Female War Correspondents, Uniforms

Discussion in 'WWII' started by MissQueenie, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    I’m doing a bit of preliminary research on female correspondents during WWII, and I was wondering if anyone could recommend any websites or books that might be helpful, and I am particularly interested in learning more about their uniforms. Did all correspondents have to wear military uniforms like the ones shown here: http://www.olive-drab.com/gallery/description_0142.php ? This is the only photograph I could find showing the full uniform (heck, even just PARTS!), and judging by the scarcity and horrendous lack of variety in women’s WWII repro uniforms, I really doubt these are available from a vendor. They’re awfully snappy, though, aren’t they?

    Can anyone vouch for quality on-line vendors for women’s uniforms? Thus far I have only come across 2-3 places (through links in Lauren’s earlier thread) that carry women’s uniforms at all, and they seemed to be exclusively WAC uniforms. Hard to tell what the quality is like from the pages.

    Thanks!

    ~ Queenie.
     
  2. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    I second the request :) I just bought a vintage camera off of Ebay and want to go out as a photographer sometime.
     
  3. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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  4. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    Clare Boothe with Leclerce and Patton...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, she's wearing a coat over the uniform (if she's wearing a uniform) in the pic w/ Patton, but I figured you'd want to see the coat she chose.

    Same site...each person listed at the top of the page has their own set of pics and substories.
     
  5. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    Esther Bubley...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Good Lord. She looks like she hasn't slept in days.

    Great photo, Jerry!

    Lauren, what kind of camera did you get, and can I ask how much it set you back? We're hoping to churn one up at the flea market next month. I've already got the perfect correspondent's notebook in mind. Have you seen these? http://www.moleskine.co.uk/ These are fantastic little books, they are relatively inexpensive, light, and hardy. A close friend and I used the tiny size to keep a mutual diary/letter book by sending it back and forth when I lived overseas. The best part about the moleskines is that they are easy to find at art supply stores, even bookstores, and I've even seen them on sale from time to time.
     
  7. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    May Craig...(don't stop me now, I'm having fun...)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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  9. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Okay, J -- I'll just keep my big mouth shut about having seen those photos yesterday ;)

    They're still fantastic, and I'm too technologically impaired to post them myself. :p
     
  10. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    Aw...shucks. :p I thought you said it you couldn't find pics showing uniforms... ;) More than happy to TRY to be helpful, anyway.

    Okay, I owe you a drink next time I see you. :cheers1:

    Happy to be on topic for once, ;)
    J
     
  11. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Darn, you caught me in a fib. I guess I have seen pictures of WC's in uniform, but I guess the real question becomes: why are they all so different?

    Anyway, that is a fantastic site, Jerry! I just want MORE. As usual.

    Lauren, how hard do you think it'd be to fabricate one of those unis?
     
  12. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    The variation is probably similar to the reasons why so many other uniforms have great variation - there were a couple accepted colors (like the two colors of pinks, the taupe and the 'dark green' which is chocolate brown) for alternating or mix-matching. Then you end up w/ a couple different types of caps...the only one that really surprised me was the one of Craig in all khaki - looks like she's still wearing a skirt, but her pics seem to show here wearing a TIE, unlike the others. Like she just borrowed some of the men's uniforms as 'more practical'.
     
  13. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Yeah, excellent point.

    So does that mean I get to wear whatever the heck I please? ;)
     
  14. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    Actually, yes. Note in that first pic of Therese Bonney, although obviously staged to show off her medal, that it implied her 'working gear' consisted of an A-2, a uniform shirt, and TROUSERS! I bet she's in combat boots to go w/ that helmet, too. Hang a cam around your neck and bring your press pass.

    J
     
  15. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Swell! Just the way I like it. Though it would be nice to have at least one "nice" uniform, so I can actually look like a girl. I got the nickname "muppet" in the field because I was tramping around in clothes that were, oh, four or five sizes too big...I bet some of those fellas didn't know I was a girl until our first day off! http://anthro.ucsd.edu/~tlevy/Fidan/Field School/2003_images/camp/group.JPG That's me, fifth from the left in the OD shirt and khaki pants. I swear I'm in there somewhere under all those clothes...

    ~ Q.
     
  16. Rigby Reardon

    Rigby Reardon One of the Regulars

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    hahaha...with a magic shaving bowl for a hat, too...

    Don't worry, Q - so long as you get clothes THAT FIT I don't think ANYONE would mistake you for a boy. ;)

    Thanks, ZF - I kind of figured it was something like that, but don't have access to the resources. Perfect! :D
     
  17. Zemke Fan

    Zemke Fan Call Me a Cab

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    Actually, Miss Q...

    What I recommend is that you keep your eyes peeled on eBay for some WWII vintage tunics. The SMALL sized chocolate tunics often go for $50 or less on eBay (I'd recommend either a regulation tunic or better still an Ike jacket) and have your buddy Lauren alter it for you.

    I've actually purchased some small jackets that I'm holding to send to Thailand or Hong Kong as patterns for both: (1) a Class A winter tunic; and (2) an Ike jacket. The trousers in "pink" shade also seem to come up quite frequently on eBay.
     
  18. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

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    Ouch, J. That hurts. Whatdya expect? It was 120 degrees out there! So the hat looks a little stupid. But I'll tell you a secret -- you spend 14 hours a day schleping dirt and rocks in 120 degree heat and you learn to appreciate ventilation over style. :p

    Don't worry, Fred, it's not *really* a love fest. Jerry and I just kid each other. A lot. Thanks a bil for the "official" word. That was pretty much exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably wind up with a rather miscellaneous collection of uniform bits, but I'll at least attempt to get them in the right size. ;)


    ~ Q.
     
  19. MrBern

    MrBern I'll Lock Up

    Queenie, I reenacted photo correspondent for years.
    That first shot is a great one. Note that the gal towards the end is holding a rollei. Thats LeeMiller. I beleive she shot for VanityFAir. She lived a really fascinating life.
    Theyre also all in their dress uniforms.
    In the field, most correspondents, especially the civilians, wore whatever uniform was provided by the unit they were travelling with. So as they movied around, they went from uniform to uniform. I havent seen a lot of pix with them in a field uniform that had a patch.
    So when Robert Capa, jumped into Sicily with the 82nd airborne, he was in a paratrooper uniform , but no patches.

    Also, the women may have had female uniforms , but really they wore whatever they could find. For instance, the female M43 jacket had flaps for the breast pockets, but no pocket. So gal might prefer to get a man's combat jkt for full utility.

    Currently, in the middleeast, correspondents are no longer being issued military uniforms. A result of the high casualties
    being sustained by the press.

    For ETO press reenactors, check out:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/datelinelondon/
     
  20. MrBern

    MrBern I'll Lock Up

    I had an old friend who told me that during the war, those brassards labelled 'WC' brought up a lot of bathroom jokes. Eventually it was abreviated to 'C'.
    The Photogs had brassards labelled 'WP', brought up jokes about being a WarPrisoner. Also, at a quick glance it could be mistaken for an MP. They too were abreviated to simply 'P'.
    I see reenactors wearing them in tacticals. Really, I dont think they were ever used in combat.

    In Robert Capa's book, he does mention waiting in London for his correspondent credentials, and having his uniform made by a tailor. Then he was terribly disappointed that the british version of an american tunic didnt look american enuff. Being Hungarian, he didnt want to stick out. LAter he was happy to get many compliments at th bar.
    AndyRooney's book mentions all the gear in his dufflebag. He had an Ike jkt w/ Stars&Stripes patch.
     

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