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Named WW2 Flight Nurse's WAAC 1st pattern Khaki Uniform- upgraded to WAC s

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Here is one of the more interesting but mysterious items of my collection. This is a 1st Pattern WAAC Khaki summer jacket and a 1st pattern WAAC khaki summer cap. Interestingly, it is an enlisted 1st pattern upgraded to an officers 2nd pattern, as you'll notice that it's missing the khaki mohair braid above the sleeve cuffs. During it's upgrade however, 1st pattern shoulder straps were hand and machine sewn on, and the plastic WAAC buttons were replaced with hand sewn on plastic officers buttons (which was against regulation). Shoulder pads have also been hand and machine sewn in as per 2nd pattern regulations. It was found with a 2nd pattern OD skirt- both skirt and jacket with matching names. The insignia is another thing on its own, which I'll get into in the close ups on them. There are two pin holes on jacket where a pair of 2 inch flight nurse wings once were, but due to their cost, I have yet to re-add a pair.

 

The uniform is named to Major Martha Alice Pichon who served from July 1942 to January 1946 during WW2, and again from March 1951 to December 1969 in Korea. She lived and died in Danville Illinois, which is a 10 minute drive from where I found this uniform at an antique mall (for a price so low I thought I was dreaming!) . I have a wealth of Info on her in regards to personal life, but quite literally none on her service in either time period. I am hoping some of the more experienced collectors can help me find the story of this uniform and its owner.

 

It is my understanding this is a reasonably hard to find uniform type, so if you want to see anything in particular feel free to ask any questions or add any info!

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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note the WAAC buttons still on the cap

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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The 2 Nurse collar pins are different. One is a snowflake backed pin, and the other is an odd modified clutch back

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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Any info or comment is more than welcome both about Major Pichon and the uniform!


Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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Nurses were not part of the WAAC or WAC. They were with the Army Nurse Corps. Just because there is an AAF patch on the sleeve does not mean she was a flight nurse. Maybe, maybe not...

 

However, the fact that there are WAAC buttons makes me think she was not a nurse. The Army Nurse Corps was a part of the Army from the beginning so they would have used standard Army issue buttons not WAAC buttons.

 

Getting her records would definitely determine the truth about this uniform.

 

Edit to add: All nurses were officers so she would not have upgraded an enlisted uniform to an officer's while in the ANC. She could have been an enlisted WAAC during WWII, gone to college after, then reenlisted as a nurse.

...Kat


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You may want to ask a moderator to move this to the women's section on the forum. You will get more responses.


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thanks for the info. I did find these, not sure if they shed any more light

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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So she was a teacher and not a nurse who enlisted in the WAAC. This makes sense then about the WAC uniform but not the nurse insignia. Unless she went to nursing school inbetween enlistments.

 

...Kat


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Nurses were not part of the WAAC or WAC. They were with the Army Nurse Corps. Just because there is an AAF patch on the sleeve does not mean she was a flight nurse. Maybe, maybe not...

 

However, the fact that there are WAAC buttons makes me think she was not a nurse. The Army Nurse Corps was a part of the Army from the beginning so they would have used standard Army issue buttons not WAAC buttons.

 

Getting her records would definitely determine the truth about this uniform.

 

Edit to add: All nurses were officers so she would not have upgraded an enlisted uniform to an officer's while in the ANC. She could have been an enlisted WAAC during WWII, gone to college after, then reenlisted as a nurse.

...Kat

 

While she may not have been enlisted, as it appears she never was, the uniform certainly was once an enlisted patter 1. With the redone buttons it is my thoughts that she joined the WAAC as an officer then stayed in for the WAC. The WAAC buttons are only left on the cap, all other buttons are standard army. With NARA down, I'm not sure how long it'll be till I can get her files and get it cleared up more. The nurse insignia certainly has age on the collar though

 

Edit: I'm going to be honest, still kind of new to the forum so I'm not quite sure how to request this to be moved. If you could help me out I'd appreciate it!


Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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It has been moved for you.

 

It will get more responses in the women's section.

 

Also, it looks like there is some discoloration around where the braid should be on the cuff. Could it be the braid was removed?

 

...Kat


donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2015.gifmsg-24355-0-77312200-1449362814.gif

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It has been moved for you.

 

It will get more responses in the women's section.

 

Also, it looks like there is some discoloration around where the braid should be on the cuff. Could it be the braid was removed?

 

...Kat

 

It slipped my eye, but sure thing! But why would it be removed? It's my understanding they were removed for appointments, but she commissioned. Any ideas?

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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Here's a close up on the marks. 2 inch wings or 2 ribbon wide bar? My initial thought was wings, but I'm not so sure

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Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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I think that is a ribbon bar. She was not a flight nurse. She was not a nurse in WWII.

 

As I said, maybe she went to nursing school inbetween enlistment times.

 

I noticed there is a small pin hole to the side of the nurse insignia. That makes me wonder if there use to be the Army Air Corps collar insignia. There were Air WACS in WWII which would make sense with the patch and the other hole for the collar insignia.


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As mentioned the caduceus as well as the US insignia seem to be mismatched, so I wonder if this was a later addition at some point. The one blackened non-enameled N pins I have always associated as being post war, as is the circular eagle "glory" on the hat badge but those may be more "collectorisms" than actual fact. The removal of the braid is odd though.

 

It is a nice (and rarer) uniform though and great to have named. I think only research will tell us more about her, as the uniform seems combobulated at least a bit from here. But I do love the X stitching on the AAF patch!


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As mentioned the caduceus as well as the US insignia seem to be mismatched, so I wonder if this was a later addition at some point. The one blackened non-enameled N pins I have always associated as being post war, as is the circular eagle "glory" on the hat badge but those may be more "collectorisms" than actual fact. The removal of the braid is odd though.

 

It is a nice (and rarer) uniform though and great to have named. I think only research will tell us more about her, as the uniform seems combobulated at least a bit from here. But I do love the X stitching on the AAF patch!

 

Hopefully sooner rather than later I can get her files, and we can clear up the caduceus and set her story straight. An odd deal for sure


Yours Truly,

 

Nic Talley

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Nice unifrom.

Like mentioned, the nurse caduceus are two differnt types. One pin back the other clutch back type.

I believe these came as a pair and would have had the same attachment setup.

But some more research into if she did become a nurse is needed.

Great looking AAF patch. My Aunt was a WAC in the AAF. I love that stuff!!

 

Here is a pic of a WAAC to WAC conversion and you can see as Cutiger mentioned the AAF insignia where you have the cauduceus insignia

http://www.blitzkriegbaby.de/waac/waac4aa.htm

 

 

It still is a great WAC/AAF named unifrom.

Congrats on the pickup.

 

Semper Fi

Phil


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