and nine pieces of ephemera are laid in. Some personal belongings and 16 loose letters in original envelopes included, though only two relate to her service. All items generally very good or better. On July 9, 1942, 47 women were sworn in as the first officer candidates in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. Pauline Palmer was one of the 3,515 initial applicants and one of the few selected. Eleven days later she was part of the first group of women to begin training in the WAAC at Fort Des Moines. This is the scrapbook she kept of her experience, as well as some of her personal items, a few photographs and correspondence. Palmer, from Meriden, Connecticut and living in East Orange, New Jersey at the time of her induction, was a 41 year old music teacher when she joined the WAAC. She was also essentially a single mother, as her husband was a disabled World War I veteran. The scrapbook she compiled shows how she was thrust into the news and reflects both the national and hometown pride in these first WAACs. The clippings continue to document her progress including in November 1942 when she was transferred to the new training facility at Daytona Beach. There she was named company commander in charge of a group of around 200 new recruits. According to one newspaper account, she was the first woman from Connecticut to receive this honor. Clippings from 1944 show she was promoted to Captain and correspondence from 1946 reflect that she was Commanding Officer for a WAC squadron as part of the 78th Army Air Forces Base Unit. She was also vetted for work in cryptography. Correspondence in the scrapbook includes a letter from the Northern New Jersey Recruiting and Induction District regarding her selection as well as the telegram from Major General T. A. Terry informing her of her acceptance into the first officer candidate class. The letter from the induction district requested that she “keep this information strictly confidential. Do not give this any publicity whatsoever. ” The identity of the officer candidates was such a closely held secret that when news broke of the induction, seven of the women were still not known to the press. The collection contains 16 letters to Palmer or her son, Covert. Two relate to her service, including a 1944 letter from her first sergeant reminiscing about a group of their trainees that led to her friend's decision to leave the army-- “to whip that conglomeration of psychosis, and lame brains into some uniformity of G. I. Thinking utterly defeated me. ” The rest relate to the last year of her life and include a letter she wrote to her son regarding her struggles since leaving the army. Palmer died in a car accident under suspicious circumstances in December 1952, and the bulk of the letters discuss the accident, her death, and matters of her estate. A list of dates, correspondents and notes regarding the letters is available. Ephemera in the scrapbook include WAAC-related invitations as well as a strip of typescript assigning Palmer her squad, bed and wall locker when she arrived at Fort Des Moines. Loose ephemera include a handwritten poem about her WAC bowling team, her first military ID and a booklet with no publication data that consists of line drawings of an officer candidate WAAC that show her progress from her arrival at Fort Des Moines to receipt of her commission. Palmer's belt, wallet, change purse, Army Air Force patch and her name tag when she was a lieutenant are also included and three of the photos show Palmer in uniform. An interesting collection initially compiled by one of the first officers in the WAAC, documenting her military career, as well the difficulties she faced after discharge. This item is offered by Langdon Manor Books, LLC, antiquarian booksellers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and/or photos and we will respond promptly. We package our items carefully, ship daily, and have a no hassle returns policy--your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) , the International League of Antiquarian Booksllers (ILAB) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and adhere to their rules of ethics.

Price: $1,250.00

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