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W.O.W. ( Women Ordnance Workers )

 

We've all seen the Norman Rockwell painting of the idealized

Rosie the riveter; however, the shipyards weren't the only

areas where women laboured to fill positions that men left

behind.

 

Many women toiled in the arsenals producing war materials.

These were the Women Ordnance Workers. Enclosed is a short

series of pictures of my WOW uniform, as well as some period

photos of W.O.W.s.

 

The uniform consists of summer weight wool tunic, skirt and hat.

The tie is polished cotton. The tunic does not have loops

for a belt; however, a period photo of an identical uniform

shows it being worn with a belt. My tunic is missing the

large WOW patch on the left shoulder. The stitching outline

shows where one once was. ( I'm actively looking for a large

WOW patch to replace it with if anyone has one or any leads

on finding one. )

 

Included with this uniform is a do-rag (doesn't glow under black

light! ) that would have been worn while performing physical

labour to keep that hair away from mechanical equipment while

in use.

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Very cool stuff! Thanks for the post and pics.

 

I note that the head scarf of the WOW in the poster has, rather than white "dots" as on your scarf, the Ordnance Department shell and flame insignia. Probably a bit of artistic license.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

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Very cool stuff! Thanks for the post and pics.

 

I note that the head scarf of the WOW in the poster has, rather than white "dots" as on your scarf, the Ordnance Department shell and flame insignia. Probably a bit of artistic license.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

Charlie,

 

Actually no artistic license at all, the two "official" versions of the scarf included a red one with white ornance bombs and a white with red ordnance bombs.

 

Jill Smith covers WOWs extensively in volume two of her book "Dressed for Duty".

 

Chris

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This is going to sound lame at best and hokey at worst but... WOW!

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Thank you for taking the time to share your collection with us! I also want to commend you for the research and effort you put into gathering such a fine display of very rare items. I too collect artifacts that are sort of off the beaten path and that in itself can be very rewarding. I would be curious if you've ever done a public display and encountered any women who had served in the WOW organization? I would love to see the shock and smiles on their faces when they saw your display and realized their contribution to the war effort has not been forgotten. Twenty years from now you won't be able to touch this stuff! Thanks again!

WANTED TO BUY OR TRADE - AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE, NORTON-HARJES AMBULANCE CORPS, AMERICAN RED CROSS IN ITALY, CZECH AND POLISH LEGIONS AND ANY ARTIFACTS ASSOCIATED WITH AMERICANS THAT SERVED IN FOREIGN ARMIES IN WORLD WAR ONE

 

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"Je meurs content, puisque nous sommes victorieux! Vive la France!

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  • 5 years later...

Awesome read! I just picked up this wow aresenal patch!!

-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

Check out my WW2 patch store, collection and quilts at www.ocsfollowme.com

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


 

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Never knew about this...very interesting

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Echoing Brig's comment, I never know about this. Great and informative thread, thank you for some very welcome education on this branch of Women's Service.

 

Best wishes!

 

Joe

Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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US Victory Museum,

You never cease to amaze me!

 

I love all the womans stuff myself as there were so few and their labor was unknown by most and under appreciated. The newer generations have no idea.

 

Thanks much,

Terry

You are his witness now, without a witness, they just disappear!

Quote from the movie TAKING CHANCE 2009

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