History Nebraska Blog

Throwback Thursday Photo, WAC Gladys Welch

WAC Gladys Welch on motorcycle at Fort Robinson, ca. 1943

In today’s Throwback Thursday photograph, WAC Gladys Welch sits smiling on an Army motorcycle at Fort Robinson. In 1943, a detachment of Woman’s Army Corp (WAC) was assigned to Fort Robinson to perform a variety of post jobs, relieving men for other duties. WACs lived in a separate compound behind the officer’s row. The compound consisted of a two-story barracks, mess hall, and a combination recreation hall and beauty shop.

WACs were a vital part of post operations. Some worked in secretarial positions, while others ran the filling station, worked in the motor pool or served as dispatchers. Many of the women were truck drivers. They often drove salvaged items to Fort Warren depot near Cheyenne or hauled manure. Some of the women were assigned to drive German prisoners of war to work sites on the post each day. One motor pool sergeant admitted that “Some of them were real good at it.”

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