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South Pacific

?Women in uniform in the South Pacific
Assignment in the South Pacific - 1945

In June of 1944, with the transfer of the 10th Mountain Division to Camp Swift, Texas, the WACs of Camp Hale prepared for reassignment. The detachment went to a number of posts but, the majority of women went to either Camp Crowder, Missouri, or to the South Pacific. For those women assigned to the South Pacific, they had additional training in preparation for transfer overseas.

This training with gas chambers and physical conditioning in their estimation was closer to what the men did than their previous basic training. When the WACs left California, they thought their intended destination was Australia. Some like Esther Wilhide arrived in Australia to serve in the Central Mail Directory. As the course of war changed in the Pacific arenas, so did deployment of military personnel and many WACs found themselves in New Guinea. There the conditions of life were abysmal, and the clothing provided for the WACs was inappropriate and inadequate for the climate. Many WACs got jungle rot and were plagued by it for years to come.

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