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Massachusetts Women's Corps

Started by US Victory Museum , Apr 06 2010 01:43 PM

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#1 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:43 PM

Massachusetts Women's Corps.

Unlike organizations like California's WADCA or WATCC, which were
purely patriotic women's organizations having a similar command
structure like that of the US Armed Forces and Reserves, the MWC
(sometimes called Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps) did have a
nexus with the Massachusetts State Guard.

There is currently a paucity of information on the I-net about this
women's organization. The few links found with google are either
newspaper articles, or obituary notices listing deceased members.

In the period photo shown (plus enhancement) one can see that with
the exception of the two women holding the guidon each woman wears
a single ARP (Air Raid Person) MWC insignia on her left collar near
the opening of her blouse. The two in the center have twin insignia
or patches to denote rank; however, the resolution of the photo is
too poor to distinguish what they are. I suspect that they're color
tabs, like those used by AWVS.

While searching on the I-net, I was able to locate a single photo
of a MWC uniform in a museum's display (photo enclosed).

My uniform displays poorly because it is on a man's form that squares
the shoulders, and fills out the hourglass waist. Ignoring the
camera flash, the blouse looks much darker in normal lighting; this
chocolate colored uniform is tailored from summer weight gabardine
wool and feels like expensive quality.

All the buttons are Massachusetts state guard, including those on the cap.
The insignia on the cap is composed of a stylized interlocking M & W
surrounded by D & C (Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps.)

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  • 02__WDC__1__Edited_.jpg


#2 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:44 PM

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#3 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

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#4 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:46 PM

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#5 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:47 PM

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#6 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:48 PM

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#7 US Victory Museum

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:50 PM

Final photo
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#8 jgawne

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:12 PM

The insignia does turn up around Mass from time to time. Lots fo people have no clue what it is though.

#9 Steverino

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

The insignia does turn up around Mass from time to time. Lots fo people have no clue what it is though.

The Mass Women's Corps was the peace-time follow-on to the Mass. Women's Defense Corps which was active during WWII. I have a brassard for the MWDC and another similar brassard where the owner had cut it apart to remove the "D", thus making it "MWC."

The photo in this thread shows the shoulder patch for MWDC Driver. There were also MWDC shoulder patches for Canteen (coffee pot on patch), Communications (lightning bolt on patch), Medical (cadeusus on patch), and two different patches for Fire Warden (the first patch had a flame, but was replaced by a patch with a "W"). In addition, there were also matching collar tabs with "MWDC" in vertical lettering.

Patch Johnson

#10 carrabassett

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:36 PM

I bought a beautiful cap badge on Martha's Vineyard in the 90's and just recently bought a DI in Medway, MA. Didn't have a clue what they were until I researched them. They do turn up occasionally!

#11 manayunkman

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:45 PM

Very cool stuff.

Never seen it before.

#12 Steverino

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:06 AM

Massachusetts Women's Corps.

Unlike organizations like California's WADCA or WATCC, which were
purely patriotic women's organizations having a similar command
structure like that of the US Armed Forces and Reserves, the MWC
(sometimes called Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps) did have a
nexus with the Massachusetts State Guard.

There is currently a paucity of information on the I-net about this
women's organization. The few links found with google are either
newspaper articles, or obituary notices listing deceased members.

In the period photo shown (plus enhancement) one can see that with
the exception of the two women holding the guidon each woman wears
a single ARP (Air Raid Person) MWC insignia on her left collar near
the opening of her blouse. The two in the center have twin insignia
or patches to denote rank; however, the resolution of the photo is
too poor to distinguish what they are. I suspect that they're color
tabs, like those used by AWVS.

While searching on the I-net, I was able to locate a single photo
of a MWC uniform in a museum's display (photo enclosed).

My uniform displays poorly because it is on a man's form that squares
the shoulders, and fills out the hourglass waist. Ignoring the
camera flash, the blouse looks much darker in normal lighting; this
chocolate colored uniform is tailored from summer weight gabardine
wool and feels like expensive quality.

All the buttons are Massachusetts state guard, including those on the cap.
The insignia on the cap is composed of a stylized interlocking M & W
surrounded by D & C (Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps.)

The two ladies holding the guidon are most likely officers (I can't see rank on their shoulders), but the pair of insignia on their collars are like the one in the attached photo. They were worn in pairs by officers. I have both officer and enlisted MWDC uniforms and the officers have the double collar patch, while the enlisted have the single ARP DUI on the left lapel. Small numbers to be sure, but it would substantiate the unifroms in the photo.

Patch Johnson

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  • MA_21.jpg


#13 graham

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:15 AM

MWDC_004__Medium_.jpg

The insignia does turn up around Mass from time to time. Lots fo people have no clue what it is though.



They turn up in the UK too. Interesting back mark with date 1941. Does anyone know the maker ? [marked c in a circle]

A good book for this kind of thing is ....DRESSED FOR DUTY. by JILL HALCOMBE SMITH. Vols 1 and 2.
Vol 2 covers the MWDC.

Graham.

#14 graham

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:16 AM

MWDC_001__Medium_.jpg

#15 Steverino

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:26 PM

MWDC_001__Medium_.jpg

The circle c is the standard symbol for copyright. Perhaps the MWDC monogram was copyrighted by the organization.

Patch Johnson


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